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Top 10 attractions in Western Loire

Our favourite attractions in Western Loire

Chateaux, caves and beautiful beaches

A region of beautiful and diverse landscapes from lush countryside and forest to stunning sandy beaches, Western Loire is also a dream for those who love art and culture.

Discover some incredible chateaux - from the fortress at Angers, to the fairytale chateau in Saumur, or the palatial former home and seat of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes. You can explore the caves created by the mining of tuffeau stone for many of the chateaux, where dwellings, and even churches, have been carved out of the stone.

Today, the caves are often used to mature wines (and grow mushrooms) so be sure to try the rosé wines of Anjou and the Muscadet from the area around Nantes. Also, a trip to see Le Mans, home of the 24 hour race, is not complete without trying it's famous pâté-style dish, rillettes.

Watch: Some of the best things to do in Western Loire

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.

Read our Western Loire guide

Check out our great holidays in the Loire

Getting to Western Loire

Brittany Ferries offers direct sailings into Brittany and Normandy with 3 routes we'd recommend for holidays in Western Loire to take you closer to your holiday - Plymouth to Roscoff, Portsmouth to St Malo and Portsmouth to Caen.

Our top 10 things to do in Western Loire

An unprecedented artistic project combining the imaginative and invented worlds of Jules Verne with the mechanical ingenuity of Leonardo De Vinci, the Machines de ''île is the brainchild of François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice.
Built as a military fortress rather than a palatial home, this 13th century castle is an intimidating and austere sight when arriving in Angers. Home of the Dukes of Anjou, this massive fortress has seventeen towers and a outer wall nearly…
A beautiful château dating from the 10th century but largely rebuilt in the 14th, the Château de Saumur has been a princely residence, army barracks and latterly a prison, until the end of the Napoleonic era, throughout its lifetime.
Based in Saumur, with all members of the display team working as instructors at the National Riding School here, the Cadre Noir are famous worldwide for their excellence in horsemanship.
Rochemenier is a troglodyte (cave dwelling) village, open for visits since 1967. It consists of two ancient farms and outbuildings cut into the rock housing hundreds of agricultural tools and pieces of furniture.
A great place for car enthusiasts, the Le Mans 24 hour race museum holds over 120 cars, including past race cars from big names such as Bugatti, Ferrari and Porsche.
The majestic Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is a fortified medieval castle built when Nantes was part of Brittany. Although its walls are rather austere, inside the courtyard you'll discover a brilliant white palace made of tufa stone.
One of the oldest medieval buildings in France, the Maison d'Adam (sometimes called the Tree of Life) is a half-timbered house in the heart of Angers that was the home of a very wealthy merchant.
This huge stretch of golden sand clings to the crescent-shaped bay of La Baule, covering nearly 9km fromLa Pouliguen to Pornichet - a coastline known as Côte d'Amour, the coast of love.
Take a relaxing cruise on board the Hirondelle boat, which takes up to 118 passengers, on the river Mayenne. Trips depart from Chenillé Changé, Grez Neuville or Angers. Meals can be served in the restaurant on board.