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Western Loire travel guide

About Western Loire

Western Loire, or Pays de la Loire, is a region of lush countryside covered in chateaux, stunning beaches including the 9km long expanse of fine sand at La Baule, and historic towns and cities where troglodyte caves are hidden underground, carved out of the beautiful soft white tuffeau stone.

As the Loire river runs west towards the Atlantic you will enter a peaceful region of leafy countryside, a gorgeous coastline and salt marshes, dotted with a wealth of châteaux and quiet, charming rural villages.

Here you'll find popular seaside resorts with plenty of family entertainment including St Jean de Monts, Les Sables d'Olonne and fashionable La Baule whose long crescent shaped beach is regarded as being the most beautiful in the country.

This is also a huge wine growing area and the vineyards of the red, white and fruity rosé vintages of Saumur and Anjou are amongst the fi rst you will see when travelling south through western France. The dry white Muscadet which is so perfect with seafood is produced near the commercial port of Nantes - head to the city centre and treat yourself to a meal in one of the gourmet restaurants and sample this delicious wine at the same time (great shopping and sightseeing here too).

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Amongst a host of other attractions is the amazing medieval theme park Puy du Fou near Les Epesses which features a 6,000 seat Roman coliseum complete with chariot races, gladiators and lions, an authentic medieval village and much, much more. It is highly recommended that you go for a full day (take a picnic!) and then stay until dark to watch the spectacular Cinéscénie show.

Cuisine of Western Loire

Local specialities

Rillettes (potted pork). Brioche vendéenne (a sweet buttery bread). Seafood. Petit Lu biscuits from Nantes. Mushrooms.

What's on the menu?

Canard à l'orange, duck cooked in orange Cointreau liqueur. Crémet d'Anjou, a dessert made with eggs, crème fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla with a fresh fruit topping.

What to drink

Muscadet and Gros Plant dry white wines. Rosé wines from Anjou.

Why visit Western Loire? 

  • Le Mans 24 hour car race and museum
  • The châteaux of Angers and Saumur
  • Ancient troglodyte caves of tuffeau stone
  • Machines d'Ile on Nantes quayside

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Featured Video: Western Loire Coast & Countryside

Dreaming of miles of sandy beaches, family friendly resorts, fine local wines, magnificent chateaux and mouth-watering gastronomy? From the elegant coastal resort of La Baule to the historic Abbaye de Fontevraud, you can discover it all with Brittany Ferries in beautiful Western Loire.

Places in Western Loire

  • Angers
    6 out of 10, based on 72 ratings

    Angers in Pays de la Loire is an artistic city on the banks of…

  • La Baule
    6 out of 10, based on 243 ratings

    La Baule in Pays de la Loire is a fantastic, stylish seaside…

  • Le Mans
    6 out of 10, based on 172 ratings

    Le Mans in Pays de la Loire is a modern city with a diverse…

  • Nantes
    6 out of 10, based on 54 ratings

    Nantes, in Western Loire, is a beautiful city that was once the…

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Attractions in Western Loire

  • Château de Craon
    6 out of 10, based on 42 ratings

    This magnificently furnished 18thC château is surrounded by a…

  • Lactopole
    5 out of 10, based on 23 ratings

    This fascinating museum dedicated to the history of the dairy…

  • Océarium du Croisic
    5 out of 10, based on 32 ratings

    In this underwater world observatory you can see young rays and…

  • Planete Sauvage
    5 out of 10, based on 48 ratings

    Giraffes, elephants, bears, wolves, rhinoceros, lions and tigers…

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