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- Pays de la Loire guide
- Pays de la Loire highlights
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.
Most famous for its castle, Angers also has a cathedral and many other interesting historical monuments, numerous parks and gardens...
Angers Cathedral (Maine-et-Loire)
The cathedral in Angers is the earliest example of Angevin gothic architecture in France
Apocalypse Tapestry (Maine-et-Loire)
The Apocalypse Tapestry is a remarkable 14th century tapestry, 100 metres long, telling the biblical story of the apocalypse
The small town of Asnières-sur-Vègre is especially picturesque in the area around the bridge and river
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
The resort at Batz-sur-Mer is much quiter and smaller than many nearby, ideal if you prefer to avoid excessive crowds!
Bauge is a small traditional town with a small castle - and a very interesting apothecary!
It is the countryside around Beaumont-sur-Sarthe that is the main attraction, but the town itself has several places of interest
Bretignolles-sur-Mer is one of the smallest Vendee resorts - still has a big beach though!
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.
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.
Chateau d'Olonne (Vendee)
Chateau d'Olonne is a very small resort, well placed for exploring the coast and visiting Sables d'Olonne
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!
Chateau de Saumur (Maine-et-Loire)
The Chateau de Saumur stands in an impressive location with views across the Loire river
Chateau du Lude (Sarthe)
The Chateau de Lude and its lovely gardens are the closest of the Loire Chateaux to Paris
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
Clisson has a medieval castle, and an interesting architectural style having ben largely re-built in Italian style about 250 years ago
Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin (Maine-et-Loire)
The Collegiale Church of Saint-Martin in Angers combines 1500 years of religious architecture with an impressive display of religious artwork
The highlight here at Evron is the Abbey of Notre Dame, in particular the very ancient abbey church
With some interesting 18th century townhouses to see, Fontenay-le-Comte is also home to the Chateau de Terre-Neuve
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
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
Guerande is one of the most interesting towns in Pays-de-la-Loire, with its medieval fortifications intact and an attractive historic centre
Ile d'Yeu (Vendee)
Explore the Ile d'Yeu on foot or by bike to see scenic coastline, beaches and a medieval castle
Jade Coast (Loire-Atlantique)
Pornic, a traditional port town with an attrcative harbour, is well placed to explore the Jade Coast
Jard-sur-Mer is a very pleasant, if quite small, Vendee resort with a harbour and a beach
Here in Jublains you can visit the roman ruins of the ancient city that once stood here
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!
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!
La Ferte-Bernard (Sarthe)
The medieval character and picturesque setting make La Ferté-Bernard one of our favourite towns in this region
La Tranche-sur-Mer (Vendee)
La Tranche-sur-Mer is a small resort, but very pleasant and with an enjoyable promenade behind the beach
La Turballe (Loire-Atlantique)
Less developed than some resorts here, the centre of activity in La Turballe is the long sandy beach
Small town with two 15th century castles and a popular public garden
The castle, the river and the historic centre make the substantial town of Laval very interesting to visit
Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique)
One of the nicest fishing harbour towns in the region, Le Croisic is a lovely place to stroll around
Le Mans (Sarthe)
Le Mans is best known for its famous car race, but also has a very lovely medieval centre to explore
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
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
At Longeville-sur-Mer you will enjoy the lively market in the town as well as the sandy beach
Lucon is a quiet Vendee town, usually visited for its imposing cathedral and public gardens
Maillezais abbey (Vendee)
The ruins of the Maillezais abbey are on the edge of the marshes of the Marais Poitevin
Mayenne (town) (Mayenne)
Quite a small town, the highlight of a visit to Mayenne is the nearby walk along the banks of the river
Montsoreau, listed as a 'most beautiful villages in France', also has an interesting troglodyte vilage to explore
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.
Highlights in Nieul-sur-l'Autise include the Abbey of Saint-Vincent and a traditional watermill
On Noirmoutier island you can find lots of sandy beaches and a traditional port town
The resort of Notre-Dame-de-Monts is one of the quiter resorts of the Vendee coast
The fishing harbour and traditional granite houses in Piriac-sur-Mer create an interesting diversion from the long sndy beaches nearby
Pornic is one of the liveliest and most vibrant harbour towns along the Jade Coast
The emphasis in Pornichet, immediately south of La Baule, is most certainly based around the long and sandy beach
Port Bourgenay (Vendee)
The small town of Talmont-Saint-Hilaire is best known for the Chateau de Talmont, where various events are held during the summer
Sables d'Olonne (Vendee)
The lively town of Sables-d'Olonne is our favourite resort on the Vendee coast
The beach at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins is the main attraction and we also enjoyed exploring the dunes and forest
The port town of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is an attractive and traditional town, very lively in summer
Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is the beach resort next to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie
At Saint-Jean-de-Monts you will enjoy the extensive sandy beaches and one of the livelier resorts on the Vendee coast
The medieval village and the castle in the pretty village of Sainte-Suzanne still retain much of the original town fortified walls
The principal attraction in Saulges is the caves, occupied in prehistoric times
The town of Saumur, in the shadow of the famous castle, is a lovely historic town along the banks of the Loire River
Solesmes is known for its Abbey Saint-Pierre, an important benedictine abbey that has helped introduce gregorian chant to the world
The pleasant village of Vouvant still retains part of a medieval castle and an ancient stone bridge
Parcé sur Sarthe is a classified petites cites de caractere and has an attractive 15-16th century centre.
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"...
Towns classified as Recommended Detours
Fontenay-le-Comte: Tourist guide
Guerande: Tourist guide
Regional Natural Parcs
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)