Located at the confluence of the Loire and the Erdre, the city of Nantes is the historic capital of Brittany. A perfect place to stroll, the old town of Nantes invites visitors to discover the Gothic-style cathedral of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, the 15th century castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the old quarter of Le Bouffay and its half-timbered houses, the 18th and 19th century buildings, the Quai de la Fosse bordering the Loire or the shipowners' buildings on Île Feydeau. In order for you to be able to choose the best suited accommodation for your needs, we suggest that you quickly get in touch with the hosts on HomeCamper. If you want to spend your stay directly with the locals of the area who can share their knowledge of the region with you, don't hesitate to book your stay in advance!
Nantes brings together a number of must-see attractions on a relatively small area, combining history and culture, original attractions and green spaces, architecture and leisure. Here are some sites not to be missed:
First and foremost, the Cathedral of St. Peter St. Paul and its crypts. Its first stone was laid in 1434, and the construction was completed in 1893. It has a facade with two towers, not in granite as most buildings in the western region, but in white stone. Its vaults are almost 40 metres high, and inside the monument there is the tomb of Francis II and Marguerite de Foix, a Renaissance masterpiece, and in the crypt there is the cathedral treasure, a collection of various remarkable pieces.
The castle of the Dukes of Brittany is a superb building with a refined architecture, and which is freely accessible. It contains a museum that bears witness to 5 centuries of history, in a magical setting, and you can also walk on the ramparts, in the courtyard, in the moat garden. A night visit with the lighting of the castle will leave you with an unforgettable memory.
Les Machines de l'ile: If you have children, this is the place not to be missed! At the site of the former shipyards, on the island of Nantes, you will discover monumental machines that seem to come from Jules Verne's novels, and you can even climb on them. You will travel on the Great Elephant (it can carry 49 passengers!) while observing from the inside the machinery that drives it, or you will venture into the Musical Marine Worlds to meet amazing creatures, while a gigantic heron will fly over you.
The Plant Garden houses a vast collection of rare plants, but there are also medicinal plants, varieties of flowers, camellias and magnolias, greenhouses for cacti, and even goats, as well as games for children.
The Graslin district has been redeveloped so that people can enjoy its elegance. Along the semi-pedestrian streets, you can admire its square, opera house, fountain, shops and terraces, which bear witness to the richness of the city and the urban architecture of the 17th and 19th centuries.
The Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery: a moving testimony to the time when Nantes was the first French slave port, this memorial is located on an esplanade, quai de la Fosse, planted with plants, and where 2000 commemorative plaques are placed.
The Island of Nantes is 5 km long and one km wide and connects the north and south of the city. It is going through a period of major restructuring, which aims to bring together housing and shops, services and green spaces, old and new architecture.
Also worth seeing are the Basilica of Saint Nicolas, Place Royale, Rue Crébillon, Passage Pommeraye under its elegant glass roof, Cours Cambronne, Quai de la Fosse as well as the Musée de l'Imprimerie!
Nantes is a good example of a temperate oceanic climate. Humidity is very present all year round, although temperatures can be very mild, even hot in summer. In general, precipitation is not very intense, but is present throughout the year. We still advise you to plan your visit to Nantes around the summer for warmer temperatures and overall better weather conditions!
Whether you own a caravan, a motorhome, or a van, get ready for a roadtrip filled with unique camping and sightseeing experiences!