En route to the west, between the land and sea, between cities of art and history, on the Loire Valley wine route. On the Loire châteaux itinerary, Angers is renowned for its dynamism and quality of life. Heading towards the Atlantic ocean, you will discover Nantes and its many historical and contemporary facets, as well as Rennes, where the medieval alleyways offer a wonderful route for discovering an exceptional heritage.
In the heart of the Loire Valley, Angers will surprise you with its rich heritage and its way of life: châteaux, fine gastronomy and renowned vineyards, etc. Here, the best way to get around is by bike or on foot. Routes have been especially developed for walking and cycling with complete peace of mind, in the city, on the Loire à Vélo route and in the wine region.
What to see
- Château du Roi René and the Apocalypse tapestry
Enter the vast fortress of the Dukes of Anjou and admire the largest known medieval tapestry: the Apocalypse tapestry.
- Beaux-Arts district
In this historical centre, 2 centres of Angevin heritage to discover: the David d’Angers gallery and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
- Fontevraud Abbey
Between Chinon and Saumur, the largest monastic city in Europe which was a prison for a while has preserved its royal allure.
Nantes is one of the major cultural, artistic, creative centres of France: the Château des ducs de Bretagne, Lieu Unique, Machines de l’Île, Musée à Ciel Ouvert d’Estuaire, Memorial to the abolition of slavery, Nantes-Angers Opéra, Hangar à Bananes exhibition room, festivals, etc. A Journey to Nantes invites you to discover these scattered monuments with a route that makes Nantes a destination to be envied as a City of Art and Culture.
What to see
- Les Machines de l’Île and the Great Elephant
At the crossroads of the imaginary worlds of Jules Verne, the world of Leonardo da Vinci and the industrial history of Nantes, these monumental structures invite you to dream and journey.
- Château des ducs de Bretagne
This ducal residence is home to the Musée d’Histoire de Nantes with contemporary displays. An ideal introduction to the discovery of Nantes.
- Estuaire Nantes - Saint-Nazaire : an open-air contemporary art trail
These works give you a different view over Nantes and the Loire. An unusual way of discovering the river’s estuary down to Saint Nazaire.
The city welcomes an influential French cultural project: Les Champs Libres. A library, the Musée de Bretagne and the Espace des Sciences with its planetarium all rub shoulders in a contemporary building designed by Christian de Portzamparc. A trip to Rennes is also the opportunity to delve into a medieval atmosphere by taking the cobblestone alleyways of the city centre, lined with half-timbered houses. Make sure you sample a galette in a crêperie in Place Sainte-Anne. A must-eat!
What to see
- Brittany Parliament
One of the most prestigious monuments to the Breton architectural heritage and a page from the history of art in 17th century France. Today the headquarters of the Court of Appeal
- Marché des Lices
On Saturday mornings, the Breton capital is ruled by its traditional market, the Marché des Lices, the second largest market in France with an exceptional heritage.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts
Recently renovated, it provides a complete panorama of the history of painting.
March: Rennes Jazz festival
May: Festival de l’Epau
May/June: Printemps des Arts festival in Nantes
June/July: Les Orientales festival, St-Florent-le-Vieil
June/August: Le Voyage à Nantes (A Journey to Nantes) event
July/August: Tempo’ Rives festival - Angers
August: Les Musicales du Golfe
Semaines Musicales festival in Quimper
September: “Les Accroche-Coeurs” street festival in Angers
December: TransMusicales festival in Rennes
Exceptional cultural sites
1 Château du Roi René and the Apocalypse tapestry - Angers
2 Beaux-Arts district- Angers
3 Fontevraud Abbey
4 Machines de l'île and the Elephant Nantes
5 Château des ducs de Bretagne Nantes
6 Nantes estuary: contemporary art route
7 Brittany Parliament - Rennes
8 Marché des Lices - Rennes
9 Musée des Beaux-Arts - Rennes
10 Le Lieu Unique theatre - Nantes
11 Carnac stones
12 Locmariaquer megalithic site
13 Camaret sur Mer tower
14 Le Mans - Cité Plantagenêt
15 Château d’Oiron