Paris is so overrated and override with tourists from all over the world, so why not change your destination to the west of France!. The small town of Nantes will definitely gives you the authentic feels of French culture. Situated in the region of Pays De La Loire, Nantes is the sixth largest cities in this cheese country. It is located next to Atlantic Ocean with Saint Nazaire as its Seaport. It was captured by Bretons in 851 which make it historically Brittany. So what can you do here? well, below is top 5 things to do in Nantes by Kokonutlist!
5. Nantes City
Nantes was part of the Roman Empire during the early Middle Ages. Walking along this city will give you the vibe of that ancient medieval city with the architecture of the building, especially Nantes Cathedral, rebuilt in the Gothic style beginning in the 15th century and Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. Not to be missed is the Château des ducs de Bretagne, a castle built in the 13th century and listed as a historical monument in 1862. It also acts as a Museum. The entrance to the castle and cathedral is free!. Not to forget is also the 1840’s Passage Pommeraye and the Nantes History Museum!.
Another main attraction in the center of Nantes is the 12 meter high,8 meter wide, and 21 meter long Mechanical Elephant!. Consist of 48.4 metric tons of steel and wood, it is part of the French artistic project ‘Machines of the Isle of Nantes’ inspired by the invented world of Jules Verne, a famous author. Apart from the Grand Elephant, there are other machines such as the mechanical spider and soon, The Heron Tree. The fee to the Galerie des Machines is 8.5 Euro.
4. Lac De Grand Lieu
Located to the south-west of Nantes, it is the largest lake in France during winter!. Rich in flora and fauna, It is a migration route for more than 270 species of birds especially the Grey Heron. To learn more on the ecosystem and the history of local fishermen, do visit La Maison du Lac de Grand Lieu. They provide exhibition centre, 45 minutes guided tour for environmental walk and scenic view. The guided tour price range from 2 to 8 Euros. Apart from that, you can take your own time walk or bike or even ride a horse around the lake!. An observatory allows tourists to have a look at the wildlife in its natural habitat.
3. The Beaches
Due to its location which is along the Atlantic Coast, Nantes is home to multiple coastal town. The view is amazing in summer and winter!. Few of the most spectacular is Pornic, St. Brevin, La Plaine, La Baule and the infamous Côte Sauvage or The Wild Coast of Le Croisic. The harbour town of Pornic and Le Croisic is very classic with architecture dated back to the 16th century Brittany. Le Croisic also holds a Fête de Mer (sea festival) on 15th of August with boats, traditional music and fireworks!. Go for a cycle along the beach in La Plaine and St. Brevin and stop by for a quick dip, sailing or rock fishing.
Another spectacular must visit coastal town is Noirmoutier island or Ile de Noirmoutier located a bit further up from Nantes. in the Bay of Biscay. It is in Vendee connected by Le Gois, a 3 miles long causeway which can only be accessed during low tide. Fishing and sea salt is the main products together with pomme de terre or potatoes. Take the chance to cycle around the island, visit the 12th-century Château de Noirmoutier, have some oysters and a swim with picnic at Barbatre Beach!
2. Nantes Countryside
Nantes is also known for farming. The countryside of Nantes such as Bouaye, Vue and Cheix-En Retz holds some spectacular views of vineyards, wheat fields, corn fields, cow fields, horse fields and sunflower fields along some small ponds and refreshing rivers !. So take a drive or even cycle along the road and experience first hand on how awesome the view is. If you are lucky, you can even say hi to the farmer!. French are friendly people once you get to know them.
1. La Loire
The highlight of Nantes, Pays de La Loire is of course the river itself!. The Loire is the longest river in France with a length of 1,012 kilometres. It runs through multiple towns and along some chateaux, parks, fancy boat restaurants and ends in Saint Nazaire into the Atlantic Ocean. Take the Loire Cruises or Bateaux Nantais on River Erdre that flows into The Loire and have lunch or dinner along the floating restaurants of La Loire. Simply walking or cycling along the river is calming with the fresh breeze and the view of ducks and birds swimming crossing the river. You can also just hangout with a drink or two and enjoy sunset here.
Et Voila, 5 things for you to amaze yourselves with in Nantes! So take your bag and go experience this sparkling city! For more videos by Kokonutlist, do susbscribe to our Youtube Page!