Pays de la Loire forms a “région” in western France along the Atlantic Ocean and is bounded to the north by Brittany and Normandy, to the east by the Centre and to the south by Poitou-Charentes.
The Pays de la Loireregion consists of 5 départements: the Mayenne ( département 53), the Sarthe ( département 72), the Loire-Atlantique (département 44), the Maine-et-Loire (département 49) and the Vendee (département 85).
Pays de la Loire ’s population is 3.35 million and its surface area is 32,000 km².
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Town property guides
|Beaufort en Vallee||La Chartre sur le Loir||Pouance|
|Chateau du Loir||La Chataigneraie||Pouzauges|
|Fontevraud||Lassay les Chateaux||Vouvant|
From the chateau at Saumur to the Pont de Saint-Nazaire, via the La Cédraie garden at Champtoceaux, the Tour d’Oudon, the Folies Siffait au Cellier or the Mont bGlone at St-Florent-le-Vieil, there is no shortage of panoramic viewpoints over the Loire and its valley.
Here are some of the most famous castle in this region:
Castle of Chenonceau:
Castle of Amboise:
Castle of Blois:
Castle of Chambord:
The Loire River
The islands of the Loire are remarkable areas of Loire-based identity. In the Pays de la Loire, there are around sixty islands: Ile de la Liberté, Belle-île, Iles aux Oies, Ile Batailleuse and Ile au Dame are just a few of the evocative names born by the Loire islands. Sometimes flooded, sometimes inhabited, the charm of these emerged lands, coupled with their benevolent atmosphere will know how to seduce you.
Where the Loire meets the Ocean…
The sea’s influence on the river is already in evidence as far upstream as Nantes, 50 km away.The movement of the tides is perceptible. Wherever you look, you are at the doors of the ocean. Fisherman’s cabins, reedy marshes, old ports such as the one at Paimboeuf… For a clear view of the Loire just before it pours into the ocean, go to the bridge in Saint-Nazaire: it’s one of the longest in Europe!
The delights of the sea
Traditionally farmed mussels on the pilings in the bay of the Aiguillon, typically coloured “Vendée Atlantique” oysters, found at the port du Bec, anchovies and sardines from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and La Turballe, prawns and clams we caught ourselves on the beach… In the Pays de la Loire, your seafood platter shows imagination!
La Baule , Le Pouliguen and Pornichet
9 km of pale sandy coves, endless coastline, a sea that becomes a nautical stadium, at high tide… You’re on the Côte d’Amour. At Pornichet, the innovative ‘Station Kid’ label enables children and their parents to enjoy diving. Right in the centre of the bay, ‘chic et choc’, La Baule is a concentrate of luxury boutiques, friendly restaurants, and stunning villas. At the end of the promenade, Le Pouliguen offers a unique view of the bay!
The most famous of Vendée’s beaches. Home of the mythical high seas race, the Vendée Globe, Les Sables-d’Olonne marina is also home to over a thousand vessels.
Laval , the beautiful medieval city
A chocolate-box chateau towering over a river, a maze of charm-laden medieval streets, one of the most beautiful museums of naïve art in the world, and a splendid religious heritage. But Laval, that is also the traditional Saturday morning market, where the stalls of local vegetable, poultry and dairy producers overflow with good things.
Le Puy du Fou
Chariot-races at the Gallo-Roman stadium, a Viking raid on the Fort de l’An Mil, fantastic cavalcades at the Bataille du Donjon… Each show is hot on the heels of the last in this 40-hectare landscaped park. At nightfall, “Cinéscénie” invites you to a giant fresco where, on a 23-hectare stage (the biggest in the world), 1,000 actors traverse iron, fire and light to recount the Puy du Fou saga. This show is truly unique in the world.
The 24 Heures du Mans
Every year 220,000 spectators make a beeline for the Bugatti track, driven by a single passion: the roaring of the engines! In this exceptional race, which is the longest in the world ( 13,650 km), the racing cars go by at more than 300 km per hour in finest Hunadière tradition… 24 hours of motoring, of laps around the track, of noise and high spirits. 100% adrenaline guaranteed! And, as night falls, village events add to the magic of the racetrack.
The wines and spirits
The savoir-faire of the Loire Valley wine-growers doesn’t stop at the production of the golden-coloured, dry white wine known as Jasnières. The Gamay-based reds, Pinot Noir or Pinot d’Aunis and the Saumur are also treasures to be tasted when your visit the cellars that are carved into the tufa. The wines here are aged in stone…to combine the pleasures of the eyes with the pleasures of the palate.
Alcohols and spirits: Secrets of the stills
Cointreau, the famous liqueur made with orange extracts, has been distilled in Angers since 1849. Guignolet, a cherry-flavoured apéritif, is also manufactured in the Angers region. At Saumur you can discover the Val de Loire’s oldest distillery, Combier. In Vendée, there are two other alcoholic drinks that are also typical of Pays de la Loire: Kamok, a coffee-based liqueur and Poiré, a pear-based drink made in Mayenne.
Art de vivre
Have you ever tasted a ‘beurre blanc’? This is a marvellous sauce to eat with your fish. Nantais or Angevin, the beurre blanc was born on the banks of the Loire.
If your prefer meat, allow yourself to be tempted by the muscadet-flavoured sausages or the rillauds d’Anjou (pork belly cooked in fat), served with Vendéen wood-oven baked breads. Curé Nantais or Port-Salut are amongst the most famous cheeses around.
In the Pays de la Loire, the early vegetables from the Val Nantais and especially the watercress offer a top quality range for the delectation of your taste-buds. The chicken that is so tender and tasty is free-range, at Challans or Loué, and fed exclusively on grain. In Sarthe, the rillettes are eaten simply with a slice of good bread: what a treat! The “jambon de Vendée” will always come up trumped, raw or cooked.
Tourism office in Pays de la Loire:
Flights from the UK
The region has three international airports: Tours , Nantes and Rennes.
Ryanair flies to Tours and Nantes.
Air France flies to Rennes, Tours and Nantes.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Pays de la Loire. We have a large network of partners in Pays de la Loire. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property for sale in Pays de la Loire matching your requirements.