3 days between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire

  • place
    Nantes - Saint-Nazaire
  • compare_arrows
    87 km
  • access_time
    3 days / 2 nights
  • people
  • Phares et jetée de Saint-Nazaire ©ALamoureux

Head towards the ocean for 3 days, follow the Loire Estuary and admire the contemporary art works which punctuate your route.

Day 1: Nantes – Paimboeuf (52 km)

Ile de Nantes - Anneaux de Buren ©A. Lamoureux

Your trip starts at Place de la Petite Hollande in Nantes. Take the Victor-Schœlcher footbridge opposite the Palais de Justice [courthouse] (a work by Jean Nouvel) to get to Ile de Nantes.
Young and old alike will be amazed by the Grand Eléphant, the Carrousel des Mondes Marins and the Galerie des Machines.

Continue along Quai des Antilles and follow the signposted La Loire à Vélo cycle path via the south bank. You’ll arrive at Trentemoult.

Bouguenais is the next leg: Roche Ballue, a natural leisure and water sports site (supervised in the high season) awaits you. This site offers a quick and surprising change of scenery!

Continue to La Montagne and head towards the Canal de la Martinière. This will take you to Paimboeuf and its charming array of small colourful houses along the banks of the Loire.

Estuary art works along the way:

De temps en temps by François Morellet (Schoelcher foot-bridge, Nantes)
La Station Prouvé (Parc des Chantiers, Nantes)
Les Anneaux by Daniel Buren (Quai des Antilles)
Le Pendule by Roman Signer (Trentemoult)
The Settlers by Sarah Sze (Bouguenais)
Misconceivable by Erwin Wurm, known as “le bateau mou” or “droopy boat” (Canal de la Martinière)
Le Jardin étoilé by Kinya Maruyama (Paimboeuf)

Good to know:
The road climbs slightly between leaving Nantes (Rezé) and the town of La Montagne.

Good to know:

  • The road climbs slightly between leaving Nantes (Rezé) and the town of La Montagne.


Day 2: Paimboeuf - Saint-Nazaire (19 km)

Head for the Atlantic! From Paimboeuf, follow the Loire until you arrive at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins. Breathe in the sea air, cycle past the dyke opposite the sea and continue inland along small paths smelling of pine resin and dotted with quaint houses. Depending on the weather, take a welcome break to relax on the beach.
The shuttle awaits you at the end of the day, to take you to your overnight stay in Saint-Nazaire!

Estuary art works along the way:

Le Jardin étoilé by Kinya Maruyama (Paimboeuf)
Serpent d’océans by Huang Yong Ping (Saint-Brevin-les-Pins)

Paimboeuf - Le Jardin Etoilé © ALamoureux

Day 3: In Saint-Nazaire (16 km)

Place du commando et bord de mer_SaintNazaireRenversante©ALamoureux

Saint-Nazaire, a port town steeped in history, offers a multitude of things to do and places to explore. The submarine base, for example, is wartime relic which has become a year-round cultural venue and is particularly lively during the summer season. There’s also Escal’Atlantic, a wonderful experience for young and old, which immerses visitors in the great adventure of legendary cruise liners along a tour brimming with surprises.
Take a stroll along the sea front, enjoy a hot or cold drink as you admire in the ocean view… A circuit through the heart of Saint-Nazaire and the seafront promenade will show you all the highlights of the town…just follow the signposts!

At the end of the day, you can stay by the sea or return to Nantes by train.

Estuary art works along the way:

Suite de triangles Saint-Nazaire 2007 by Felice Varini (Saint-Nazaire)
Le jardin du tiers-paysage by Gilles Clément (Saint-Nazaire)

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