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Pays de la Loire places to visit and attractions

Below you can explore some of the most popular highlights and places of interest in the Pays de la Loire region. See also our Pays de la Loire travel guide.

photo of Angers

Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

Most famous for its castle, Angers also has a cathedral and many other interesting historical monuments, numerous parks and gardens...
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photo of Angers Cathedral

Angers Cathedral (Maine-et-Loire)

The cathedral in Angers is the earliest example of Angevin gothic architecture in France
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photo of Apocalypse Tapestry

Apocalypse Tapestry (Maine-et-Loire)

The Apocalypse Tapestry is a remarkable 14th century tapestry, 100 metres long, telling the biblical story of the apocalypse
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photo of Asnieres-sur-Vegre

Asnieres-sur-Vegre (Sarthe)

The small town of Asnières-sur-Vègre is especially picturesque in the area around the bridge and river
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photo of Aubigne-sur-Layon

Aubigne-sur-Layon (Maine-et-Loire)

The small village of Aubigne-sur-Layon is very pretty, especially in late spring and summer when the many flowers in the town are in bloom
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photo of Batz-sur-Mer

Batz-sur-Mer (Loire-Atlantique)

The resort at Batz-sur-Mer is much quiter and smaller than many nearby, ideal if you prefer to avoid excessive crowds!
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photo of Bauge

Bauge (Maine-et-Loire)

Bauge is a small traditional town with a small castle - and a very interesting apothecary!
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photo of Beaumont-sur-Sarthe

Beaumont-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe)

It is the countryside around Beaumont-sur-Sarthe that is the main attraction, but the town itself has several places of interest
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photo of Bretignolles-sur-Mer

Bretignolles-sur-Mer (Vendee)

Bretignolles-sur-Mer is one of the smallest Vendee resorts - still has a big beach though!
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photo of Briere Regional Natural Parc

Briere Regional Natural Parc (Loire-Atlantique)

Away from the beaches, Briere Regional Natural Parc is the second largest marsh area in France. Start exploring at Kerhinet.
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photo of Chateau d'Angers

Chateau d'Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

The mighty fortified walls of Chateau d'Angers form an interesting contrast with the more 'beautiful' castles of the Loire region.
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photo of Chateau d'Olonne

Chateau d'Olonne (Vendee)

Chateau d'Olonne is a very small resort, well placed for exploring the coast and visiting Sables d'Olonne
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photo of Chateau de Brissac

Chateau de Brissac (Maine-et-Loire)

The Chateau de Brissac is the tallest castle in France, has more than 200 rooms and extensive parkland to explore!
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photo of Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay

Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay (Maine-et-Loire)

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay is an impressive 15th century castle surrouned by medieval ramparts and furnished n period style
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photo of Chateau de Saumur

Chateau de Saumur (Maine-et-Loire)

The Chateau de Saumur stands in an impressive location with views across the Loire river
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photo of Chateau de Tiffauges

Chateau de Tiffauges (Vendee)

The Chateau de Tiffauges is a 12th century castle in Vendee, known for its medieval re-enactments
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photo of Chateau du Lude

Chateau du Lude (Sarthe)

The Chateau de Lude and its lovely gardens are the closest of the Loire Chateaux to Paris
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photo of Chateau Plessis-Bourre

Chateau Plessis-Bourre (Maine-et-Loire)

The most unusual feature of Chateau Plessis-Bourre is the way it combines medieval and renaissance architecture, and has been unchanged for hundreds of years
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photo of Clisson

Clisson (Loire-Atlantique)

Clisson has a medieval castle, and an interesting architectural style having ben largely re-built in Italian style about 250 years ago
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photo of Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin

Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin (Maine-et-Loire)

The Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin in Angers combines 1500 years of religious architecture with an impressive display of religious artwork
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photo of Evron

Evron (Mayenne)

The highlight here at Evron is the Abbey of Notre Dame, in particular the very ancient abbey church
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photo of Fontenay-le-Comte

Fontenay-le-Comte (Vendee)

With some interesting 18th century townhouses to see, Fontenay-le-Comte is also home to the Chateau de Terre-Neuve
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photo of Fontevraud Abbey

Fontevraud Abbey (Maine-et-Loire)

The Fontevraud Abbey has a great deal to see: it is one of the largest abbey complexes in France and most visited abbeys in France
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photo of Fresnay-sur-Sarthe

Fresnay-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe)

The traditional market hall and remains of a medieval castle, and the river and bridge, are among the sights to enjoy here at Fresnay-sur-Sarthe
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photo of Guerande

Guerande (Loire-Atlantique)

Guerande is one of the most interesting towns in Pays-de-la-Loire, with its medieval fortifications intact and an attractive historic centre
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photo of Ile d'Yeu

Ile d'Yeu (Vendee)

Explore the Ile d'Yeu on foot or by bike to see scenic coastline, beaches and a medieval castle
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photo of Jade Coast

Jade Coast (Loire-Atlantique)

Pornic, a traditional port town with an attrcative harbour, is well placed to explore the Jade Coast
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photo of Jard-sur-Mer

Jard-sur-Mer (Vendee)

Jard-sur-Mer is a very pleasant, if quite small, Vendee resort with a harbour and a beach
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photo of Jublains

Jublains (Mayenne)

Here in Jublains you can visit the roman ruins of the ancient city that once stood here
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photo of La Baule

La Baule (Loire-Atlantique)

La Baule-Escoblac is a very pleasant and popular resort with a long sandy beach - a toch of the French riviera in the north-west!
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photo of La Faute-sur-Mer

La Faute-sur-Mer (Vendee)

Here at La Faute-sur-Mer you can explore the nature reserve and peninsula - or relax on the long beach!
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photo of La Ferte-Bernard

La Ferte-Bernard (Sarthe)

The medieval character and picturesque setting make La Ferté-Bernard one of our favourite towns in this region
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photo of La Tranche-sur-Mer

La Tranche-sur-Mer (Vendee)

La Tranche-sur-Mer is a small resort, but very pleasant and with an enjoyable promenade behind the beach
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photo of La Turballe

La Turballe (Loire-Atlantique)

Less developed than some resorts here, the centre of activity in La Turballe is the long sandy beach
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photo of Lassay-les-Chateaux

Lassay-les-Chateaux (Mayenne)

Small town with two 15th century castles and a popular public garden
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photo of Laval

Laval (Mayenne)

The castle, the river and the historic centre make the substantial town of Laval very interesting to visit
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photo of Le Croisic

Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique)

One of the nicest fishing harbour towns in the region, Le Croisic is a lovely place to stroll around
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photo of Le Mans

Le Mans (Sarthe)

Le Mans is best known for its famous car race, but also has a very lovely medieval centre to explore
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photo of Le Pouliguen

Le Pouliguen (Loire-Atlantique)

If you visit the beach resort of Le Pouligueun be sure to follow the path that leads to the coastal caves
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photo of Les Jardins des Renaudies

Les Jardins des Renaudies (Mayenne)

Les Jardins des Renaudies is a pretty garden in north-west France
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photo of Les Moutiers-en-Retz

Les Moutiers-en-Retz (Loire-Atlantique)

The small town of Les Moutiers-en-Retz is best known for the nearby beach which attracts many summertime campers
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photo of Longeville-sur-Mer

Longeville-sur-Mer (Vendee)

At Longeville-sur-Mer you will enjoy the lively market in the town as well as the sandy beach
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photo of Lucon

Lucon (Vendee)

Lucon is a quiet Vendee town, usually visited for its imposing cathedral and public gardens
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photo of Maillezais abbey

Maillezais abbey (Vendee)

The ruins of the Maillezais abbey are on the edge of the marshes of the Marais Poitevin
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photo of Mayenne (town)

Mayenne (town) (Mayenne)

Quite a small town, the highlight of a visit to Mayenne is the nearby walk along the banks of the river
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photo of Montsoreau

Montsoreau (Maine-et-Loire)

Montsoreau, listed as a 'most beautiful villages in France', also has an interesting troglodyte vilage to explore
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photo of Nantes

Nantes (Loire-Atlantique)

One of the largest towns in France, Nantes has many monuments, museums and places of interest to discover including the famous 'elephant' on the island.
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photo of Nieul-sur-l'Autise

Nieul-sur-l'Autise (Vendee)

Highlights in Nieul-sur-l'Autise include the Abbey of Saint-Vincent and a traditional watermill
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photo of Noirmoutier

Noirmoutier (Vendee)

On Noirmoutier island you can find lots of sandy beaches and a traditional port town
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photo of Notre-Dame-de-Monts

Notre-Dame-de-Monts (Vendee)

The resort of Notre-Dame-de-Monts is one of the quiter resorts of the Vendee coast
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photo of Parcé-sur-Sarthe

Parcé-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe)

Parcé sur Sarthe is a classified petites cites de caractere and has an attractive 15-16th century centre.
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photo of Piriac-sur-Mer

Piriac-sur-Mer (Loire-Atlantique)

The fishing harbour and traditional granite houses in Piriac-sur-Mer create an interesting diversion from the long sndy beaches nearby
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photo of Pornic

Pornic (Loire-Atlantique)

Pornic is one of the liveliest and most vibrant harbour towns along the Jade Coast
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photo of Pornichet

Pornichet (Loire-Atlantique)

The emphasis in Pornichet, immediately south of La Baule, is most certainly based around the long and sandy beach
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photo of Port Bourgenay

Port Bourgenay (Vendee)

The small resort of Bourgenay has a port and a popular beach
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photo of Sables d'Olonne

Sables d'Olonne (Vendee)

The lively town of Sables-d'Olonne is our favourite resort on the Vendee coast
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photo of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins

Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (Loire-Atlantique)

The beach at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins is the main attraction and we also enjoyed exploring the dunes and forest
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photo of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (Vendee)

The port town of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is an attractive and traditional town, very lively in summer
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photo of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (Vendee)

Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is the beach resort next to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie
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photo of Saint-Jean-de-Monts

Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Vendee)

At Saint-Jean-de-Monts you will enjoy the extensive sandy beaches and one of the livelier resorts on the Vendee coast
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photo of Sainte-Suzanne

Sainte-Suzanne (Mayenne)

The medieval village and the castle in the pretty village of Sainte-Suzanne still retain much of the original town fortified walls
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photo of Saulges

Saulges (Mayenne)

The principal attraction in Saulges is the caves, occupied in prehistoric times
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photo of Saumur

Saumur (Maine-et-Loire)

The town of Saumur, in the shadow of the famous castle, is a lovely historic town along the banks of the Loire River
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photo of Solesmes

Solesmes (Sarthe)

Solesmes is known for its Abbey Saint-Pierre, an important benedictine abbey that has helped introduce gregorian chant to the world
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photo of Talmont-Saint-Hilaire

Talmont-Saint-Hilaire (Vendee)

The small town of Talmont-Saint-Hilaire is mainly known for the Chateau de Talmont, where various events take place during the summer season.
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photo of Vouvant

Vouvant (Vendee)

The pleasant village of Vouvant still retains part of a medieval castle and an ancient stone bridge
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For more information see the Pays de la Loire guide

 
 

Tourist attractions to visit in Pays de la Loire

The following sites have received official "tourist classifications"...

Villages classified as "most beautiful villages"

Montsoreau: See tourist guide

Sainte-Suzanne: See tourist guide

Vouvant: See tourist guide

National Monuments

Chateau d'Angers: See tourist guide

Fontevraud Abbey: See tourist guide

Georges Clemenceau house

Towns classified as Recommended Detours

Chateau-Gontier

Fontenay-le-Comte: See tourist guide

Guerande: See tourist guide

La Fleche

Montreuil-Bellay

Regional Natural Parcs

Briere: See tourist guide

Secteur Sauvegardé (protected historical town centre)

Chateau-Gontier: See tourist guide

Fontenay-le-Comte: See tourist guide

Guerande: See tourist guide

Le Mans: See tourist guide

Nantes: See tourist guide

Saumur: See tourist guide

Towns of Art and History

Angers: See tourist guide

Evron: See tourist guide

Fontenay-le-Comte: See tourist guide

Guerande: See tourist guide

Jublains: See tourist guide

Laval: See tourist guide

Le Mans: See tourist guide

Mayenne: See tourist guide

Nantes: See tourist guide

Sainte-Suzanne: See tourist guide

Saulges: See tourist guide

4* Towns in Bloom

Angers: See tourist guide

Aubigne-sur-Layon: See tourist guide

Carquefou

Chateau-Gontier

Chenille-Change

Cholet

Cogners

Coudray

Coulaines

Juvigne

La Baule: See tourist guide

La Cropte

Nantes: See tourist guide

Notre-Dame-de-Monts

Pornichet: See tourist guide

Saint-Jean-de-Monts: See tourist guide

Saint-Loup-du-Gast

Zoo or wildlife park

Fauconnerie du Puy du Fou (falconry)

Natur'Zoo de Mervent

Parc zoologique de Doué-la-Fontaine

Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne

Planète sauvage (parc)

Spaycific'Zoo

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