From the beaches of Loire-Atlantique and Vendée to the circuits of the 24 hours of Le Mans, through the vineyards of Anjou or the canals of the Marais Poitevin, the Pays de la Loire is a region with many faces. From the land to the ocean, its landscapes are varied and its Rich Natural Heritage : the region includes The Val de Loire, ranked by UNESCO, the culmination of the Mont des drains, the regional Natural Park of Brière and its marshes with preserved biodiversity, the lower Angevin valleys, the Poitevin Marsh also called “Green Venice” and the Bay of the sting at the mouth of the Sèvre niortaise, the Breton Marsh and the lake of Grand-Lieu.
Between these exceptional natural spaces, the big cities of the region all have a rich architectural heritage and an exciting history. Capital of the Pays de la Loire, Nantes offers visitors a dynamic and daring soul, between its castle of the Dukes of Brittany and its medieval alleys, its landscape islands on the Erdre, its works of art in the open air and its fairy large machines inspired by The universe of Jules Verne. At the mouth of the Loire, Saint-Nazaire offers another atmosphere, more open to the ocean but turned all at once towards the future and the past, between its underwater base, its shipyards, its Museum of transatlantic ships and its Airbus workshops. In the Sarthe, Le Mans, famous for its circuits, also surprises by the beauty of its historic districts. The Cité Plantagenet, the historic heart of Le Mans, is dominated by the sublime silhouette of St. Julien’s Cathedral. In the heart of Anjou, the city of Angers was built on the left bank of Maine, around its cathedral of St. Maurice and its castle. Medieval and Renaissance architectures mingle with each other, mixing half-timbered buildings and buildings in contrast to the whiteness of the Tufa and the black slate.
The Pays de la Loire is full of historical and cultural sites to visit with the family. Among the most unavoidable sites are the blue Mine, in Segré, which proposes to dive at 126 m underground to discover the daily of the miners of slate, Escal’Atlantic in Saint-Nazaire, which recreates the decor and the atmosphere of the steamers Transatlantic, or the machines of the island, in Nantes, which include a gallery of machines, a stroll on an elephant of 12 meters, a carousel of the worlds Marine on 3 floors, and the project of the tree to herons. In Mayenne, the Palace-museum Robert Tatin is a unique place, an “art environment” masterpiece of naive art. The largest abbey in Europe, Fontevraud is also an inevitable part of the region a few kilometers from Saumur. You can also find in the Pays de la Loire theme parks: Among them, the famous Puy du Fou, but also Terra Botanica at the gates of Angers, or the Oriental Park of Maulévrier, the largest Japanese garden in Europe.
Between vineyards and Seaside, the Pays de la Loire are also rich in many culinary traditions to discover during your visits. 40 000 hectares of vineyards produce reputed wines, from Saumur to nutmeg and from Gros-Plant to Cabernet d’anjou and the Côte-du-Layon. A tour of the region makes it possible to taste the numerous gastronomic specialties and the flagship products of the terroir: rillettes du Mans, mussels of bouchot, mogettes of Vendée, potatoes of Noirmoutier, sandblasted bread, brioche Vendée, apples typed, or even Fouées or Fouaces rabelaisiennes. On the side of appetizers, Thorn and Cointreau are also local flavors.
The Pays de la Loire welcomes or organizes at last throughout the year sporting and cultural events of national or international renown. Alongside the indispensable Vendée Globe and 24 hours of Le Mans or the International jumping of France in La Baule, the region also has several theatre and film festivals in Angers (Festival of Anjou, hanging-hearts, foreground) and many music festivals including the famous Hellfest in Clisson, the mad Day in Nantes, the Europa Jazz festival in the Sarthe, the Festival de Sternt in the Vendée, or the Z’éclectiques in Chemillé and Cholet.