|Abélard (Pierre)||Né en 1079 au Pallet, bourgade du vignoble nantais, sa mémoire est restée liée à son amour pour la belle Héloïse. Grand philosophe, il est considéré comme le véritable fondateur de l'université de Paris.|
|Alain dit Barbe-Torte||L'Etat breton, affaibli au début du Xème siècle, est livré aux pillages des Normands qui envahissent les terres, ruinant villes (Nantes, Vannes) et monastères (Redon, Landévennec). Appelé à la rescousse, Alain dit Barbe-Torte, petit-fils d'Alain le Grand qui avait régné sur la Bretagne de 888 à 908, débarque d'Angleterre en 936 ; il bataille contre les Normands et les chasse définitivement. Ses victoires l'imposent comme souverain jusqu'à sa mort (952), et font de Nantes, reconstruite, une capitale.|
|Anguille||Vivant dans les eaux douces des canaux de Brière, de l'Acheneau, de la Boulogne et du lac de Grand-Lieu, les anguilles sont des chasseuses voraces aux moeurs nocturnes. D'un goût assez fort, on les cuit soit grillées pour les petites anguilles soit en matelote pour les plus grosses.|
|Anne de Bretagne||Elle n'a pas douze ans lorsque François II, son père, meurt en lui léguant l'héritage très convoité du duché de Bretagne. Sous la pression des armées françaises qui assiègent Rennes et occupent Nantes, Anne épouse en 1491 Charles VIII, roi de France, puis, en 1499, son successeur, Louis XII. Très attachée à l'indépendance de son duché, et à Nantes, sa ville natale, qu'elle fait constamment embellir, c'est une souveraine aimée et proche de ses sujets, qui chantent la "duchesse en sabots". Le reliquaire du coeur d'Anne de Bretagne est conservé au musée Dobrée, à Nantes.|
|Atlantique||L'océan Atlantique baigne les côtes de la Loire-Atlantique de la baie de Pont-Mahé à Assérac jusqu'à l'Etier du Collet aux Moutiers-en-Retz. Il conditionne largement le climat du département. Les vents, soufflant en toutes saisons sur les côtes, adoucissent les températures et maintiennent une atmosphère humide, en particulier le long de l'axe de la Loire par lequel l'océan pénètre à l'intérieur des terres ; en effet, le département est coupé en deux par l'estuaire de la Loire. De tels atouts climatiques font de la région une escale idéale pour les oiseaux migrateurs et un refuge apprécié pour la reproduction de poissons.|
Loire-Atlantic is located between Vendée to the south and Morbihan to the north. Water is the département's key element : the Loire runs though it, the Atlantic borders it and estuary links the river with the ocean...
The département is split from east to west by the spine of the loire, runnig for 110km (68 miles). This separation distributes forest, fields, shale and salate to the north ; vines, tiles and bricks to the south.
The 133km (33 miles) of the coast have a thousand faces : from long beaches of fine sand ti intimate little inlets, from cliffs to dunes covered with maritime pines.
Loire-Atlantique in key facts
The Loire-Atlantique is an easily accessible tourist destination with its good network of road, rail and air.
From gastronomic pleasures, charms of the landscapes of the Loire-Atlantic, salt marshes, from surprising machines in the Isle of Nantes, you will be seduced by so many contrasts!
Try also water sports or relax in the evening by enjoying the food flavored with "fleur de sel" in a gourmet and unusual meal ! And for moments of relaxation, stroll on foot or bicycle along the Loire or the Canal from Nantes to Brest.
Do not forget to taste "Muscadet"t he local nectar, or "Gros Plant" . Take a trip through history at the heart of Guerande, the medieval, Clisson the Italian or Chateaubriant and its timbered houses.
Finally, as a couple, with friends or family, go meeting a population always happy to make you enjoy this land full of surprises : the Loire-Atlantique !
The Loire-Atlantique is an easily accessible tourist destination with its good network of road, rail and air.
Railway stations :
Strasbourg : 870 km
Lille : 600 km
Lyon : 607 km
Rouen : 380 km
Brest : 300 km
Rennes : 110 km
Tours : 215 km
Bordeaux : 330 km
London : 730 km
Brussels : 700 km
Amsterdam : 890 km
Geneva : 880 km
Hanover : 1100 km
With the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Loire running through it, the Loire-Atlantique has a rich nautical heritage from both sea and river. Water is the constant link in the development and the heritage of towns and cities, industry and trade, as well as in the lives of the people.
Guérande, la médiévale
Bienvenue à « Gwen Ran », la capitale du pays blanc ! Les marais salants ne sont pas très loin ; la ville en a tiré toute sa prospérité grâce au commerce du sel depuis le Moyen-âge ! Entourée de ses remparts des XIVème et XVème siècles, elle était autrefois la capitale économique, religieuse et administrative de la presqu’île qui porte son nom.
Clisson, Italian sytle
In Clisson, you are straightaway enticed. In France, there is nowhere quite like Clisson. Surrounded by vineyards, this small town has a Tuscan look about it.
Châteaubriant, more than steak! Legend has it that the Chateaubriand steak gets its name from this delightful walled town. Certainly, there is still a weekly cattle market.
Ancenis and the River Loire
Dominated by its 15th-century castle, Ancenis was considered the ‘gateway’ to Brittany. The towers may not be as high as they once were, but you can still see how the castle was fortified repeatedly between the 10th and 16th centuries. Here, the Edict of Nantes was drawn up in 1598, ending France’s Wars of Religion.
Le Croisic, Piriac, a little touch of Brittany
Great little towns on the coast. Western France recognises « Petites Cités de Caractère », small towns known for their outstanding character and charm. Piriac-sur-Mer combines lovely old houses with a delightful seaside setting.
St Nazaire, port town
Saint-Nazaire, the city-port Right on the Atlantic at the mouth of the Loire, Saint-Nazaire was once home to fishermen and pilots, who guided ships up to Nantes. But in the 19th century, Saint-Nazaire took over from Nantes as a port, and in the 20th century led the world in building transatlantic liners. Today, Saint-Nazaire is again a leader – in industrial tourism.
Nantes, pleasant surprises all in one place!
Nantes: city of art and history
One of France’s ‘Villes d’Art et d’Histoire’, cities known for their outstanding combination of art and history, Nantes relied on the river and the sea for its wealth. There is no better way to appreciate the development of the ‘Venice of the West’ than on foot to see la loi Pinel Nantes. Stroll along medieval streets in the Quartier du Bouffay, cross neo-classical squares, such as the Place Graslin and the Place Royale, shop in the Passage Pommeraye, a 19th-century covered arcade.
The Atlantic Ocean bathes the shores of Loire-Atlantique from Pont-Mahé Bay near Assérac as far as the Collet Canal at Les Mouthiers-en-Retz. It is to a large extent responsible for the Department's climate. The winds which blow onto the coast in all seasons keep the temperature mild and maintain a moist atmosphere, especially along the line of the Loire which effectively allows the Ocean to penetrate the interior of the country. The department is actually divided in two by the Loire estuary. These favourable features of the region's climate make it an ideal stopping-off point for migratory birds and a highly-valued haven for breeding fish.
La Baule Bay
From Le Pouliguen to Pornichet, 9 kilometres of fine sand: welcome to the most beautiful beach in Europe! The coast has a wide variety of different beaches. In La Baule Bay, the town is practically on the beach: the promenade is throbbing with life. There are plenty of surprises in store! You can enjoy your favourite activities all year round, depending on the season, including swimming, sea fishing off the beach, building sandcastles, watersports (sailing, canoeing, sand yachting, diving…) walking or just taking it easy. Pornichet - La Baule – Le Pouliguen
These famous seaside resorts date from the late 19th century and the architecture of their villas makes an elegant backdrop. The villas stand beneath the pine trees and vie with each other to impress passers-by with their seductive range of styles: Moorish or Basque with overhanging roofs, English with bow windows, Art Deco or Naughty Nineties. Whether you're on foot, on roller-skates, on a bike or on the little train, a tour of the villas is a real must.
From the André de Cayeux promenade to the port of Le Collet (known as 'Port du Collet'), you can marvel at this bay which, in the 11th century, was the salt storehouse for the whole of Europe. The view from the Bouin wind-farm to Noirmoutier Island is well worth a detour, not just for the panoramic view but also because of the great variety of wildlife.. The Breton Marshland is a haven of peace where egrets, herons, sacred ibis and many other species can all be found in one area. The recent restoration of the salt-pans has brought back to life the glorious past when this white gold was produced in the former 'Bay of Brittany' where Le Collet was the main port from which exports took place. Côte d'Amour cote_damourThe Guérande Peninsula: seaside resorts and a rocky coastline. Between Assérac and Piriac-sur-Mer, the rocky coastline conceals lots of little beaches, all inviting spots for just relaxing. Take time off to taste some oysters at the port of Kercabellec at Mesquer and enjoy the picturesque character village of Piriac-sur-Mer, an unspoiled fishing port. You will be delighted by La Turballe, the Atlantic coast's top sardine-fishing port, still a very active centre for this industry.
All the way along the coast path you can admire the countryside: the Pointe de Pen Bé at Assérac, the Pointe de Merquel at Mesquer, the Pointe du Castelli at Piriac-sur-Mer, the Pointe de Pen Bron at La Turballe…
Then why not go for a bracing walk by the sea? You'll get heady on the spray of the wild coast, between the fishing port of Le Croisic and the Pointe de Penchâteau, at Le Pouliguen! Next in line is the famous La Baule Bay, between Le Pouliguen and Pornichet. The hinterland is lovely too: everywhere you go you'll find villas, each more charming than the last. Before you cross the Loire, stop off at Saint-Nazaire and use the coast path to explore its inlets and cliffs!
The Côte de Jade (Jade Coast), little inlets and big beaches! When you're south of the Loire, just below the Saint-Nazaire bridge, the first stop is Saint-Brévin. The sand dunes and pine forests make for lovely walks while the huge sandy beaches provide plenty of room for leisure activities! Sand yachting and kite flying fans will be carried away by the wind in this place! Then the 'sentier des douaniers' ('customs men's pathway') stretches away in front of you with the Atlantic as its horizon. After Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef, don't miss Préfailles, a small resort which has been popular since the 19th century. Fill your lungs with sea air at the Pointe Saint-Gildas and enjoy the superb view!
Make a small detour through La Plaine-sur-Mer where mussels are farmed, and then you'll arrive at Pornic. Its château stands proud above the marina. Discover the charming little streets in the upper town and admire the seaside villas that overlook the port. Then Bourgneuf Bay opens before you, from the former fishing village of La Bernerie-en-Retz to the Breton Marshes. Stop off at the picturesque Port du Collet where wooden cabins and landing-stages stand proud amongst the canals.
You're in the land of the oyster-growers!