La Baule, or La Baule-Escoublac, is a city in the département of Loire-Atlantique, in the region of Pays de la Loire, in France. It is one of the most popular and longest beaches on the French Atlantic coast, and it prides itself of being "one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe". It is bordered by the two smaller beach-towns of Le Pouliguen (which has given the name to the "Baie du Pouliguen") and Pornichet.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- 1 Tourism Office of La Baule, 8, place de la Victoire, BP 161, 44500 La Baule-Escoublac, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Jul–Aug: daily 09:30–19:00; Oct–Mar: M–Sa 10:00–12:30 14:00–18:00, Su 10:00–13:00; Oct–Mar: M–Sa 10:00–12:30 14:00–18:00, Su 10:00–13:00 15:00–17:00.
- 2 Tourism Office of Pornichet, 3 boulevard de la République, BP 11, 44380 Pornichet, ☏ , fax: . Jul–Aug: M–Sa 09:15–19:00, Su 09:30–18:30; Apr–Jun: M–Sa 09:30–13:00 14:00–18:00, Su 10:00–13:00 14:00–18:00; Oct–Mar: M–Sa 10:00–13:00 14:00–17:30, closed on Sunday.
- 1 La Baule-Escoublac Airport (LBY IATA), Allée de l'aéropostale, 44500 La Baule. Have no scheduled flight.
La Baule is about one hour drive from Nantes.
- See also: Rail travel in France
La Baule-Escoublac train station is accessible directly by high-speed train from Paris (Montparnasse station) in three hours. You can also reach it directly from the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in about four hours. From Nantes, traveling with the regional train (TER) is slightly longer but cheaper, and no reservation is needed. As of 2018, trips from Nantes takes 1 hour and €15.30 by TER; or 52 min for around €20 by TGV. La Baule is 3 hours from Paris-Montparnasse for €35-60 by TGV. Except for Paris TGV, visitors coming from other cities will have to change in Nantes.
- 2 Gare de La Baule-Escoublac, Place Rhin et Danube, 44500 La Baule. TER Pays de la Loire line 1 (Nantes-Saint-Nazaire-Le Croisic), TER 200 Interloire line 5 (Orleans-Tours-Nantes-Le Croisic), TGV Atlantique (from Paris-Montparnasse).
- 3 Gare de La Baule-Les Pins, Place Antoine de la Perrière, 44500 La Baule. This station don't sale ticket.
- 4 Gare de Pornichet, Place Aristide Briand, 44380 Pornichet.
The beach is 8 kilometres (5 mi) long, and has fine, white sand, and very little waves. The best time to go there is July and August, when the water temperature gets to 20 degrees Celsius (68 °F) or more. The rest of the year, it is much colder.
When you want to go swimming near "plage Benoit" (west of the casino), you should check the tide schedule because when it is low, you can walk for half an hour and only get knee-deep in the water. Towards the centre and eastern side of the bay the beach is steeper, allowing swimming at low tide but producing more shore break.
- 1 Casino Barrière (Casino de La Baule-Escoublac), 24, esplanade Lucien Barrière (near the beach), ☏ . Su–Th 09:00–03:00, F–Sa 09:00–04:00; Table games: 21:00–03:00 daily.
The main shopping street, in the middle of La Baule, is the Avenue du Général de Gaulle.
Crêpes restaurant (crêperies) are numerous and cheap. Seafood is also a good choice: mussels, prawns, crab...
- 1 Le Bidule, 122, Avenue de Mazy, 44380 Pornichet (near the Pornichet train station, 5 min by foot from the beach), ☏ . Sep–Jun: Tu–Sa 10:00–13:30 & 17:30–21:00, Su 10:00–13:30, closed on Sunday afternoon and Monday; Jul–Aug: daily 10:00–13:30 & 17:30–21:00. The Bidule has been a must-go for a drink before dinner for the last 40 years.