Loire-Atlantique is the seaward department of the Western Loire department in north-eastern France. Having belonged to Brittany for the majority of history, Loire-Atlantique shares a similar culture and atmosphere to much of Brittany, which is further concentrated by the strong maritime influences that both regions have. It is a department with a wide range of landscapes, from the wide sand beaches of the west coast to the ancient forests of the centre of the department. A holiday rental in Loire-Atlantique is perfect for walking, water sports, beach holidays or sampling the fine gastronomy on the banks of a peaceful river.
The beaches of La Baule or the ‘Breton Riviera’ are some of the nicest on the Atlantic Coast. The wide sandy beaches are favourites with both locals and visitors alike. Sailing, windsurfing and kite-boarding are particular favourites with tourists in the area, and there are equipment hire stations and schools on the majority of the beaches on the Breton Riviera. There is also a rich fishing heritage in Loire-Atlantique, both deep sea and fresh water fishing. The town of Le Croisic is one of the best places to find fishing in Loire-Atlantique.
France’s turbulent history can be seen throughout the department, with many fine chateau, castles and more modern defensive systems. The Chateaubriant is a dramatic fortress with a huge tower which peaks out above the dark tree-tops like a genuine set of a horror movie. Elsewhere, the naval defences along Loire-Atlantique’s coastal paths will add time to any walks you plan on doing s you stop and investigate the abandoned stations.
As with much of the Western Loire, the Loire-Atlantique department has a scattering of golf courses, both in the undulating hills and woodland of the interior and on the windswept coastline, meaning that you will almost certainly be able to get a round in during your stay in Loire-Atlantique accommodation.
Nantes is a hugely friendly city which many people will arrive into as they travel to their holiday rental property in Loire-Atlantique. The city is well worth exploring for a few hours either on your way to your accommodation in Loire-Atlantique or on your way home, as there are some magnificent restaurants, glorious parks and fantastic shopping to be enjoyed within the city.
Along the coast, the town of St Nazaire has been completely rebuilt after the destruction of WWII had all but levelled it. The only remnant of the German occupation is the underwater submarine base, which makes for fascinating viewing.
Loire-Atlantique has a mild temperate climate, with temperatures averaging 23°C from June until the end of August. Even during winter, temperatures remain above 8°C, which is considerably warmer than the British winter.
There are two airports in Loire-Atlantique, Nantes (NTE) and Rennes (ZFJ), which are served by RyanAir from London Stansted (STN), East Midlands (EMA) and Dublin (DUB). You can also take a ferry from the south coast to St Malo or take the TGV from Paris to Nantes or Angers.