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      About Nantes

      Let Nantes, a city in the running for Best European Destination 2016, surprise you with its excellent tourist attractions, as well as its energy and creativity. Divided by the river Loire, the city houses both historical as well as contemporary buildings.

      Nantes, the capital of the French department Loire-Atlantique, lies in the west of France. The city is located on the banks of the river Loire, about fifty kilometres off the Atlantic Ocean. The Loire, the longest river in France, splits itself into two enclosing the island of Nantes. Once an industrial port area, these days the region is an expanding agglomeration with a unique creative vibe. Here, lovers of modern architecture can admire the works of great artists such as Jean Nouvel (Palais de Justice) and Christian de Portzamparc (Site Le Tripode). Where once great ships were built, now stand the ateliers of a group of artists, creating a magical mechanical universe: the Machines of the Isle of Nantes. Paying tribute to Jules Verne, Leonardo da Vinci and to Nantes’ industrial history, these artists built the Marine Worlds Carousel, a 25-metre tall universe of mechanical plants and insects. This giant carousel includes two incredible masterpieces: The Heron Tree, that takes you more than 30 metres up in the air, and The Great Elephant (12 metres tall) on which up to 50 people can enjoy a unique ride on the former shipyards. After all the excitement, you can relax at the Banana Hangar, a former warehouse converted into a recreation centre with a range of bars and restaurants, a club and a showroom. All with a beautiful view of the Loire.

      Another must-see is the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. This stunning white castle in the Renaissance style was built by Francis II for his daughter and Queen of France, Anne of Brittany. Explore the castle and go on a true journey into the heart of French history. Close to the castle lies the magnificent Cathedral of St. Peter, one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in France. Just outside the old city lies the Graslin Quarter, an elegant district with several boutiques and charming restaurants. Heading down towards the Loire, you’ll definitely bump into the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery. Nantes was France’s foremost slave-trading port in the 18th century. With this memorial site, the city acknowledges its past and pays tribute to all those who have fought, and are still fighting, against slavery. Also along the river, overlooking the city, is the district of Saint-Anne. It takes more than 120 steps to get to the top, but once at the top, you will be rewarded with an amazing view on the ancient granite quarry and the old port. At the top, you’ll also find a beautiful house built at the end of the 19th century. This is a museum dedicated to Jules Verne, a native of the city of Nantes.

      Another highlight of the city is the Jardin des Plantes, a huge 7-hectare park in the heart of the city. As well as a unique collection of rare and medicinal plants, the park is filled with giant natural sculptures which will please both the young and old.

      Around Nantes

      On the left bank of the Loire lies Trentemoult, an old fishing village. This small yet bustling village with traditional fishermen’s cottages has inspired many filmmakers, such as Jean-Loup Hubert who directed “La Reine blanche”, and Claude Chabrol of “La demoiselle d’honneur” fame.

      Can’t get enough of rivers and waterways? Embark on a boat tour towards Saint-Nazaire and you’ll discover incredible fauna and flora, peaceful little villages and impressive industrial sites on your trip. Keep a look out for the open air artworks from Estuaire, a permanent art trail between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.

      Please note that for operational reasons, on our flights to Nantes we cannot accept:

      • Animals, both in cabin and in the hold
      • Ski and surf equipment
      • Bikes
      • Golf equipment is subject to availability and should be notified in advance.