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The must-sees of the Pays de la Loire region

Located in the western part of France, the Pays de la Loire region welcomes visitors with a variety of profiles. From the historic city of Le Mans and after discovering the heritage of Mayenne, it is by following the Loire River that one can enjoy the green landscapes that surround the wild river. On the road, beautiful cities reveal their most beautiful finery, Saumur, Angers, are as many stages not to be missed. And what about Nantes, with its lively districts and its abundant cultural program. We end up on the Atlantic coast and it is the marshes and the preserved islands that we discover by bike, while enjoying beautiful beaches. Cities, heritage, leisure parks and varied landscapes, the Pays de la Loire region enchants in every corner of its territory

The castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the flagship monument of Nantes

It is the unmissable monument of Nantes. Built for the most part in the 15th century, the castle of the Dukes of Brittany displays both a medieval and Renaissance style. Some parts were built between the 15th and 18th centuries. What immediately catches the eye are the ramparts and the imposing towers. Its style also reminds of the beautiful buildings of Brittany. After a walk on the ramparts, it is advisable to go to the history museum, which allows to better understand the history of the city of Nantes, all in a playful and educational way. The monument also offers temporary exhibitions and shows

The Machines de l'Île, an amazing urban project

Created by François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, the Machines de l'Île are located on the island of Nantes, in the heart of former shipyards. It offers a dreamlike world, a mixture of the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci. The public sits on the back of a giant elephant that goes for a ride, while the carousel invites you to dive into the heart of a mechanical and poetic marine world. And to understand these incredible constructions, it is possible to cross the aisles to go to the terraces of the workshop, and thus observe the workers handling materials such as wood and steel. A large cultural program is also proposed at the Machines de l'Île and the whole offers a trip not to be missed under any pretext during a trip to Nantes

Join the bay of La Baule

Lovers of the marine atmosphere must go to the bay of La Baule, which extends from Pouliguen to Pornichet. There are 9 km of beaches that delight walkers in winter and swimmers in summer. La Baule is a prestigious seaside resort, renowned for its hotels, casinos, villas and gourmet restaurants where you can eat fish and seafood. Along the beach, one can participate in many activities, horseback riders, joggers and cyclists make it their favorite terrain for walks with a breathtaking view of the ocean

The castle of Angers, strong emblem of the city

The castle ofAngers, which cannot be missed during a trip to the city, is a fortress that was built in the 13th century under the regency of Blanche de Castille. Its massive enclosure was for a long time a deterrent to enemy attacks, and in the 14th and 15th centuries, it became the main residence of the dukes of Anjou. Once you have entered the castle by the drawbridge, you should not miss to discover the interior of the fortress, the houses and the gardens. The castle of Angers also attracts many visitors who come to see the famous tapestry of the Apocalypse, a true masterpiece of medieval art

Stroll along the wild banks of the Anjou Loire

The Loire is a river that you want to enjoy every moment, for its wild aspect, its fauna and flora. By going to the Angevine part, visitors can participate in long walks or bike rides along the banks. Between Bouchemaine and Champtoceaux, it is the ideal part to stop in villages of character and to take part in the tasting of the wines of the region in a cellar. And then the Loire angevine, it is also the pretty traditional boats which one admires with the sunset and in summer, of the sand beaches on which one can picnic or simply benefit from the sun

Getting to Fontevraud Abbey

In the heart of the Loire Valley, near Saumur, lies a superb abbey, the Royal Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fontevraud. It was built in the 12th century and has a rich history since, after 900 years of monastic life, after the French Revolution, it was converted into a prison, reputed to be one of the most appalling in France. Today, it is one of the most visited monuments of the Pays de la Loire, and the public discovers its inescapable parts like the abbey in itself, but also the cloisters and the Romanesque kitchens. It is also in Fontevraud that one can see the recumbent figures of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart and King Henry II Plantagenet. The gardens offer a peaceful stroll, in a place entirely classified as world heritage by Unesco

Discover Saumur and its castle

In the Maine-et-Loire, Saumur has a very pleasantcity center to stroll around and sit at the terrace of a café. The castle is a true symbol of the city and is a must-see. It proudly dominates the city and the Loire and seeing it from afar is a spectacle in itself. Castle-palace of the dukes of Anjou in the 14th and 15th centuries, it was then the residence of the governors of the city, then a prison and an arms and ammunition depot. In 1906, it was bought by the city to install the municipal museum. A visit allows you to admire the collections in the apartments of the Dukes of Anjou and in the abbey church. On the second floor, there is a display of decorative art with furniture, tapestries and splendid ceramics. Another point not to be missed is the belvedere, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Loire and the city

Stroll through the Mayenne Castle Museum

The Mayenne Castle Museum is located in the best preserved Carolingian palace in Europe. It is an exciting place for history lovers as well as for children, since through an interactive and playful tour, one plunges into the heart of 2,000 years of history, from the creation of the city of Mayenne to its situation today through the importance of the river since Antiquity. The collections consist of superb Carolingian remains and the footprint of the old prison. It is an ideal place to better understand life in the Middle Ages, with the presentation of various everyday objects

A visit to the Notre-Dame-d'Avesnières basilica

Lovers of religious architecture can't miss this magnificent Romanesque building in Laval, built in the 12th century. A place of pilgrimage, it has preserved a beautiful chevet. On the outside, the Gothic-Renaissance spire, which was designed in the first half of the 16th century, is immediately noticeable. Inside, many other treasures await the public, with modern stained glass windows by Max Ingrand, superb capitals, the miraculous statue of Our Lady and the polychrome wooden Christ dating from the 15th century

A stroll in the Plantagenet City, the Old Mans

Prefecture of the Sarthe, Le Mans has a remarkable historical center. The Plantagenet City, or Old Mans, includes a space of twenty hectares composed of paved streets, superb half-timbered facades and Renaissance hotels. The whole is surrounded by a wall and overlooked by the superb Saint-Julien cathedral, half Romanesque, half Gothic. The old town of Le Mans was renovated in the 1970s and today it is a place that offers a journey through time and where one can enjoy strolling through the streets and alleys, as well as stopping in picturesque restaurants. Thanks to this rich heritage, Le Mans has been labeled a City of Art and History

Dive into the heart of the woods at Carnuta, Maison de l'Homme et de la Forêt

In the heart of the Sarthe, the Maison de l'Homme et de la Forêt is a must-see for families. It is an interactive and playful museum located in the village of Jupilles where you can discover the forest world and better understand its relationship with man. You will be seduced by its modern and original architecture, the work of two Parisian architects. Then, inside, you will travel in the forest of Bercé, among the hundred-year-old oaks, through models, games, sounds or even films. The place has a rich and varied program of animations to entertain young and old

A family moment at the zoo of La Flèche

The zoo of La Flèche is one of the most appreciated in France. It is home to over 1,600 animals and 160 different species. The park is a lush environment composed of several areas, dedicated to specific groups of animals. Among the species that can be seen there: rhinos, tigers, lions and white wolves, monkeys, elephants, hippos, sea lions, reptiles and birds. The animal park also offers children the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of a caretaker for a moment. And for those who want to prolong the pleasure, lodges are proposed to wake up with a view on the wild animals

An escapade in Noirmoutier via the Passage du Gois

The most picturesque way to reach the island of Noirmoutier is to take the mythical Passage du Gois, at low tide. It is a submersible causeway in the Bourgneuf bay that connects Noirmoutier to the mainland. It can be used on foot, by bike or by car. Once on the island, everyone can discover its many treasures. Starting with the picturesque streets ofdowntown Noirmoutier, where you can indulge in a few moments of shopping. Later on, you will reach the Bois de la Chaise, its bourgeois houses and the Dames beach, recognizable with its old wooden pontoon. Further north, at the entrance to Herbaudière, the large wild beach of Luzéronde awaits walkers and bathers, and in the evening, the marina is a pleasant place to have a drink, listening to the sound of the boat masts

Take the boat to Yeu Island

Yeu Island is a small paradise in the Vendée region of France, which can be reached by boat or by helicopter. Once arrived, you start by having a coffee on the harbor in front of the fishing boats. Then, we leave the effervescence of the port by bicycle to join the southeast and the beach of the Firs. There, we take advantage of the pine forest to shelter from the sun and we go towards the ocean for some good swimming sessions. Back on the bike, direction the point of Cordeaux. It is there that the granite cliffs and the beaches with the paradisiacal allure follow one another. Not to mention the pretty lighthouse with its Art Deco architecture. What's next on the program? According to your desires, you can visit the old castle perched on its rocky spur, go and admire the sea bed at the Soux page or join the village of Saint-Sauveur to relax around a drink

A visit to the Puy du Fou

The Puy du Fou is one of the most popular theme parks in France. Numerous shows are offered throughout the day in the Grand Parc. You can plunge into the heart of the Middle Ages, watch sword fights, flights of birds of prey or be captivated by a story that takes place during the First World War. You can also take a walk in the heart of a flowery valley or join the animal meadow, where more than 1,500 animals have found refuge. The shows are also great to watch after dark and it is worth noting that some of the creations of the Puy du Fou have won international awards. There is so much to do in the park that many decide to stay at a hotel and spend several days there

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