NANTES – THRIVING CITY AT THE MOUTH OF THE LOIRE

The mechanical Great Elephone, one of the Machines de L’Ile de Nantes. Photo, Paris + Plus

The city of Nantes in western France is located just 50kms from the Atlantic Ocean.  Nowadays, it’s the capital of the Pays de la Loire Region, but will always be known as the capital of Brittany, when the Dukes of Brittany ruled from here until the Duchy was united with France in the 16th century.  The city is home to many significant buildings, including the former Duchy’s seat of power.  The lifeblood of the city is due to its location on the Loire which brought the world to its doorstep, allowing trade and industry to flourish.  Today, with great art, cuisine, river islands and Muscadet wines, Nantes is a vibrant, lively city where history and the present merge to offer visitors art, culture and fun.

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THE LURE OF THE LOIRE – PART 2

Chateau d’Usse and part of the gardens. Photo, i.reddit

As we’ve seen in the previous post, the Loire Valley has a wealth of lively towns and villages, plus world renowned vineyards and enchanting scenery to keep any visitor happily engaged for numerous visits.  Not only are the many châteaux a window into a world of grandeur and history, it’s possible to have a more personal experience of these historic places, as some now offer fantastic accommodation.  What would a trip to the Loire be without great food?  Fortunately, the region has any number of great restaurants to try—so you may need to seriously consider lengthening your stay to discover some of these memorable experiences!

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THE LURE OF THE LOIRE: EXPLORING ITS CHATEAUX, GARDENS & SO MUCH MORE – PART ONE

Beautiful scenery abounds all along the river Loire. Photo, Odysseytravel

With an abundance of charming historic towns and villages, world famous vineyards, beautiful gardens, sweeping forests, great architectural monuments and majestic châteaux, the “Garden of France”, and “The Valley of Kings,” as the region is variously known, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a must-see for a memorable visit to France.  As there are over 300 châteaux in the Loire Valley, around 100 of which are open to the public, it’s a region that needs more than a rushed day trip from Paris to do it justice.  Here are some suggestions to help you plan a memorable visit to this special part of France.

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TRAVELS WITH YOUR NAVIGO – CHÂTEAU DE CHANTILLY

The Chateau de Chantilly and its domaine. Photo, thegoodlifefrance

Although France has so many impressive châteaux scattered throughout the country, there is one that never fails to take your breath away.  The Château de Chantilly in Picardy is one of the most spectacular in France, set in a vast estate of 7,800 hectares.  At less than 50kms from the centre of Paris, armed with your Navigo Pass it’s easily accessible for a perfect day out.

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ALL DRESSED UP FOR CHRISTMAS!

Printemps Dept. store on Bvd. Haussmann. Photo, hoteletatsunis

France is famous for its illuminations during the festive season.  Despite the huge drop in numbers of visitors, and almost in defiance of the difficulties faced by everyone during this extraordinary year, Paris in particular is dressed with its usual impressive lighting displays to celebrate the holiday season.

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