Pays de la Loire
The Pays de Loire is an extensive region of north-western France located broadly to the west and south-west of the French capital Paris, separated from it by the adjoining region of Centre-Val de Loire with which it shares many affinities. The Pays de Loire is somewhat more diverse, however, and has a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, forming the northern part of the Bay of Biscay, within the area known as the Vendée.
- Nantes - capital of the region
- Guerande — a walled city known for locally produced Breton salt in Salt Marshes
- La Baule
- Le Mans
- Les Sables d'Olonne
- Saint-Nazaire - a port town at the mouth of the Loire
- Puy du Fou historical theme park. With over 1,5 million visitors a year, this is one of the most popular attractions in the whole of France. It has 5 main attractions, including a birds of prey show and a Roman style gladiator fight and a number of smaller ones. All spectacles are in French, but for the main ones electronic translators are available. During peak season, there's a regular "Cinescene", a huge show depicting 700 years of history in the region, but you'll need to book separate tickets for it. €31 for adults, kids €22. Booking in advance will give a 3 euro discount..
The language here is much the same as the rest of France, with more northern than southern influences due to the influences from Paris, and basic French will be easily understood.
Travellers wishing to see more of the Loire Valley can continue further east into the adjoining Centre-Val de Loire region, studded with additional historical cities and chateaux at sites such as Bourges and Saint-Benoît-du-Sault.