Getting to know Loire-Atlantique


Home of the largest city in the Pays de La Loire, Nantes, the beaches nearby and wine growing areas provide the perfect complement to the bustle of urban life.

Nantes is the capital of the Loire-Atlantique and the Pays de La Loire and is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city where the contemporary world connects with history. The 15th Century château houses the Nantes History Museum - the perfect way to learn all about the history of Nantes. The city also has a prestigious maritime and river history. The up-and-coming ‘île’ is now a contemporary cultural centre with the Great Elephant on the Machines de l’île , an exciting interactive adventure inspired by both Leonardo de Vinci and Nantes’ very own Jules Verne. 

Le Grand Elephant ©J.D Billaud/Nautilus-Nantes


Not to be missed is the port of Saint-Nazaire renowned for its shipyards. Be sure to take a “world tour” on board the Escal’Atlantic “ocean liner” and re-live the glorious era of these great vessels. View the ocean depths in the ‘Espadon’ submarine.

Nothing complements a stay in the city like a trip to the beach. Everyone loves ‘The Côte d'Amour’, Europe's most beautiful beach is laid out at your feet, located in the lovely resort of La Baule . The coastline has 9 km of pale sandy coves. This spectacular spot was officially recognised and is now part of the centenary club of ‘most beautiful bays in the world’. South is Pornichet , a perfect place for kids, with its innovative resort that lets children and their parents experience diving. There are also fishing ports such as Le Croisic, Piriac-sur-Mer and Batz-sur-Mer.

For beach activities and water sports visit Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, in the heart of ‘The Côte de Jade ’, named for the unique colour of its ‘magical’ water. For tranquillity, head for Pierre Attelée forest, the only dune forest in the Loire-Atlantique. Pornic , a pretty fishing port, attracts many admirers with its beaches and inlets, wharfs and boats, picturesque lanes, covered market, casino, 18-hole golf course and much more! The town is full of life from dawn to dusk!

La Baule et les Evens	 ©V.Joncheray/SEM Régionale Pays de la Loire


For gastronomy, the Loire-Atlantique boasts some of France’s finest produce and wines . There is seafood galore and the best salt for seasoning is found locally in the Guérande salt marsh. Try a regional classic ‘beurre blanc’, the perfect accompaniment for the fish from the Loire river and a glass of the famous local Muscadet wine. You may need to do some research to find the taste that suits you. There is no one style or flavour of Muscadet, each wine varies according to where and in what soil the vines are grown. If you take a wine tour with one of the local award-winning viticulteurs, you will have the opportunity to find the perfect year. There are outstanding chefs (some Michelin starred) and great restaurants all over the region.

Golf is another great passion in the Loire-Atlantique. The perfect mix: playing golf by the beach! From the 200 acre courses at La Baule to the back-to-nature 9-hole course, Golf de la Vigne, at Mesquer-Quimiac. There are courses for all skill levels from highly technical to laid-back.

There are several ‘Thalassotherapy’ centres in the region where you can literally wash your cares away. There are treats to match your budget ranging from the exclusive ‘Cour Carrée spa at the Relais et Châteaux, Domaine de la Bretesche, in Missillac to the spa at the Le Fief campsite in Saint-Brevin-Les-Pins.

Clisson © V.Joncheray


Sun, sea, countryside and culture: for thrills and for chilling, the Loire-Atlantique is perfect for personalised breaks, long or short, whatever your age or energy levels!