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.

Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

photo of Angers

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

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Angers Cathedral (Maine-et-Loire)

photo of Angers Cathedral

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

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Apocalypse Tapestry (Maine-et-Loire)

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

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Asnieres-sur-Vegre (Sarthe)

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

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

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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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Batz-sur-Mer (Loire-Atlantique)

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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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Bauge (Maine-et-Loire)

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Bauge is a small traditional town with a small castle - and a very interesting apothecary!

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Beaumont-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe)

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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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Bretignolles-sur-Mer (Vendee)

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Bretignolles-sur-Mer is one of the smallest Vendee resorts - still has a big beach though!

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Briere Regional Natural Parc (Loire-Atlantique)

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Away from the beaches, Briere Regional Natural Parc is the second largest marsh area in France. Start exploring at Kerhinet.

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Chateau d'Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

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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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Chateau d'Olonne (Vendee)

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

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Chateau de Brissac (Maine-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau de Brissac

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

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

photo of Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay

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

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Chateau de Saumur (Maine-et-Loire)

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

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Chateau de Tiffauges (Vendee)

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

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Chateau du Lude (Sarthe)

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

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Chateau Plessis-Bourre (Maine-et-Loire)

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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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Clisson (Loire-Atlantique)

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

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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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Evron (Mayenne)

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The highlight here at Evron is the Abbey of Notre Dame, in particular the very ancient abbey church

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Fontenay-le-Comte (Vendee)

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

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Fontevraud Abbey (Maine-et-Loire)

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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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Fresnay-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe)

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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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Guerande (Loire-Atlantique)

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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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Ile d'Yeu (Vendee)

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

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Jade Coast (Loire-Atlantique)

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Pornic, a traditional port town with an attrcative harbour, is well placed to explore the Jade Coast

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Jard-sur-Mer (Vendee)

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

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Jublains (Mayenne)

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

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La Baule (Loire-Atlantique)

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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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La Faute-sur-Mer (Vendee)

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

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La Ferte-Bernard (Sarthe)

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

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La Tranche-sur-Mer (Vendee)

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

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La Turballe (Loire-Atlantique)

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Less developed than some resorts here, the centre of activity in La Turballe is the long sandy beach

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Lassay-les-Chateaux (Mayenne)

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

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Laval (Mayenne)

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

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Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique)

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

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Le Mans (Sarthe)

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

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Le Pouliguen (Loire-Atlantique)

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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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Les Jardins des Renaudies (Mayenne)

photo of Les Jardins des Renaudies

Les Jardins des Renaudies is a pretty garden in north-west France

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Les Moutiers-en-Retz (Loire-Atlantique)

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

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Longeville-sur-Mer (Vendee)

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

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Lucon (Vendee)

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

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Maillezais abbey (Vendee)

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The ruins of the Maillezais abbey are on the edge of the marshes of the Marais Poitevin

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Mayenne (town) (Mayenne)

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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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Montsoreau (Maine-et-Loire)

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

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Nantes (Loire-Atlantique)

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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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Nieul-sur-l'Autise (Vendee)

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

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Noirmoutier (Vendee)

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On Noirmoutier island you can find lots of sandy beaches and a traditional port town

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Notre-Dame-de-Monts (Vendee)

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The resort of Notre-Dame-de-Monts is one of the quiter resorts of the Vendee coast

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Parcé-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe)

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

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Piriac-sur-Mer (Loire-Atlantique)

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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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Pornic (Loire-Atlantique)

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

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Pornichet (Loire-Atlantique)

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

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Port Bourgenay (Vendee)

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The small resort of Bourgenay has a port and a popular beach

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Sables d'Olonne (Vendee)

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The lively town of Sables-d'Olonne is our favourite resort on the Vendee coast

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

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The beach at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins is the main attraction and we also enjoyed exploring the dunes and forest

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

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

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Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (Vendee)

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Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is the beach resort next to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

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Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Vendee)

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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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Sainte-Suzanne (Mayenne)

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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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Saulges (Mayenne)

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

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Saumur (Maine-et-Loire)

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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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Solesmes (Sarthe)

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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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Talmont-Saint-Hilaire (Vendee)

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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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Vouvant (Vendee)

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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: Tourist guide

Sainte-Suzanne: Tourist guide

Vouvant: Tourist guide

National Monuments

Chateau d'Angers: Tourist guide

Fontevraud Abbey: Tourist guide

Georges Clemenceau house

Towns classified as Recommended Detours


Fontenay-le-Comte: Tourist guide

Guerande: Tourist guide

La Fleche


Regional Natural Parcs

Briere: Tourist guide

Secteur Sauvegardé (protected historical town centre)

Chateau-Gontier: Tourist guide

Fontenay-le-Comte: Tourist guide

Guerande: Tourist guide

Le Mans: Tourist guide

Nantes: Tourist guide

Saumur: Tourist guide

Towns of Art and History

Angers: Tourist guide

Evron: Tourist guide

Fontenay-le-Comte: Tourist guide

Guerande: Tourist guide

Jublains: Tourist guide

Laval: Tourist guide

Le Mans: Tourist guide

Mayenne: Tourist guide

Nantes: Tourist guide

Sainte-Suzanne: Tourist guide

Saulges: Tourist guide

4* Towns in Bloom

Angers: Tourist guide

Aubigne-sur-Layon: Tourist guide









La Baule: Tourist guide

La Cropte

Nantes: Tourist guide


Pornichet: Tourist guide

Saint-Jean-de-Monts: Tourist guide


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)