Feel Pornic with our top 5 sensory experiences…

See rows of rustic fishing huts on Plage de la Boutinardière

Hear Celtic and classical music at lively festivals throughout the summer months

Smell fragrant pines and mimosa on a walk through the Pierre Attelée forest

Taste the local Muscadet wine, a dry white that matches perfectly with seafood

Feel the touch of a treatment at the Alliance Pornic, a thalassotherapy institution that’s become one of France’s best known.

Just 50km from Nantes on the glittering Jade Coast in Loire-Atlantique, Pornic is the perfect place to get away from it all with its laid-back atmosphere and stunning natural beauty. Less well-known than its chic neighbour La Baule, this little fishing port perched on the rocks is equally charming with its beaches and coves, boats and jetties, picturesque lanes, covered market and 18-hole golf course. Fishing huts on Plage de la Boutinardière remind you of the town’s heritage, and you can learn the basics of sailing, windsurfing or kayaking here. Visit local craftsmen such as the cheese-makers at Le Curé Nantais and the brewers at the Brasserie de la Côté de Jade. If you’re wild about nature and looking for peace and quiet, head for the Pierre Attelée forest, the only dune forest in Loire-Atlantique where fragrant pines, green oaks and mimosas spill onto the beach.

Wander through the medieval town and admire the château of the terrifying Gilles de Rais (better known by the name of Bluebeard). This historic medieval structure set right in the town centre has become one of its major symbols. Follow the Sentier des Douaniers footpath which hugs the coast for 15km, dipping into any of the 15 beaches and orange-tinted sandy creeks. Eat seafood (the area is famous for its moules frites) and discover the region’s Muscadet, a dry white wine that’s the perfect accompaniment. Spa enthusiasts can enjoy recharging their batteries at the Alliance Pornic, a real institution and one of the best-known thalassotherapy centres in France. For a lazy way to experience Pornic, hop on the tourist train around the centre of the resort and admire the sumptuous seaside villas before browsing the typical markets and shops.