A balcony above the sea

The "hôtel de la Plage" where Monsieur Hulot stayed.
A bit further on, the cliffs of Chémoulin.

From the estuary to the ocean

Arriving at the "pointe de l’Eve", a cape overgrown with wind-blown grass, the view is getting larger, the estuary gives way to the ocean. Several bunkers from World War 2, scattered over the cape, are reminders of how strategically important this lookout has always been. You then walk along the beach called La Courance, hugely popular with young surfers because of its strong tide. One last promontory to climb on one side, walk down on the other, and there are you, on a mythical location: “Monsieur Hulot’s” beach. This is where Jacques Tati shot the exterior scenes of his film “Monsieur Hulot’s holidays” in 1952. And doesn’t the hotel look familiar? Of course, it features in the film!

You are now in the Saint-Marc district where you’ll find restaurants and sidewalk cafés, shops for buying newspapers and postcards, and a little supermarket if you need to do some shopping for the picnic. Just outside the town hall, there is the bus stop for number U3 which will take you comfortably back to your starting point. See schedules on the website of the local bus company STRAN.

But maybe you don’t feel like returning yet, and you’re quite right. The footpath continues towards Pornichet, and the scenery becomes more wild and rugged for a time, especially around the promontory "pointe de Chémoulin" where the French Navy has an observatin point.  As you walk on you think about the customs officers who used to ply this path, and you wonder how often they did just the same thing as we do today: just sit down and enjoy the views…