Your stay in the Pays de la Loire Region will take you to the heart of the mysterious Brière, of Green Venice or of the troglodyte villages, bewitching you with its Gregorian chants and its phantasmal popular art...
There is so much water waiting for you during your stay in the Pays de la Loire Region! No less than 400 km of navigable rivers available for long cruises by small barge, canal boat or by “foigouille" craft. You will sail down the Mayenne, the Maine, the Sarthe, the Oudon... Not to forget the Erdre, lined with mansions and utopian residences like the "Folies Sifflait", full of charming eccentricity with their trick villas and their mock stairways leading nowhere.
And then there is the Loire, to be explored on a “gabare", a flat-bottomed boat with square sails that comes to us from the 19th century. West of Nantes, the mysterious Brière, all peat bogs and canals spread over 20,000 hectares, should also be explored by barge, departing from Trignac or St-Liphard.
In this heaven for bearded reedlings, common coots and bluethroats, you can visit the Lock Keeper’s House, and especially the small village of Kerhinet: its thatched cottages with their roofs made of marsh reeds and rush seem to have come straight out of a fairy tale. On the river’s opposite bank, Grand-Lieu Lake, one of Europe’s finest nature reserves, shelters the little egret and the gadwall duck, and in July it is literally covered in water lilies.
Further south, the Poitevin Marsh and its small fields lined with canals also attract all migratory travellers, be they passing birds or tourists who fall under the spell of the “Green Venice”.
Not too far away, the town of Fontenay-le-Comte of Rabelais fame, the town of Vouvant haunted by the legend of Mélusine, the Châteaux of Pouzauges and Tiffauges, strongholds of the notorious Gilles de Rais, also known as Bluebeard, are all great opportunities for a getaway into the Vendée.
In the Anjou, Maulévrier Oriental Park harbours Buddhist philosophy, the Rose Garden in Doué-la-Fontaine gives out its lovely fragrance, while beautiful Eleanor of Aquitaine sleeps on forevermore in Fontevraud. While in the Maine-et-Loire, you should also go underground to visit the Rocheminier troglodytes and the sculpted bestial creatures in the Dénezé-sous-Doué caves, and tour the “Blue Mine” and its slate seams in Noyant-la-Gravoyère.
When passing through the Sarthe, experience the highly spiritual ambience that comes forth when the Gothic vaults in Solesmes Abbey resound with the most wonderful Gregorian chants. Further down the valley, the renowned ceramic and earthenware workshops in Malicorne are open to interested visitors.
In the Mayenne, you’ll enjoy strolling through the streets of Sainte-Suzanne, a delightful Medieval burgh, and you’ll be startled by Roger Tatin’s Fantasy Art Fortress in Cossé-le-Vivien.
All the regional capitals too are worth a visit: the old Medieval city and the Automotive Museum in Le Mans, the Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers, the School of Cavalry in Saumur, the Jules Verne Museum and the Passage Pommeraye in Nantes and much more.
This leaves the sea, the long beaches at La Baule, La Tranche and Saint-Jean-de-Monts, the charm of Yeu Island and Noirmoutier Island, which is pleasant to reach via the Gois causeway at low tide, and the Ocearium at Le Croisic where you can watch rockfish, penguins and sharks frolicking in 600 cubic metres of water.
Conducive to make you want to get back in shape with its six thalassatherapy centres, the coast is also a heaven for golfers and amateur sailors. Everywhere, a breeze charged with iodine strongly stimulates the appetite.
Once you have sampled salmon or spike cooked in white butter, vine-shoot grilled eels, Rillettes from Le Mans and Chateaubriant steak, all that’s left to do, with a seafood platter and a glass of Loire wine before you, is to let the sea air delightfully go to your head...
Let the wealth of the Pays de la Loire Region terroir cast its spell on you, and enjoy a stay at a Logis hotel restaurant.