10 amazing experiences in Saint-Nazaire!
Discover what was once known as the "Little Breton California" with 10 brilliant experiences! Facing out to the wide-open sea, Saint-Nazaire is well worth discovering, with a host of surprises in store...
1) Sleep in a real fisherman's hut
Have you noticed the little wooden cabins, perched on the seaside or by the Estuary on their tall stilts and equipped with a big fishing net? Well, now you can spend a night inside one, cradled by the splashing of the waves – if you like, you can even dine on your own catch!
2) Explore the A380 construction workshops
Fancy learning how the Airbus A380 is made? The firm opens the doors of its huge workshops, where you can watch the complex process of building and assembling the monumental sections that make up the "Super Jumbo".
3) Explore the bowels of a military submarine
Slip inside the Espadon submarine, docked in the port of Saint-Nazaire. You will discover the daily life of the sailors who run it, look at various dials, controls and listening posts, explore the bustling machine room... and even watch a torpedo being launched!
4) Discover the models of the Ecomusée
Did you know that in the 19th century, Saint-Nazaire had the greatest demographic growth in Europe? The Ecomusée returns to this astonishing past, in particular through an impressive collection of models representing the old town, the port, legendary ships and more...
5) Feel the vibes of a music festival on the rise
With a finely-tuned programme, fabulous set design, artistic performances and more, the Les Escales festival is always on the rise! Alongside the world music groups that perform every year, acts that have already graced the stage include Iggy Pop, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Asaf Avidan and Selah Sue.
6) Bask in a secret cove
A great tip that the locals keep under wraps... Away from the tourist hubbub, below the coastal path, sits the little wild cove of Trébézy. Nestled away and protected by greenery, it is home to one of Saint-Nazaire's most beautiful beaches.
7) Savour the atmosphere of old-fashioned cruise liners
A one-of-a-kind structure in France, Escal'Atlantic features 27 specially designed spaces over 3,700 square meters, which evoke the ambiance of old-world cruise liners. With cabins, a majestic dining room, a bar and machine room, nothing has been overlooked. Interactive multimedia devices and objects from legendary ships are also on hand.
8) Stroll through a giant market
The central market halls (halles centrales) house the largest market in Saint-Nazaire, which is held on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday mornings in this amazing 1950s building. As well as the essentials, be sure to visit the eel seller's stand, as well as those selling food from around the world!
9) Explore the local Notting Hill!
Delicate ornaments, colourful façades and little gardens are all found just steps from the seafront, on the rue Villebois-Mareuil, which houses a small 19th century bourgeois neighbourhood spared from the bombing and populated by opulent-looking villas that really make you feel as though you're taking a stroll in London.
10) Have a drink overlooking the sea
Saint-Marc is home to the beach where Jacques Tati filmed Monsieur Hulot's Holiday. The Hôtel de la Plage, used as the set, is still there and has a lovely year-round terrace on the sand itself, perfect for having a drink and enjoying the sunset!