Facing the sea
For many people, the particular charm of this part of the promenade comes from the fishing huts to be discovered here. Most of them are scrupulously maintained, and come to life when their owners, weather and tide permitting, come to fish. It’s a very simple method: the big square fishing nets hung to the huts, called “carrelets”, are lowered into the water and after some time raised again, with –or without– a good catch. The Loire-Atlantique area comprises approximately 200 fishing huts; their owners pay an annual fee for the right to occupy public space on the shore.
It is no coincidence that you feel as though you were walking on a dyke. The promenade of Sautron, as this neighbourhood is called, was created in the early 20th century, when the new harbour entrance, the Southern lock, was built. Tons of debris were brought here to create this seawall, even if it meant the end of the beach of Sautron, which was quite popular at that time. All that is left of this beach now is a thin strip of sand, where you can walk when the tide is low and where the fishing huts have been built on stilts.
Still walking at a leisurely pace, you arrive at the Villès-Martin head with its exquisite sculpture by British artist Peter Logan. On the other side of the head, another beach awaits you. Did you bring your hat, towel and sunglasses? There’s nothing to hesitate about, then!