France
Pays de la Loire

Here you’ll find travel reports about Pays de la Loire. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day671

    More hours of driving today, broken up by a stop for lunch with a baguette from a baguette vending machine and a trip to a patisserie for some indulgent pastries and strawberry cream cake.

    Our stopover was a gravel car park beside a MacDonalds and a lake. Being a Saturday, it was pretty busy, but it was good to see people out enjoying themselves. It was a little chilly but the sun was shining as we strolled around the lake. There were bathing areas, artificial beaches, canoe launch points, both on the lake and the fast flowing river that ran adjacent to it and hosted a slalom course. There were even catamarans and stand up paddle boards stacked on the lakeshore, but the hut that displayed a very reasonable price list for their hire was closed. It turned rainy overnight so the idea of canoeing or sailing the following day became a lot less appealing.Read more

  • Day428

    Day 429: A Long Drive North

    April 19 in France

    Said our goodbyes to the hosts and set off on another long drive north. After a couple of hours, our first stop was the town of Le Mans, famous for its 24-hour car race. It's actually a street race, and since they were starting to set up in preparation, we got to drive on a few parts of the track which was quite cool. The main circuit area was being used by motorbikes though, as there was a race happening this weekend.

    Briefly visited the museum but it was 10 euros per head, so decided to skip and hopped back in the car.

    Another couple of hours north, avoiding toll roads this time, and we finally arrived at the coast. Our B&B is basically another granny flat, a bit older but will be comfortable enough while we visit Mont San Michel. Our host mentioned that the car park there is free after 7pm, so we decided to explore a couple of local spots and then head over.

    We drove for another 45 minutes into Brittany, where we visited the town of Cancale, famous for oysters. A dozen oysters for 6 euros was a pretty good deal, so we got two dozen and ate them overlooking the harbour. Tried to find a crepe place as well since Brittany is the home of crepes, but couldn't find anywhere open and with decent prices! Instead we just had an aperitif and a couple of snacks, all served by the snootiest French waiter we've had on the whole trip. Whatever dude.

    Drove the 45 minutes back around the bay to Mont San Michel, parked in the car park and had a quick look at the castle/town from across the bay. It's an impressive sight, but too far away for really good photos from a camera, sadly. We'll go a lot closer tomorrow!
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  • Day78

    St Nazaire

    July 2, 2017 in France

    Hello, we left Pornichet on Saturday it was still windy but had eased overnight so seas a little less disturbed. We headed along the coast, and managed to stay fairly close in as we moved towards St Nazaire. Per the Almanac we had to enter the east lock, i radioed ahead and they confirmed next opening would be 12:10. So we tied to a random wall had a cuppa and waited. While waiting we realised that we were moored at the seaward end of the submarine pen foe the Espadon, the sub that visitors long around and that has a viewing gallery above it which explained the random voices we could hear.
    Well they let us into the Bassin de St Nazaire and we tried to figure out where to go, there were a few fishing boats on one side, a couple of yachts in a corner and the Loire princess on one edge, that's the paddle boat that does Loire river cruises, looked very plush. In the end we decided to moor along side the pontoon directly in front of the old submarine pens where it said don't moor without permission of the mayor, this was secure as doors to pontoon locked and we would have to use dingy whereas everywhere else was along side Bassin edge and anyone could walk aboard. The 2books we have gave different opinions on where we should go and neither option looked viable, but we did do as recommended and headed for Capitainnerie to tell them where we were, pay our dues and leave phone number in case boat needed to be moved. However Capitainnairie weren't interested we had to talk to intercom they didn't let us into building we tried to explain we wanted to stay for 2 nights and where we were they decided it was gratuit (free).
    Has been a nice quiet couple of nights OK so no power or elec but peaceful even though only 5mins to beach and 2mins to supermarket and Randun Bleu (or similar)shopping precinct and town centre.
    On Saturday we wondered around town but today we went to junk market,really was rubbish, then around harbour before short 5km jog then after lunch a walk on the Promenade towards St Marc where we ended up on Friday on our walk from Pornichet. Tomorrow we plan to head to Pornic for a couple of nights before anchoring off the islands of Noirmotier or isle d'yeu. Photos on other device so to follow
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  • Day9

    Cracking 70km day to Guenroute

    August 8, 2016 in France

    Early morning ride along the beautiful L'ouest canal. Loys of herons and general birdlife, nearly crashed into the canal just once. Got to the campaite and devoured a whole baguette and 5/8 of a camembert. C'est bon!

    Oh and Rosie had her first experience with a selfie stick...

  • Day93

    How's things? We are suffering from the heat reached 41 today and breeze died off completely. I hope everyone is well and enjoying summer. So to recap on our travels on the 13th we went to St Gilles Croix de Vie and stayed 3nights was only going to be 2 but John got man flu. 13th was Thursday, day we arrived, ferries don't slow down just because there are boats using the entrance am glad we are big and heavy. We had a wander around and did some more supermarket shopping and drank coffee as you do in france. Friday we did a little more wandering but John very rough so not much. The wandering was to buy drugs. that said we were sat in centre of town eating ice-cream, good for colds and sore throats apparently, when we were interrupted by Chris and Lesley and their 2sons. About 6years ago they worked over in Herm while John was there but then upped sticks and moved to France. When we met them they were on there way home to Roch sur Yon from a short vacation at St Jean de Mont. We had a chat then John crashed out i walked to Grand Plage to check out options for the Bastille Day fireworks later on. That reminds me marina gives you croissants in the mornings, cant be bad. Sadly John so rough he went to bed so I watched fireworks on my own😥, they were stunning. On Saturday John stayed in bed, I did a run in morning, and went to market for fruit. Then in afternoon went to shopping mall to waste time, took a bike ride to get there, and bought clothes I didn't really need. Then I baked, yes that's how bored I got, I made rolls, cookies, panna cotta and even hard boiled some eggs. John was feeling better when the cookies came out the oven and decided they were very good.
    On Sunday we returned to ile d'yeu and anchored at Port meule we wasted 2days doing very little as just too hot. We had already cycled around island so had seen the sights I did some swimming John had a dip on Monday. Anchor light bulb has blown so that is now on the to do list.
    Attached is night photo from our mooring in St Gilles, if you know the place we were a little way down river of the bridge and carousel opposite the funfair hence the lights, also photos of harbour as we left and of Port Meule anchorage.
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  • Day75

    Pornichet

    June 29, 2017 in France

    So Wednesday morning we wandered to the market for lettuce mostly, I hadn't realised how exciting our lives had become, then back to do cleaning. Boat really was due an internal clean and after 5hours it looked much better but boy were we bored I think the polish fumes were making me lightheaded.
    Today we woke up to rain, well I woke over night and closed windows etc. but it was day for major bike ride back to Le Criosic, so we made our packed lunch and then packed the picnic blanket and lunch bag in the bike basket ready for the off. We were feeling very French at this point.
    Off we rode, into a head wind as is almost always the case when riding, along the bay out of Pornichet into La Baule, out of La Baule and into Paliguen, then carrying on along the coast to Batz Sur Mer then Croisic. It was blowing a lot hopefully you will be able to see in the photos how rough it actually is, not like when we sailed along on our way to Pornichet then it was beautifully flat. At Paliguen we asked about availability but full till Tuesday it looked nice a small harbour with cafes and shops on one side, flats the other.
    We didn't go into the Blockhaus which is smaller close up than it looked from offshore. Le Criosic was bigger and prettier than we had expected. We had considered it for the boat but as it dried decided not to try it. The last 3photos are of Le Croisic the final one is looking across narrow entrance to the salt marshes to Pen Bron, still not sure if Pen Bron is a town, prison hospital. Looks weird from both shores but apparently there are ferries across though we didn't see any, or anyone on the other side at all. I took a short 360 video from the lookout at Le Croisic that I will put on Facebook as can't do vids here.
    Forecast for us for next few days isn't great, same as today with westerly winds reaching 33km/hr so we are thinking of heading up river Loire.
    All the best everyone
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  • Day80

    Pornic

    July 4, 2017 in France

    We arrived in Pornic yesterday lunchtime and headed towards A6west the berth that we had been allocated when I we called earlier. Thank goodness a kind French lady helped us, there wasn't much wind so we thought we could reverse in, but wind caught the bow and we started to spin. Usually not too big a problem but boats on this Ponton are expensive see photos. But after a bit of pulling and pushing and putting finger pontoon under strain we were in. After lunch we checked in and then wandered into town beautiful though perhaps a little busier that I we are used to but it is now the French holidays. Today we prepared a packed lunch and took kayaks along the coast the way we had come as saw some cute little bays yesterday and a serene looking cafe. White brollies blue deckchairs tiled roof. Nice easy paddle quick dip for me and then ice-cream on the return. This eve we went to night market and I bought a torteau fromage looked good will try tomorrow, it was 30degs at 19:30 hottest part of day. still hoping to do a bit of anchoring so might be few days till next post, keep warm.Read more

  • Day97

    It's now friday 21st july and we are in Port Bourgenay. After 2nights at anchor off Port Meule on Ile d'Yeu(last photo) the wind picked up and we decided to move on, the original plan was Sable but the waves were rolling us from side to side so we changed direction and headed towards St Gilles again but as we got closer to shore waves eased so we hugged the coast around to Sable and saw our first pod of dolphins not a big pod and dolphins were small but at last we have seen some, they must have been feeding as there were also Terns diving into sea around them.
    Sable d'olonne is very developed, the first row of buildings on the sea front are almost all high rises, on the day we arrived it was still very hot and the beach was mobbed. Luckily the Port Olona marina is actually closer to the La Chaume side of the estuary and this is much quieter and for us nicer. On second day we did washing and shopping and had a good mooch around attached is photo of shell art, there were two streets which had decorated the walls with shell pictures. Also photos of Al buildings on the La Chaume side. We also checked timings for trip to Marans the next day. We would have to be up around 7 to have time to fill up with fuel and then get to the canal lock for high-water when it opened.
    But best laid plans and all that, we did fuel up took about an hour but that was OK but once we got out onto the open sea it was very lumpy with random large waves, Johnny says sea was 5-6 even though not a lot of wind and after an hour of tipping and tilting we were checking our options as another 5hours of the same was not good and found Port Bourgenay only 9 miles along coast and headed in.
    It's entry in the Almanac is its a good stopover but nothing there, OK so only cafés restaurants and marina stuff at port but a shop 500m up road and tourist office and facilities was clean and for us main bonus is it isn't very busy. More on next post as only 6 photos per post
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  • Day13

    Montsoreau

    August 12, 2016 in France

    A very sunny and beautiful 40 miles along La Loire, lots of lovely wide sandy beaches and the prettiest village called Le Thoureil right on the waters edge (we're going to live there, obvs).

    Spent the afternoon looking around Montsoreau Chateau, stunning but unfortunately hosting a contemporary art exhibition which neither of us could understand. A lot of staring with blank faces!!!

    Went to Saumur Chateau this morning. Bigger and grander, much more up Olly's rue. Now enjoying an enormous beer before we head back to camp and Olly embarks on his mission to shed some trailer weight, something he has become verging on obsessed with in the last few days... first victim is the much loved air matress :( followed by 'cutting out sections of tent'.

    Update on how much sleep we get tonight awaits...
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  • Day70

    La Turballe Festi Vent

    June 24, 2017 in France

    Cycled to La Turballe this afternoon after a busy morning shopping at the local market. They were celebrating the wind. Lots of giant kites and mini windmills, as well as synchronised kites, windsurfers, kite surfing and sailing we had a great time and finished it off by buying a little fish wind sock and eating a sorbet delicious

You might also know this place by the following names:

Pays de la Loire, Países da Loira, بايي دو لا لوار, Pays de la Loire suyu, Luara torpağı, Землі Луары, Пеи дьо ла Лоар, Broioù al Liger, País del Loira, Луаран латтанаш, Pays-de-la-Loire, Luarlandoj, Países del Loira, پیی دو لا لوآر, Payis de la Lêre, Países do Loira, פיי דה לה לואר, Zemlja Loire, Loire-mente, Լուարայի երկիր, Lando di Loire, Paesi della Loira, ペイ・ド・ラ・ロワール地域圏, ლუარის რეგიონი, 페이드라루아르, Pagi Ligeris, Luaros kraštas, Luāra, Лоарски Крај, पेई दा ला लोआर, Païses de Léger, ਪੇ ਡ ਲਾ ਲੁਆਰ, Kraj Loary, Pais ëd la Lòira, لوائیر وادی, País do Loire, Земли Луары, Paisi dâ Loira, Loire, Регион Лоара, แคว้นเปอีเดอลาลัวร์, Пеї-де-ла-Луар, پئی دو لا لوار, ლუარაშ რეგიონი, 卢瓦尔河地区

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