Western Loire Quick Facts:

  • This recently-created region is made of bits of other regions.  The name translates to “Lands along the Loire River”.
  • Le Mans’ famed 24 hour car race started in 1923, was suspended from 1939 until 1949, when it resumed.
  • Cointreau is produced just outside the city of Angers, site of many black slate roofs, earning it the nickname “La Ville Noir” – Black City.
western loire valley france

Discover the Western Loire

Chateau D'AngersDiscover the secrets of the Western Loire! Nestled in the heart of France, there is something to enchant every imagination in this peaceful region, whether it be exploring the riches of larger cities like Nantes and Angers, or discovering what the lush countryside has to offer. By bike, on horseback, on foot or driving around the Le Mans racetrack, there are countless ways to see the Western Loire. When it comes to dining, visitors will appreciate the fresh seafood, excellent sparkling wines, cheeses and sweets that are all signature of the region. All of this and more can be found on the new website where the online guide brings everything prospective visitors need to know about traveling in the Western Loire to their fingertips, from where to stay and eat to what to see and do.

History tells a special tale through the thousands of countryside châteaux. Visitors can travel back in time at the magnificent medieval castles in Angers, Nantes and Mayenne, and relive the Renaissance at Brissac, Le Lude or the Château de Tiffauges, legendary for having been haunted by Bluebeard! For a treat unique to the Western Loire, visitors can call on one of the fully furnished castles that are still alive with the Dukes and Earls who call them "home", and who are even willing to offer a tour from time to time! Here there are personal treasures alongside historical treasures, like pictures of the Queen Mum and Roger Moore.Western Loire
Simply strolling through the streets of some of the fascinating cities and villages can also as a trip back in time. Ambling through the Old Town in Angers visitors will be able to see the half-timbered houses characteristic of the region and the impressive cathedral, all in the same town that produces one of the world's most famous liqueurs, Cointreau. From June 20th through September 20th, Angers will be hosting a Niki de St. Phalle exhibition in celebration of the re-opening of the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

Nantes, modern capital of the Western Loire, also finds its place in history as the capital of the old Dukes of Brittany. Here travelers will find a beautiful Gothic Cathedral with ducal tombs, the must-see passage of Pommeraye and the popular Rue Crebillion with its chic boutiques. A vibrant city, visitors will enjoy the fantastic restaurants and the Carnival of Nantes in March. Also worth seeing is the newly renovated Graslin theater, one of only three theaters in France with a blue decoration indicating that it was built before the French Revolution.

CarraceThe Automobile Museum in Le Mans-Laval, home to the famous 24-hour car race, has its own kind of history. Even though Le Mans has become synonymous with the automobile, there are other aspects of this city that are not to be missed, including the 13th century Abbaye de L'Epau and the vast Gothic Cathedral surrounded by high gallo-Roman walls, and "rillettes", a local gastronomic specialty. Horse-lovers will enjoy Saumur, the equestrian and military center of France with its fascinating network of underground troglodyte homes, and everyone will be seduced by the clean, clear waters of the Côte d'Amour with the beautiful beaches of La Baule and the Ile d'Yeu where visitors are also invited to go diving and explore the shipwrecks of the past such as Spanish Galleons, Dutch merchant ships, even pirate ships just off the coast! Sea-water therapy is another reason to travel to the coast. Algae wraps, self-heating mud, and anti-stress treatments are only a few of the specialties these certified thalassotherapie spas have to offer. Visitors planning to be in the Western Loire at a certain time should also be sure to keep up to date with the festivals and specialWestern Loire Beaches events section on the new website, where there are always schedules of the exciting events taking place throughout the region.

Our new website makes it easier than ever for prospective travelers to plan trips and explore a little bit of the Western Loire from their homes! The new layout is convenient, easy-to-use and includes a new professional space for tour operators. One click and you're there! Check it out at: www.westernloire.com.

Region Highlights - Gastronomy, Sports and Leisure, Art & Culture, Pays De La Loire Hotels, and Directions to the Western Loire.