What to see and do from les Pierres Couchées
in Loire Atlantique
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The beaches at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins are just perfect for parents and children. The stretches of beautiful sand here, like at Pine Beach or the Rochelets, are supervised by lifeguards and awarded with the Blue Flag beach label, assuring the quality and safety of its seawater. There are great kids' clubs too.
Distance to beaches:
- Rochelets Beach (less than 1 mile / 1.5km)
- Ocean Beach (2 miles / 3km)
- Pine Beach (3 miles away / 5km)
- Pornichet (16 miles / 26km
Activites and places not to miss
Celebrate everything Celtic at this huge festival. Every August the town of Lorient welcomes over 700,000 visitors from around Europe, from Galicia to Scotland, to celebrate the cultural traditions of Celtic nations. It’s a treat for your eyes and ears, as performers get dressed up and provide full days and evenings of entertainment in the form of concerts, parades and dances.
Pornic is a charming little medieval town, and is studded with little jewels to see, such as the medieval castle of Pornic, which was owned by the husband of Joan of Arc. Dotted around are also megalithic structures, but what stands out is the pretty fishing port, which provides a great backdrop when you’re sampling some of the local food at the bars and restaurants along the port.
St Nazaire is an important seaport and a great shipbuilding centre. The city allows visitors to learn about all types of marine and aerial navigation. There is a great Airbus tour, which gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to build one of the most famous types of aircraft in the world. There’s also the award-winning Submarine Espadon, or “Swordfish” to visit, located inside the fortified lock of the Saint Nazaire harbor. Saint Nazaire’s place to be is the Grand Maritime Port of Nantes Saint Nazaire, where you can see impressive naval boats pass in and out.
Salt Flats at Guérande
Guérande is a charming medieval village, with magnificently preserved walled remparts situated at the end of the peninsula. What you might not know is that it is renowned for its fleur de sel – a high quality salt naturally found in square marshes, and which is carefully gathered using traditional methods. Guérande’s salt marshes represent a great part of this region’s heritage, so find out more about how salt workers extract this magic fleur de sel with a guided tour. Another exceptional way to experience these salt marshes is to see it at sunset on a guided walk, where you can also discover more about the local birds and plant life.
Nantes is located on the Loire river, and provides its visitors with plenty of activities that will please young children and culture vultures. The Jardin des Plantes, for example, will entertain kids as there’s a beautiful botanical garden decorated with whimsical animal topiaries and sculptures. Nantes is also home to the striking Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, which was the Breton residence of the French monarchy. This imposing castle - somber, rough, elegant and flamboyant all at the same time, can be uncovered with a guided tour, and to learn more about the political and maritime history of Nantes, there’s the Historical Museum of Nantes just onsite.
Here, the beaches are endless! La Baule is probably one of the most famous and elegant bays in western France, where the weather is always warm, pine trees ruffle and the bay provides non-stop watersports activities for all the family. From April to October, the centre for acquatic leisure activities opens, and from here it is the perfect base to discover the bay and wild rocky coastline on a jet ski, a boat, or while fly fishing or wakeboarding! In August, don’t miss the vintage car competition, where only the most fabulous retro cars are on show. Mini cars are available for kids to drive too!
Île de Noirmoutier
This island is a seaside paradise for lovers of nature. What’s different about Noirmoutier is its microclimate, and salt water-wetlands that cover over a third of the island. There are over 25 miles / 40km of beach here, so watersports activities like sailing, diviing, paddle surfing, land sailing and kite surfing definitely don’t fall short here. For some local French flavours, you definitely need to try the oysters, shellfish, natural salt, turbot and its world-famous delicacy, “bonnotte” potatoes,
Océarium du Croisic
Once you’ve finished bathing in the ocean, why not go down to the depths of the sea? Océarium du Croisic allows children and adults to wander through underwater tunnels, to observe sharks, groupers and wringed rays swimming quietly around you, and watch as divers feed the fish.
Puy du Fou
Le Puy is a historical theme park in Les Epesses that will truly transport kids and adults into the stories it has recreated. The park is divided into separate attractions, providing live-action shows that re-enact several periods and ages in history. In the Medieval City, live through the Circus Games in the amphitheatre, or shiver at the sight of Viking warriors as they launch their attack on Fort de l’An Mil! The nighttime shows featuring armies of actors, costumes, fireworks, waterworks and image projections set against the chateau and lake are always spectacular, sure-fire hits.