The Pays-de-la-Loire is a contrast in environments. It has 300
kilometers of Atlantic coastline with sea-breezes, long sandy
beaches, enchanting bays, and islands like Yeu and Noirmoutier.
This contrasts with the lush, green, countryside through which
flows the magnificent river Loire. The Loire Valley-Atlantic
region (Pays-de-la-Loire) includes the Departments of
Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Sarthe, Vendée, and
This part of France has always been a popular place for kings
and nobles, who built their elegant châteaux throughout the
region. Many have been restored and are inhabited by their
owners, who open them to the public. Some stately homes
accommodate overnight guests in their comfortable apartments.
Other châteaux open their homes and gardens to the
production of "Sount and Light" shows.
Exploring beyond the busy valley, the tourist can drive deeper
into a undulating and quiet hinterland where châteaux,
abbeys and mansions reveal the testimony of a rich past.
At Le Mans, the yearly car race known as the "24
heures" attracts visitors from all over the world. Don't
forget traditional cities like Angers, Saumur and Nantes where
you can visit the many castles, châteaux and museums and
loose yourself among their picturesque winding narrow streets
leading to provincial markets and busy shops.
Horse lovers should visit the "Cadre Noir" at Saumur,
headquarters of the world famous National Horse and Riding
School. The region produces an astonishing variety of wines
that range from dry to sweet and from still to sparkling, soft,
fruity, rosés, lighy red wines a delicate bouquet and
characteristic flavour. Have you ever tasted Muscadet,
Gros-Plant, Gamay red or rosé, Champigny, Cabernet,
sparkling dry Sa?