EXPERIENCE NEW HEIGHTS IN BOIS DES ELOUXHIGHEST POINT ON THE ISLAND
Another facet of the island is the Bois des Eloux wood, with its maritime pines and its sandy paths, perfect for hiking, picnicking... and jogging!
23 METRES ABOVE THE SEA
The Bois des Eloux is a listed site located between L’Épine and La Guérinière. It contains maritime pines, strawberry trees, shrubs, rosebushes and wild roses.
It is a mix of beach and wood: a national forest on hilly land. It is also the site of the highest points on the island, at an elevation of about 23 metres (Pé de l’Herse in L’Épine), which offer up a beautiful panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and its endless horizon. By the edge of the sea, the vegetation is limited to everlasting flowers and couch grass.
Lose yourself in this breathtaking natural wilderness, then let the scent of sea salt guide you to the surrounding beaches. And if you should come upon an elf, don’t forget to ask him to tell you the story of the legend of the Bois des Eloux.
Bois des Eloux
A QUICK HISTORY LESSON
The wood sits on the location of the old village of Les Eloux which was completely buried by sand in the early 12th century. Before the dunes were stabilized by planting pine trees in 1875, the dunes were mobile. They were estimated to advance at a rate of 20 metres annually. During the French Revolution, the inhabitants were compelled to constantly hunt for fuel of any kind, forcing them to snatch up the slightest twig and uproot wild flowers for heat. Blown unimpeded by the wind, the sand covered the remains of the abandoned village in just a few years.
Firm measures were then taken. The gradual application of those decisions stopped the advancement of the dunes and saved Les Eloux. Only the sea, continuing to encroach upon the dunes, still poses a threat today, which is why spurs have been installed there.
Bois des Eloux
The smell inside the Bois des Eloux © Jean-Sébastien Evrard
SCENTS OF BOIS DES ELOUX
Driven out to sea by westerly winds, the fragrance of everlasting flowers reaches out to even the most solitary of sailors, like a captivating aroma of saffron. Clinging to the dunes on expansive beaches, the everlasting – much like beachgrass – has another purpose: “By helping to stabilize the dunes, these plants are essential to the island, more than half of which is below sea level. In the Bois des Eloux wood, you can also find the delicate scent of pine needles which warm the ground and crunch underfoot”. Joël Léauté, nature guide and sailing instructor
PICNICKING IN BOIS DES ELOUX
From Barbâtre to Noirmoutier, many picnic tables are scattered through the woods and the pine forests along the coast of the island. These outdoor facilities surrounded by nature are also great for snacks, party games with family or friends, napping and pétanque (bowls). Little ones can also enjoy the beach, under your watchful eyes.
BOIS DES ELOUX ON FOOT
Discover the Bois des Eloux wood from a walking path. Along the way, you will see a wide variety of landscapes: dunes, marshes and forests. Follow the yellow waymarks to discover all the wealth of nature that awaits you.