The Loire river 15.10.2016

Le Pellerin © S.Bonniol - Visuelles
The small port of Trentemoult © J.D Billaud/Nautilus
Le bac de Loire entre le Pellerin et Couëron	© J.D Billaud/Nautilus
Loire river: a naturel environment © D.Drouet
The Loire estuary at St-Brevin-les-Pins	© V.Joncheray
The Loire river at dawn © S-TV
The Neuve Macrière Island © D.Drouet
La Loire à Vélo, a unique cycling route © Thorsten Brönner
St-Mathurin-sur-Loire © Ph.Caharel

It is intimately connected to French history and lends its name to Pays de la Loire region.

The Loire is said to be Europe’s last untamed river. It alternates between being swift and docile, relaxing and imposing! The river winds through the region from Montsoreau near Saumur to Saint-Nazaire where it eventually merges with the ocean. Between these two points lie 200km of captivating riverside landscapes featuring treasures such as majestic Châteaux  and famous vineyards .

France’s longest river is known for its ever-changing light on the water, the glory of its landscapes under vast skies, as well as the sand banks and islands in the surprisingly wide stream. On the right (northern) bank, you’ll see endless fertile fields. On the left (southern) bank are the cliffs, with beautiful buildings and those famous vineyards. Perhaps the most surprising thing is the abundance of wildlife and unusual plants. Exploring the islands in the Loire is rather like discovering a foreign land. Several of them have an air of mystery, cut off from everyday life. There are some sixty islands in the Pays de la Loire, such as the Ile de la Liberté, the Ile Batailleuse and the Ile aux Dames. Step ashore on any of these islands and enjoy a unique view of the Loire and its banks.

In Nantes , you’ll notice the movement of the tides, even though you’re still 50 km from the ocean. Here you’ll find a delightful mix of freshwater and saltwater influences: the ports of Nantes, Trentemoult and Paimboeuf, lovingly guarded by fishing huts and reed beds. There is a magnificent view of the Loire from atop the Saint-Nazaire bridge. But there are many more places where you can enjoy panoramic views of the river and its broad valley – between the Château de Saumur and the river mouth – from Champtoceaux, Oudon Tower, and the Folies Siffait at Le Cellier…

 

> 'Loire à vélo' cycle route

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