A view of Le Mans

Le Mans travel guide

About Le Mans

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

Although best known for its motorsports connections, specifically the famous 24 hour Le Mans motorsport endurance race, it is also steeped in history. A fortified Roman town built on a prehistoric settlement, and the former capital of the Maine Department, Le Mans' history spans millennia and can be explored in the city's many museums.

Don't miss a trip to the menhir, a 7000 year old sacred stone that stands near the striking Cathédrale St Julien. From the well preserved relic of a Roman wall to the Gothic and Renaissance churches, and the wood framed houses of the 15th century, the stunning architecture showcases a lively history and the reasons for the city's popularity as a location for film shoots such as The Man in the Iron Mask. The beautiful architecture quite literally lights up the city as the stunning Light Trail illuminates the buildings at night. 

Take a ride in a Barouche carriage through the streets of the Old Town with its eclectic mix of small boutiques and the daily market at Place du Marché where you can buy delicious local cheeses. Relish the rich taste of Le Mans' specialist dish of rillettes - a pâté style meat dish traditionally made from pork and spread thickly on toast. Don't forget to enjoy the renowned wines of the Loire Valley in the city's excellent restaurants and bars.

If you're holidaying in Le Mans, then some recommended trips are to the historic town of Laval and the Normandie-Maine Regional Natural Park which are both just over an hour's drive.

OVERVIEW

  • Country: France

  • Region: Western Loire

  • Department: Sarthe

  • Population: 148,000

Holidays in France

Sail & stay with us to save time and money! Pack your car with everything you need - even the family pet, and enjoy the fun of travelling on board.

Gite in Atlantic Loire Valley

GITES AND COTTAGES IN FRANCE

View of the Hotel Aigue Marine, Tréguier

HOTEL HOLIDAYS & BREAKS IN FRANCE

Family walking on the beach

FAMILY HOLIDAYS IN FRANCE AND SPAIN

A man and a woman reading by their car

CAR & MOTORCYCLE TOURS IN FRANCE

Getting to France

Get closer to your holiday in France with a choice of routes sailing to Roscoff, St Malo, Cherbourg, Caen and Le Havre

Colourful boats at the port in Roscoff © Shutterstock

PLYMOUTH TO FRANCE FERRIES

Aerial view of Poole harbour, from where Brittany Ferries sail to Cherbourg, France

POOLE TO FRANCE FERRIES

The walls of Intra-Muros around St Malo from the marina © Shutterstock

PORTSMOUTH TO FRANCE FERRIES

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