Loire-Atlantique: the ocean, the rivers, the canals: water is the soul of this region. Vibrant, elegant or pristine: the Loire Atlantic Coast is as varied as its history. Dreaming away on the golden-blond beach of the Côte d'Amour or setting foot on an island always has something exotic about it. Nantes, gateway to the Loire Valley, is Europe's capital of good living. On land and sea, this region offers a full traditional speciality menu, from oysters to sardines, from 'foie gras' to lamb. From the charming Caractère hotels, you will discover a beautiful part of France and enjoy an unforgettable trip.
Day 1: Departure to La Plaine-sur-Mer
Today your journey kicks off, departing for La Plaine-sur-Mer, where you will immediately stay for three nights.
Day 2: Along the Côte Sauvage - Quiberon or a visit to Nantes
Via Le Croisic, you drive to the Guérande salt flats and via the Golfe du Morbihan to Quiberon. The peninsula's Côte Sauvage boasts an impressive succession of cliffs and vast beaches. Equally captivating is a day in the historic capital of the Dukes of Brittany, Nantes: birthplace of the fascinating 'Les Machines de l'Île'. The classical heart of the city flaunts its 18th- and 19th-century buildings there. This is where Jules Verne grew up, who as a child was fascinated by the sailing boats in the harbour and dreamed away to other worlds. Nantes, its islets and the Loire, first mirror of his dreams, are at the heart of his imaginative oeuvre. And to this day, Nantes is a seductive cultural resort that exudes imagination and innovation.
Day 3: Les chantiers Atlantiques and the oyster farms of Vendée
The world-renowned shipyards of St-Nazaire, where numerous luxury cruise ships are built, are well worth a visit. Afterwards, you'll head via the picturesque port town of Pornic to Ile de Noirmoutier and the oyster farms of Vendée: a walk among the oyster basins in the Pays de Retz will definitely make you crave a delicious 'plateau de fruits de mer'!
Day 4: La Plaine-sur-Mer - Ile de Ré
Your journey continues via La Roche-sur-Yon, which owes its origins to Napoleon, and Les Sables-d'Olonnes, where marshes and salt pans define the landscape. Today you will also set sail for your next Caractère hotel, at which you will stay for three nights.
Day 5: Ile de Ré, Rochefort and la Rochelle
On day 5 you will visit the dazzling island of Ile de Ré, a cyclist's paradise, and the beautiful medieval port towns of La Rochelle and Rochefort, which are rightfully proud of their rich maritime past that they have also managed to preserve well. They exude a picturesque grandeur. In La Rochelle, the cosy Vieux Port will invite you in with its many restaurants and terraces.
Day 6: Le Pays de l'Huître - Marennes
Today on the schedule: the 'Parc à Huîtres' near Marennes, the centre of oyster culture in France. You then continue over the bridge to Ile d'Oléron, where forest, sea and white sandy beaches alternate. From there, you leave the tranquillity to visit the seaside town of Royan, at the mouth of the Gironde, and the typical Talmont-sur-Gironde with its numerous wooden fishing pontoons, via the Côte Sauvage.
Day 7: Going home
Your journey through the Loire-Atlantique is sadly at an end, today you set sail for home. Of course, you can also enjoy your holiday a little longer with an extension of your stay at one of our Caractère hotels.
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