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Nantes Atlantic Loire Valley

A direct flight from 11 UK airports and capital of France’s Atlantic Loire Valley, Nantes makes a vibrant French city break with its art, culture and riverside lifestyle.



©
Frank Tomps LVAN

It’s a great year-round destination for languorous living beside the Loire, sipping local wine and watching the sunset. Nantes is also an ideal base for exploring the region’s nearby treasures, including the stunning Atlantic coast and iconic Loire Valley, both of which are reached in an hour by car. 


City culture



©A. Lamoureux


Aimed at kids aged 9 to 90, Nantes’ weird and wacky Machines de l’Île blends the imaginary worlds of Jules Verne with the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and has just expanded for 2019. In addition to the giant ride-on elephant with water-spraying trunk, the robotic spider and the extraordinary carousel of sea creatures, a 120-kilo sloth has now taken up residence. The ‘Pass Famille’ grants two adults and two children access to this and many other city attractions, including the château and museums, as well as public transport.



Art galore


© Matthieu Chauveau LVAN


Le Voyage à Nantes literally turns the city upside-down with art. Although the main festival takes place in the summer months, many of the installations stay in place all year round – follow the green line on the ground for a whistle-stop tour of 40 stages, as contemporary architecture rubs shoulders with historic alleyways. Stop for lunch at La Cigale, a traditional and beautifully ornate brasserie on Place Graslin that’s been serving since 1895.

Live like a local


© Jean-Dominique Billaud – Nautilus LVAN

Once you’ve had your urban fix, jump on the Navibus across the river to Trentemoult, a former fishing village and now a suburb of Nantes where the locals go to get away from it all. Stroll around the attractive coloured houses in the narrow streets, built across three storeys with the Loire’s rising  water level in mind, and gardens filled with palm trees. Trentemoult is another hub of artistic activity and home to over 20 professional artists and their workshops, and lining the Quai Marcel Boissard are traditional bistros and crêperies.

 

Vitamin sea


© La Baule - A. Lamoureux

Fancy escaping the city? Just an hour’s drive from Nantes, the chic Atlantic coastal resort of La Baule is the ideal place to take the sea air, whatever the weather. Its sweeping, nine-kilometre curve of sand is lapped by one of France’s most beautiful bays. There are plenty of spots to indulge in fresh seafood along the coast – look out for rustic oyster shacks, especially on Ile de Noirmoutier. A staggering 13,000 tonnes of oysters are produced each year from the Loire estuary to the Bay of Aiguillon.


Adventure through the vines

© Vignoble Marchais


Heading inland from Nantes is the world-famous Loire Valley, nicknamed the ‘Garden of France’ for its abundant growth of fruit, vegetables and vines. It’s the third-largest wine appellation in France with a UNESCO-listed wine route of over 800km, where 250 million bottles of wine are produced each year. Take a romantic cycling trip through the Fiefs Vendéens or Anjou-Saumur vineyards, sampling local delicacies and chatting to winemakers en route. You can even eat among the vines at Michelin-starred restaurant La Table de la Bergerie, south of Angers.

Find out more about Nantes and Atlantic Loire Valley.

 

   


Terms and conditions:
Nantes from £39.99 one way pp, two flying.
 
T&Cs: 2,670 seats from London Gatwick (LGW) and 2,697 from London Luton (LTN) for travel to 28.3.20. Correct at 14.6.19.

 


 
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