Nantes was once the capital city of Brittany, but when the modern regional boundaries were established in 1962, it no longer remained in the region. Despite all the modern maps, the people of Nantes still retain their Breton identity and celebrate Brittany’s history and culture.
Nantes is positioned to the south of Brittany and north of Vendee, so it is easy to reach from our campsites in both regions. It is the 6th largest city in France and amongst the usual hustle and bustle of a modern city; there are a wide range of attractions to draw you away from the beaches for a day.
If you love shopping, the Passage Pommeraye is a delight. This small shopping area in the centre of the city is an architectural wonder in itself, but also boasts a selection of boutiques. There are plenty of other shops in the two roads that are connected by the Passage Pommeraye and in the surrounding area.
Les Machines de L’ile is a unique museum, inspired by one of the city’s great inhabitant’s Jules Verne. It contains a collection of fantastic machines that take you into the mind of a great and innovative creator. You may even be able to experience a mechanical elephant ride which is the centrepiece of the museum. If you are interested in finding out more about the man, Musee Jules Verne de Nantes is a small attraction containing details and artefacts from his life.
For more historical places of interest, you could climb aboard Belem, an old, but well preserved sailing ship to explore life at sea and watch demonstrations of climbing the rigging. There is also the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, a building of historic significance which contains the Nantes History Museum. It is possible to walk all the way around the restored castle ramparts and get a good view over the city. The lawns also provide a great spot for a picnic.
If you are after tranquillity, there are a number of beautiful gardens located around the city. Jardin des Plantes is a small but beautiful garden full of plants and wildlife. There is also a hot house and café to provide added interest for visitors. Other gardens include Jardin Japonais, Parc de Proce and Parc de la Beaujoire.
The medieval city remains in the areas surrounding the Cathedral de Saint Pierrre et Saint Paul and is an interesting area to explore. The Cathedral is lit up at night, so is worth a visit if you are remaining in the city for an evening meal in one of the many restaurants.
Just 50km from the coast, Nantes has plenty to offer visitors to our Brittany and Vendee campsites.
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