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Loire Atlantique

Loire-Atlantique is a department on the west coast of France named after the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean.

Pays-de-la-LoireLatest properties in Loire Atlantique: click here

Geography
Loire-Atlantique is a department on the west coast of France named after the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean.
It is part of the current region of Pays-de-la-Loire and is surrounded by the department of Morbihan, Ille-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, and Vendée, with the Atlantic on the west.
The department is split from east to west by the spine of the Loire, running for 68 miles. This separation distributes forest, fields, shale to the north; vines, tiles and bricks to the south.
There is 33 miles of the coast with long beached of fine sand, cliffs and dunes covered with maritime pines.
The area was originally part of Brittany.
The important towns are: Nantes, Chateaubriant, St Nazire, Ancenis, La Baule, Le Croisic and Pornic.
Towns
Nantes is the capital of the Loire-Atlantique. It is a dynamic centre with Art-Nouveau squares, churches & museums and chic bars and restaurants. Some of the best medieval buildings are situated in the Place du Change and Place St-Croix where you’ll find chic bars and restaurants.  The Jardin des Plantes is of noteworthy praise with beautiful flower-beds, fountains and duck ponds that date back to the 19th century. The “must” to see is the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, which is an urban fortress built in the late medieval. It houses a ducal residence in tuffeau stone dating from the Renaissance period whose brilliant white and sculpted elegance contrast with the exterior castle walls.
La Baule is situated on the east coast of the Loire Atlantique.  It’s an impressive stretch of coastline and home to over 50 beaches bordered by pine trees, quaint fishing villages, marinas and salt marshes directly to the north. Water sports enthusiasts will love it here – jet skiing, scuba and sailing are just some of the activities on offer.  There are also historic points of interest including the 18th-century church of Saint-Pierre d’Escoublac.  A guided tour by bike (organised by the tourist information centre) of some of the luxurious villas will provide an interesting insight into the wealthy upper classes that frequented La Baule at the turn of the century.
Saint Nazaire is home to the Loire estuary (France’s largest river) and the bridge that crosses the river is spectacular (second only to the recently constructed Millau bridge in the Midi-Pyrenees) in terms of scale and elegance.  There are plenty of megalithic dolmens, burial grounds that date back to 5000 BC and numerous parks, lakes and gardens. It has been France’s premier shipbuilding centre since 1860. A guided tour of the shipyard ‘Aker Yards’ are provided. Other noteworthy attractions include Espadon – a submarine that you can climb aboard. Once the visiting is over, there are 20 beaches which start off flat and sandy and turn into rocky coves towards the headland.  There are also some excellent coastal paths between Villes-Martin and Les Jaunais.
Moving inland, Chateaubriant is a fortress town with a towering castle, half of is feudal and half dates from the Renaissance period. An air of mystery surrounds the castle as it is situated amongst old dark woods and lakes. The chateau is a real architectural curiosity, with a mediaeval construction on one side (11th-16th century) and a Renaissance building on the other (16th century). A detour through the old town provides a chance to discover the half-timbered houses and take a stroll through the narrow streets lined with private residences.  The area around Chateaubriant offers some interesting remains of the region’s metallurgical past, such as the covered market hall in Moisdon-la-Riviere and the La Hunaudiere site with the master blacksmith’s house.
Activities
Apart from a very rich heritage, the region has also 12 golf courses and 4 health and well-being centres. It offers as well opportunity for hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, kite surfing, jet skiing, sailing, diving and yachting.
For the youngest one, there are several theme parks.
The most popular festivals: “ Juste pour rire” with over 150 humorists and 100 shows, “”Festival des 3 continents”-cinema festival, “La Fete du theatre”- theatre event, “Les Rencontres du Fleuve”,  ”Fete du Cidre ”-cider event and “Concours de Peinture a la Remaudiere ”- painting competition.
Gastronomy
Loire-Atlantique is blessed with very rich soil, and makes the most of its fruits.
The waters, marine or land-locked, deliver up their fish, which are then accompanied by vegetables from the market gardens.
On the banks of the Loire, the vineyards of the Nantes region produce four appellations d’origine contrôlées (AOC, wines that have been awarded a superior quality label): Muscadet, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire and Muscadet Côtes de Grand-Lieu.
For the dessert there is the “Petit Buerre” biscuits successful all over the world, berlingots de Nantes and another Nantes speciality- rigolette. In La Baule area, there are famous Niniche lollipop.
As the ancient inheritance of Loire-Atlantique are salt marshes, Guerande salt is reckoned to be one of the finest and purest in the world.

Useful information:

Tourism office in Pays de la Loire:
www.enpaysdelaloire.com

 

Maps of Pays de la Loire:
www.ign.fr
www.maps.google.fr

Flights from the UK
The region has three international airports: Tours , Nantes and Rennes.
Ryanair flies to Tours and Nantes.
Air France flies to Rennes, Tours and Nantes.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Loire Atlantique. All of our agents in Loire Atlantique are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: flat, gite, B&B, villa, castle or mansion, we will do our best to find a property in Loire Atlantique matching your requirements.

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