From Brittany to Loire Atlantique and the Vendée, France's West coast is renowned for its breathtaking coastline, hidden coves and spectacular beaches. There are plenty of quaint fishing villages and bustling coastal towns to discover, and the vibrant countryside offers amazing views of rolling hillsides and charming market towns - perfect for long, leisurely strolls.
Things to do on the West coast
St Nazaire is an inviting port city in Loire-Atlantique. Home to a bustling harbor, fine sandy beaches, and a rich cultural heritage, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. Highlights include the stunning early 20th-century church, the impressive Museum of Submarines, and the historic fortress at Fort de l'Eveche. Visitors can feast on local food specialties such as galettes and seafood dishes from the many restaurants in town.
This beloved French coastal town of Sables d’Olonne in the Vendée is a popular tourist destination with highlights that include a picturesque harbour and historic centre. You can spend time at one of the many beaches, or explore nearby islands with a variety of activities such as sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. With its beautiful architecture, rich culture and stunning landscapes, Sables d’Olonne is an unforgettable experience.
Brest is a colourful city full of hidden treasures. Attractions include the Château de Brest, the Atlantic Memorial and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Vauban fortifications. The city has numerous sandy beaches and small wild coves, and parks and gardens along the bay of Brest river estuary. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of the old town, explore the trendy shopping centres or visit one of the many art galleries and museums.
Regional culture and activities
The North West coast is famous for delicious dishes oysters, fish, shellfish, buttered cakes, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, crêpes and galettes. Yum!
Don't miss attractions include the Ile de Noirmoutier, the Puy du Fou historical theme park, Carnac, l’Atelier de la Sardine, Kervel Beach, Château d’Abbadia, the Glénan Archipelago, Cap Fréhel, the Pointe du Raz, Saint-Jean-de-Monts and the Crozon Peninsula.
Local proviers offer a huge range of sports, including surfing, bodyboarding, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, cycling, hiking, horse rides, mountain biking, paragliding, hot air ballooning, tree climbing, kayaking and canoeing.
The GR34 Customs Path
The GR34 Customs Path in Brittany is a true delight for hikers, particularly those looking for stunning coastal views. It spans over 800 km along the coastline and runs through some of the most beautiful places in France. From dramatic cliffs to serene beaches, it offers spectacular sights of the Atlantic Ocean as well as historical sites like Fort de la Latte and Fort La Revelliere. Although some sections of the trail can be challenging, it is well worth the effort for its unparalleled views and unique cultural experiences. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, the GR34 Customs Path in Brittany is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories!
Experience the beauty of France's northwestern shoreline with a sea kayaking tour in Brittany. The region is renowned for its stunning natural scenery, quaint fishing villages and vibrant cultural heritage. From its ancient Celtic roots to the modern day tourist attractions, every corner of Brittany has something unique to offer. Paddle your way through picturesque coves, explore hidden creeks and spend time listening to the soothing sound of the ocean. With an experienced guide, you can be sure of a safe and enjoyable experience as you explore this magical part of France.
Surfing in Quiberon
With perfect swells, sandy beaches and breathtaking views, Quiberonhas become one of Europe's top surfing destinations. Whether you're a beginner or a surf pro, the waves here provide something for everyone - from long rolling swell to powerful barrels.
Not to be missed
The Crozon Peninsula
The Crozon Peninsula is a stunningly beautiful destination in Brittany. It features spectacular views from the mountains, unspoiled beaches and an abundance of outdoor activities to choose from. With its rugged coastline dotted with islands, enchanting coves and striking cliffs, this is a paradise for nature lovers. There are also a number of fascinating historical sites, from ancient stone circles to Iron Age forts.
Puy du Fou
Puy du Fou is an amazing theme park located in Les Epesses. It has become renowned for its historical shows and experiences that recreate the grandeur of French history. Visitors can experience a range of immersive performances including 19th century battles, gladiator challenges, and even falconry displays. This unique theme park also features beautiful landscaped gardens, stunning displays of medieval architecture, and a range of activities for all ages
Pornichet is a delightful seaside resort town close to La Baule and Saint-Nazaire. It boasts stunning sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast, as well as colourful gardens filled with fragrant flowers. There are plenty of activities for those looking for some fun and adventure, from sailing and surfing to biking and hiking. Visitors will also find quaint shops, markets, and restaurants serving up delicious local dishes.
A day in Saint-Nazaire
St Nazaire is perfect for a day trip, with plenty to discover. Highlights include the incredible submarine base, the beautiful bay beaches and the vibrant town centre with its unique atmosphere. Take a historic boat tour of the harbour, enjoy a nature walk through one of the local parks, or explore the city's fascinating art galleries. And finish the day with a delicious seafood dinner at a local restaurant.
La Baule is a stunning beach resort and spa town in Brittany. With its long stretch of golden sand, historical monuments, chic boutiques and gourmet restaurants, La Baule is the perfect spot to escape and relax.
Islands of the Pays de la Loire
The islands of the Pays de la Loire include the shimmering azure waters of Belle-Île, the picturesque beaches of Noirmoutier, and the wild and rugged beauty of the Île d'Yeu. Each island has its own unique charm, and whether it's snorkelling in crystal-clear waters, enjoying fresh seafood from the local restaurants, or taking in the breathtaking views, they are great to explore.
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