Zien en doen in de Loire Atlantique, Vendée Frankrijk

Nature, Culture in the Loire. The Atlantic Loire and the Vendée France is ideal for lovers of sun-drenched beaches, creative and authentic cities. But this region in France is also formidable for epic walks or bike rides along the Loire, and through vineyards.

Culture freaks and wine lovers will also get their money’s worth in this French region. The Loire Atlantique is an all-round holiday destination. I would like to explain what makes a Loire Atlantique holiday so unique…

Walking Loire vineyardsPrime location: best of both

Ask any real estate agent what determines the value of a house, and they will name three USPs as their biggest asset: location, location, location. And this is also the case in the case of the Loire Atlantique. This department borders the Loire department on one side, and flows seamlessly into Brittany on the other side. Ergo: this region offers the best of both: close to the Vendeé and bordering the Atlantic Sea.

Capital Nantes

Nantes is the capital of the Atlantic Loire and the Vendée: a lively city with an authentic center, green parks and modern architecture. As far as Reisachtig is concerned, this lively city is one of the highlights of the Loire Atlantique. But the city of Saint Nazaire and the art route called Voyage from Nantes to the Atlantic coast are also very special.

Nantes Loire

Artistic Nantes

Most beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Loire and the Vendée

Do you want to go to the plage with me? With no less than nine kilometers of sandy beach: from Pornichet to Pouliguen, La Baule beach on the Cote d’Amour is one of Europe’s largest beaches. According to connoisseurs, La Baule is one of the most beautiful bays in the world. And yes, this is a beautiful, spacious beach. But it is lined with high-rise buildings and for that reason not my favorite in France.

These beaches on the Atlantic coast are not to be missed: from a nice family beach to a prestine pearl. Plage de Pen Bron, Plage du Nau, Plage Port-Kennet, Plage Anse du Sud.

Beaches Loire Atlantic

Beaches Loire Atlantique

Would you like some wine?

In the Atlantic Loire you don’t drink Rosé or Chardonnay but a Muscadet! The Pays Nantais: wine region around Nantes, is one of the oldest AOCs (Appellation d’Origine Controlée) of la Douce France. And with 13,000 hectares of vineyards, this is quite a wine region.

Now I don’t have a French nose for it, but I can tell you that the flower or fruit aromas come straight out of your glass of Muscadet. The Muscadet comes from the so-called melon vine. The Muscadet owes its yellowish color to the winter period. Or at least… this wine rests on its natural (yellow) fermentation during the winter. This way the muscadet remains fresh, slightly tingling and slightly yellowish.

Walking or cycling through the vineyards in the Loire

Speaking of wine? This activity in the Loire Atlantique is a must. Jump on your (rental) bike or put on your sneakers and dive into the vineyards for a French cycling or walking tour. Especially at the end of the day, it is wonderful to hike through the green muscadet groves, along the Sévre Nantique and numerous historical sights. Most walking routes are extremely diverse and suitable for all levels.

Holiday with children in the Vendée

Cycling vineyards Nantes

Photogenic place Clisson

According to many, Clisson is one of the most beautiful villages in the Vendée Loire Atlantique. What is special about this picturesque oversized French village is its Italian appearance. Think of red roofs, Romanesque monastery, and Roman bridges. The heart of the city is Chateau de Clisson: this romantic ruin is clearly visible from outside the city.

Not to be missed is the ‘Domaine Garenne Lemot in Gétigné’. An Italian country house surrounded by Garenne Lemot park. For many French families, the park is the place for a wonderful picnic in the green. Would you like to admire all the highlights of the city of Clisson in one km? Follow the 1 km walking route called La Gare en la Moine.

We opted for a longer circular walk of approximately 7 km long route called: Circuit au coeur de Clisson. This walk meanders along the River Sèvre past cultural heritage and beautiful nature. Tip: Would you like to have something to drink after visiting this mini Loire? Restaurant La Cascade is located right on the water and under the trees. A wonderful place in the summer.

Clisson France


Sights Loire Atlantique

Former paper mill

Relax at the Loire

La cascade restaurant on the Sévre

Domaine Garenne Lemot

Domaine Garenne Lemot

Guérande: best preserved medieval city

The Guérande Peninsula near Saint Nazaire in the Vendée and therefore the Loire Atlantique is best known for its centuries-old tradition of salt mining. But in addition to the salt pans, the medieval city of Guérande of the same name is also a top attraction and can easily be combined with a visit to the salt pans and La Baule beach.

Trip to Guérande with children? Participate in the Treasure hunt. The energetic guide Sebastian takes the whole family, especially the children, on a tour through the city. During this treasure hunt, young and old will learn more about the city gate of St-Michel, houses with slate roofs, bay windows and wooden panels.

Above all, the English-speaking guide makes it an exciting event. During the journey, all senses are put to work to find the treasure of Sebastian’s ancestors. Of course I keep clues to myself, otherwise the mystery is no longer a mystery. In short: this expedition makes the difference between visiting a city and an interactive city tour with a guide.

Practical: free parking is available in the ‘Cinema’ car park. The city tour called ‘Le Trésor de Guérande’ can be booked at the tourism office in Guérande . Rates: Children under 6 free, kids up to 12 years 3 euros. And adults 6 euros per person.

Guerande with children

Treasure hunt

Wandering through salt marshes

The city owes its prosperity largely to the exploitation of white gold: or ‘Fleur de Sel’. Salt has been fished, or rather harvested, from the water in the salt marshes of Guérande since Roman times. The Middle Ages in particular were peak times for salt operators. Things went downhill a bit after that, but salt mining has made a comeback since the 1970s.

Every year, 10,000 tons of salt are raked in here, and with it a lot of euros in salt. This is a labor-intensive job. From June to September, the salt is harvested using a cimauge (stick with a flat disk). Salt from the basins is raked with a stick onto pyramid-shaped mounds and stored in wooden sheds: ‘salorges’.

Book a tour of the salt pans or visit the Ter de Sel museum. The salt marshes are endless. Take a short walk across these sparkling marshes. Free admission all year round. Tip: from here you can continue to the beautiful Pen Bron beach. Salt marshes Guerande
Fleur de sel Guerande
More activities in the Loire? or the Vendée?

Puy du Fou|France’s best theme park

The most beautiful castles of the Loire in France

Free travel guide Nantes|Loire France

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