The fishing port of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie 

The fishing port is a symbol of France’s maritime legacy. There is still a fleet of 54 ships, which specialize in fishing for blue fish (sardines and mackerel) and have 100 fishermen, a computerized auction and 10 processing units in line with European standards.

The boats can fish several ways: trawling or pelagic trawling, fishing with traps, hook and line or nets. In 1998 Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie was the first French port to be recognised as a ‘Site Remarquable du Goût’ for sardine fishing, a local tradition.

The Marina


Sheltered Port la Vie is in the heart of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, facing the Ile d'Yeu and has everything a successful stopover needs.

The port office is open daily from 9 to 12 and from 14 to 18 from the 19th April to the end of June and from 6 am to 10 pm in July and August. Météo Marine, the weather report, is continuously monitored. There are 1,100 sheltered deep-water moorings, accessible whatever the tide, and a 160-seat pontoon.

In 2013 Port la Vie joined the Passeport Escales network

While you are in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, don’t miss the Fisherman’s House, which shows how sailors lived in the 1920s.

Go to the Tour Josephine too. It was probably the first lighthouse in the port until 1875 when it became a Ponts et Chaussées storehouse for explosives and was renamed Dynamite Tower. The name Tour Josephine dates it from Napoleon or the beginning of the Empire.

A custom has it that newlyweds should go onto the pier and make a tour of the foot of the building. It is believed that this is a harbinger of happiness!

 At Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, the Grosse Terre lighthouse dominates the rocky promontory of Pil'hours. The famous navigator Ferrande Garcia named the rocks here "Pointe Ryé," marking out its dangers for mariners.

Another key element of our maritime heritage, the ship "The Hope", an old crab boat that sailed until the late, named as a 1960s, historical monument in 1998 and regularly present at the port of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie.

The seaside architecture

Boisvinet, located in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, retains its cachet of seaside district of the Belle Époque with its eclectic and picturesque villas from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The district of Sion sur l'Océan, belonging to the commune of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, reminds us of the fashion of the sea baths with its buildings built in the 1920s - 1930s.