The Loire, France’s longest river, crosses the region of the Pays de la Loire and empties into the Atlantic. With its many confluent streams, it forms a beautiful water meadow landscape. The untouched scenery along the around 450 km long littoral consists of long fine sand beaches, rocky coastlines, and an exceptional flora and fauna. Attractive destinations for nature lovers are the marshes of Marais Poitevin (also called the “green Venice”) that you can discover on the traditional boat, or the Regional Natural Parks Brière, Loire-Anjou-Touraine and Normandie-Maine. You should not miss a detour to the Côte de Lumière with its scenic and unspoiled off-shore islands d’Yeu and Noirmoutier. Beach and watersports lovers will be drawn to the seaside resorts La Baule-Escoublac, Sables-d’Olonne, Pronic and Saint-Jean-de-Monts, hot spots for wind and kite surfing or beach lovers. Nantes, the region’s capital offers a great choice of interesting museums and beautiful gardens, further highlights are the Château des Ducs de Bretagne and the Basilica Saint-Nicholas. Culture enthusiasts will find what their hearts desire in the cities of Art and History such as Anger, Laval, Nantes and Le Mans. Impressive megaliths and standing stones give evidence of the Gallic area. Along the Loire, “the royal river”, the region is home to the splendid Chateaux de la Loire, among them the renowned castles Montreuil-Bellay, Montsoreau, Saumur and Anger, witnesses of the extravagant lifestyle of the French Princes and Kings who knew very well why they took up residence in this “ Garden of France”.