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Ophorus Tours - Nantes

Loire Valley

Nantes

Welcome to Nantes, one of the most dynamic cities of France. This artist city located on the banks of the River Loire was founded by the Celts and a long time part of the Duchy of Brittany. The world's first public transport started here in 1826 and the mazterful rehabilitation of the Island of Nantes has made it one of the most attractive cities of France today.

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Learn more about Nantes

Nantes Travel Guide (Loire Valley, France) Welcome to Nantes, one of the most dynamic cities of France. This artst city located on the banks of the River Loire was founded by the Celts and a long time part of the Duchy of Brittany. The world's first public transport started here in 1826 and the mazterful rehabilitation of the Island of Nantes has made it one of the most attractive cities of France today. The mid-sized city of Nantes is located in the north-western part of France, close to the Atlantic Ocean and about 340 kilometers (215 miles) south-west of Paris. Coined as the hub of Western France, it was the historic capital of the Duchy of Brittany. Today it is the Capital of the Pays de ...

Nantes Travel Guide (Loire Valley, France)

Welcome to Nantes, one of the most dynamic cities of France. This artst city located on the banks of the River Loire was founded by the Celts and a long time part of the Duchy of Brittany. The world's first public transport started here in 1826 and the mazterful rehabilitation of the Island of Nantes has made it one of the most attractive cities of France today.

The mid-sized city of Nantes is located in the north-western part of France, close to the Atlantic Ocean and about 340 kilometers (215 miles) south-west of Paris. Coined as the hub of Western France, it was the historic capital of the Duchy of Brittany. Today it is the Capital of the Pays de La Loire region.

A bit of History

The City of Nantes has always been an important commercial harbor with its River Port and the fact that the Ocean was just a few miles away. During the 16th century and even more the 17th century, Nantes rapidly became one of the major ports of France. Coastal Navigation and export of local goods such as salt, local wines and fabrics dominated the local economy. The import of sugar, rum and tobacco from the French West Indies ment that Nantes shipowners began trading african slaves in the early 1700's. 

The abolition of the slave trade as well as the French Revolution resulted in an economic decline but the city was able to recover thanks to the industrial revolution mainly in the shipbuilding and food processing activities. During World War II, the city was bombed late 1943 to destroy the industrial facilities. The Germans left the city in the beginning of August 1944 and it was swiftly reclaimed by the local resistance, the French Forces and the U.S Army.

Since the 1990's, Nantes has developed a very rich cultural scene and a great example of this is the former factory of the Legendary Lu Biscuits that has been transformed in a multifaceted arts venue that attracts many acts from all over. The venue includes a national stage, an exhibition hall, a bar & restaurant and even Turkish Baths.

Thing to see & do in Nantes

One of the most famous landmarks of Nantes is certainly the Castles of the Dukes of Brittany. This mighty medieval fortress is protected by huge moats and surrounded by towers that have the typical Breton pyramid-shaped firing slits. The Castle houses the History of Nantes Museum taking you back 500 years. This is the place to visit if you want to discover the history of Nantes.

Another very popular attraction are the Machines de l'Ile and the Sea World merry go round. This is where great ships were built in the past. Today, acclaimed scenographers have imagined giant articulated animals that you can actually ride on. At a crossroad between Jules Verne and Leonardo de Vinci, these urban sculptures are a life-time experience for children and parents alike.

Other important sights to visit while in Nantes include the St Peter and Paul Cathedral with its interior built in the local tufa stone and that houses the tomb of Francis II. The indoor shopping mall of Passage Pommeraye is also not to be missed. Dating back to 1843 it is one of Nante's most famous buildings with its metal and wooden staircase.

Popular Day Trips & Activities outside Nantes

Nantes makes for a great departure point towards the whole Loire Valley that is a Unesco World Heritage Site. On a day trip from Nantes you can easily reach some of the most famous Renaissance castles of the area such as Château de Chambord and Clos Lucé. Another great option is to head towards one of the many wine regions and participate in wine tasting sessions of different Loire Valley wines.

One of the most popular activities of the area is to discover the region during a hot air balloon ride. The Loire River in France is a perfect location for a balloon ride as the landscape is stunning all along the River that is lined with elegant castles and elsewhere covered with vines.

Our Shore Excursions from Nantes Cruise Port

As a leading service provider we organize private shore excursions from Nantes. If your cruise ship is in Nantes Port of Call and you wish to experience a small group personalized tour then don't hesitate to contact us.

LOIRE VALLEY WINE TOUR SHORE EXCURSION FROM NANTES

Embark on a vibrant Shore Excursion from Nantes Port of Call to the surrounding wine region! 

Today, we will come and pick you up at your Cruise Ship in Nantes Cruise Port. Meet your English speaking driver who will go over the itinerary and program of the day. Your day trip to the Nantes wine region tour includes the visit of 2 local wineries as well as a stop in the beautiful village of Clisson. After this short introduction to the day, board your air conditioned vehicle and begin to make your way to the wine region of Nantes.

Discover the Muscadet wine producing region

After a short drive, reach the Muscadet wine producing region located at the western end of the Loire Valley. The name of Muscadet wine is quite unusual as it is said that it means a wine that has a musk like taste.

The main grape variety used in the making of this wine is known as Melon de Bourgogne and it is the Dutch, who were quite active on the wine market in the 17th century, that requested that this grape be planted here. From the wines made in those days, the Dutch would distill it and transform it into eau-de-vie which was then shipped to northern Europe.

Once you have reached the wine growing region, your private tour will take you to the visit of one of the most famous wineries of the area. This family owned estate produces some of the most fragrant and delicate white wines of the area.

The very old vines, some having been planted in 1937, are deeply rooted in the local terroir that brings to the wine its minerality and freshness. During harvest time, all grapes are hand picked to insure a high standard of quality. Here, you will find out about the wine making process and participate in a wine tasting session.

After the visit, you will have the opportunity to feast on local specialties in a selected restaurant (meal & drinks are not included in price). This ancient Inn is located in an old vineyard house set in the middle of the vines.

Visit the lovely small town of Clisson

After lunch, reach the wonderful village of Clisson one of the most popular attractions in the area. From an impressive stone built bridge, the view of the village of Clisson and its medieval castle is stunning. A small part of Italy on the doorsteps of Brittany, this lovely small town impresses with its Italian style architecture combined with numerous parks and gardens. After some free time for personal discovery, your full day tour will continue with the visit of another local winery. 

Welcome to Nantes, one of the most dynamic cities of France. This artst city located on the banks of the River Loire was founded by the Celts and a long time part of the Duchy of Brittany. The world's first public transport started here in 1826 and the mazterful rehabilitation of the Island of Nantes has made it one of the most attractive cities of France today.

End the tour with another wine tasting session

Follow your tour guide and reach the winery. The domaine has been producing wines since 1680 and it is now the 9th generation of winemakers. The range of wines produced here include reds, whites and rosés but the flagship wine of the estate is the Muscadet Sèvre et Main sur Lie.

The property spans over 30 hectares and the vines are grown respecting the biodiversity and the soils. The owners are engaged in a sustainable viticulture with high respect for the environment, with a natural cover planting. Participate in a wine tasting session and then return to your Cruise Ship in Nantes.

LOIRE VALLEY CASTLES SHORE EXCURSION FROM NANTES

This morning, we will come and pick you up at your Cruise Ship in Nantes. Meet your English speaking driver who will go over the itinerary and program of the day with you. Today we have selected unique experiences for you especially if you are interested in the Castles of the Loire.

Nantes being a bit too far to reach the most famous châteaux of the Loire such as Azay le Rideau or Chambord, we have nonetheless included some great visits to chateaus that are rated 3*** on the Green Michelin Tourism Guide. Begin your full day private shore excursion, board your air conditioned vehicle and start to make your way to the Loire Valley and its castles.

Visit the highest castle of France

Welcome to the historic Anjou region of France that will be on your program today. After a short drive, reach the first Loire Valley Castle, Château de Brissac. The Palace of the Dukes of Brissac is the highest Chateau of France measuring around 48 meters high.

It is flanked by two massive medieval towers, with a Baroque type façade and Toscan style Pilasters - Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. There are no less than 204 rooms that cover 8000 square meters and that include a theater. The park is also a delight to visit.

Then off to Angers, the Capital of Anjou

Arrive in Angers, the ancient Capital of one of the most emblematic regions of France: Anjou. Home to the Plantagenet dynasty - yes you know them - Henri II & Alienor of Aquitaine parents of Richard Lion Heart - the town of Angers was one of the most flourishing towns of Renaissance France. The city was built around the massive 13th century medieval fortress ordered by King Louis IX (Saint Louis) who wanted to affirm his military power.

If you do have some time to visit the fortress, do not miss the extraordinary Apocalypse Tapestry which is a masterpiece of medieval Art. In Angers, you will have free time to visit on your own and at your pace. It will be in Angers that you will also have some time for lunch so don't hesitate to ask your driver some recommendations.

End the day with the Visit of Chateau de Serrant

Chateau de Serrant is probably one of the most well furnished castles of France. The castle has an amazing collection of furniture and works of Art that span over a time period of more than four centuries. As you visit, discover magnificent apartments, a huge library, multiple rooms and a convivial atmosphere as the house has always been inhabited. After the visit of the Chateau, we will head back to Nantes and drop you off at your Cruise ship in Nantes Cruise port.

Follow your tour guide and reach the winery. The domaine has been producing wines since 1680 and it is now the 9th generation of winemakers. The range of wines produced here include reds, whites and rosés but the flagship wine of the estate is the Muscadet Sèvre et Main sur Lie.

The property spans over 30 hectares and the vines are grown respecting the biodiversity and the soils. The owners are engaged in a sustainable viticulture with high respect for the environment, with a natural cover planting. Participate in a wine tasting session and then return to your Cruise Ship in Nantes.

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FAQ

  • What is Nantes famous for?

    Nantes is famous for being one of the best cities to live in France. The city is home to a large number of attractions & historical buildings of which the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is probably the most famous. Nantes is also famous for being the city where the acclaimed Giant Articulated Machines are located. Ride an Elephant, an Ant or a Spider and step into a world at a crossroad between Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Is Nantes worth visiting?

    Yes, absolutely. Nantes is one of the most pleasant cities of France to visit. It has a very large number of attractions & sights, a great artistic scene, is located very close to a large wine region - which can never be a bad thing - and is the gateway to the Loire Valley Renaissance castles trail. A city break can be a good introduction but if you want to really enjoy both the town and the area you will certainly need more than 2 days.
  • How far is Nantes from Paris?

    The distance between Paris and Nantes is about 343 kilometers (215 miles). The average train journey from Paris to Nantes is approximately of 2 hours and a half.
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