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France > Pays de la Loire

Take a trip to Pays de la Loire

Located in the west of France, this region is packed with majestic chateaux, picturesque landscapes and a vibrant culture that will appeal to all travelers. Let yourself be transported back in time by a visit to the famous castles of the Loire, and continue your journey through the rolling vineyards of the Loire Valley. Delicious grape varieties await you in welcoming wineries.
The Pays de la Loire region also has no shortage of charming towns and picturesque villages such as Nantes, Angers, Saumur and Le Mans, where historic architecture rubs shoulders with trendy boutiques and a thriving gastronomic scene. Stroll through the cobbled streets, sample the local specialties and soak up the friendly atmosphere. For nature lovers, the Brière nature park offers a peaceful getaway in the heart of a vast area of unspoilt marshland. Explore its winding canals by traditional boat and discover an astonishing biodiversity, with an abundance of birds and rare plants.

 

Tour Guides in Pays de la Loire

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Five ideas for guided tours in Pays de la Loire

 

  • Yeu Island

    As soon as you set foot on this idyllic island, the colorful houses of the port of La Meule welcome you warmly, while the salty spray tickles your senses. Start your exploration with a visit to the old town of Port-Joinville, the lively heart of Yeu Island. Stroll along the picturesque alleyways, discover the local craft stores and take a break in one of the charming cafés to sample a culinary specialty, such as the famous sardines.
    Île d’Yeu is also brimming with natural treasures. The Pointe des Corbeaux, with its sheer cliffs and secluded coves, offers panoramic ocean views. Let yourself be enchanted by the beauty of the Côte Sauvage, where raging waves break on the craggy rocks. Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted by the coastal paths that criss-cross the island. The Pointe du But loop, with its spectacular ocean views and fine sand dunes, is a real invitation to adventure. For a relaxing break, take to the pristine sandy beaches of Plage des Vieilles, Plage de Ker Châlon and Plage des Soux.
    Île d’Yeu is also rich in history. Don’t miss a visit to the village of Saint-Sauveur, with its 11th-century church and granite houses with colorful shutters. You can also explore the remains of Fort Pierre-Levée, an ancient citadel that has witnessed many battles over the centuries.

  • Le Mans: A medieval city where history meets speed

    Immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere of the Cité Plantagenêt, the city’s historic center. Lose yourself in the cobbled streets, admire the timber-framed houses with their colorful facades and discover the majestic Saint-Julien Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that dominates the skyline. Le Mans is also renowned for its Roman past. Don’t miss a visit to the Roman baths, well-preserved remains of a complex dating from 50 and 275 AD. JC.
    Racing enthusiasts won’t want to miss the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the world’s most legendary circuits. Stop off at the Musée des to discover the history of this legendary endurance race and admire the iconic racing cars that have marked the history of the sport.
    For a nature break, head to the magnificent Jardin des Plantes, a haven of peace in the heart of the city. Stroll along the flower-lined paths, relax by the fountains and admire the greenhouses housing a vast collection of exotic plants.
    Le Mans is packed with architectural gems, such as the Palace des Comtes du Maine, Place de la République and Porte Saint-Pierre, offering a journey back in time around every corner.

  • The Guérande salt marshes

    When you explore the salt marshes of Guérande, you’re plunged into a world of your own. The expanses of water, bordered by rectangles of brilliant white salt, create an unreal landscape of striking beauty. Stroll along the dirt roads, admire the rows of salt workers delicately harvesting the precious sea salt and breathe in the sea-spray-laden sea air. Start your visit in the village of Guérande, a picturesque medieval town located near the marshes. Stroll along its cobbled streets, discover the well-preserved ramparts and visit the majestic Collégiale Saint-Aubin, a Gothic church that bears witness to the region’s rich history.
    For an immersive experience, don’t miss the House of Paludiers, a place where you can learn more about the history and techniques of salt harvesting. Enthusiastic guides will take you through the stages of production, from the tidal basins to the final harvest, allowing you to understand the cultural and economic importance of this traditional activity. Continue your adventure to the village of Saillé. This charming village is home to colorful salt workers’ huts, where you can buy locally harvested salt and discover the secrets of making fleur de sel, a culinary treasure prized by chefs the world over.

  • Les Sables-d’Olonne

    Welcome to Les Sables-d’Olonne, the pearl of the Vendée coast, combining maritime charm, enchanting beaches and a lively atmosphere. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be seduced by the beauty of the fine sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. La Grande Plage, with its lively waterfront and palm-lined promenade, invites you to take long, invigorating strolls along the seafront. Stroll through the historic district of Les Sables-d’Olonne, known as the “Vieux Port”, and soak up its authentic atmosphere. The picturesque alleyways lined with traditional houses with colorful facades transport you to another time. Admire the fishing boats and sailboats gently bobbing in the calm waters of the harbor.
    A visit to the lighthouse is a must. Climb the stairs to the top for a panoramic view of the town, ocean and surrounding area. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the yachts taking part in the famous Vendée Globe solo race.
    For an enriching cultural experience, visit the Museum of the Abbaye Sainte-Croix. This former 17th-century monastery houses a collection of contemporary art that is sure to delight art lovers.
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  • Noirmoutier Island

    As soon as you arrive on the Ile de Noirmoutier, you’ll be immediately seduced by the fine sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Plage des Dames, with its friendly atmosphere and crystal-clear waters, is the ideal place for a lazy day in the sun. If you’re looking for a wilder atmosphere, head for Plage des Lutins, nestled between dunes and forest, offering a veritable natural refuge.
    Explore the charming village of Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, with its cobbled streets and traditional houses with colorful shutters. Don’t miss a visit to the Château Fort de Noirmoutier, witness to the island’s turbulent history and offering a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Continue your journey to the Bois de la Chaise, a veritable treasure trove of greenery, with its blend of maritime pines and intoxicating scents. Here you’ll discover the famous La Clère beach, with its colorful beach huts adding a touch of retro charm to this enchanting landscape.
    If you’re looking for adventure, don’t miss the Passage du Gois, a submersible road linking the island to the mainland. But beware of the tides! This unique experience will give you a real sense of escape, as you explore the changing landscapes of the foreshore and soak up the magic of this unique place.

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