Right after the Christmas frenzy, Mr A. and I left Paris for a small road trip around Brittany and our first stop was in Nantes.
We had been crazy busy travelling in November and December and the Christmas families reunions ended us! We were just desperately in need of time for ourselves and time together. When we arrived in Nantes, it felt like I was breathing again for the first time in a long while.
We arrived late afternoon and first checked in, in the Sozo Hotel. That alone made my day, as I had been dreaming of staying in a Church for a long time and it was everything I could hope for!
That first evening was perfect! We just strolled through the romantic streets of the old town which were still lit by the Christmas decoration, enjoyed crepes and cider (of course!!) in a charming crèperie and ended the evening relaxing in the hotel spa which was reserved for us. Everything we needed to relax and unwind.
The next day, after a perfect breakfast, we went back in the old town to explore.
Of course, we started by a tour of the Dukes of Brittany’s Castle. A surprising castle standing proudly in the city center and guarding the entrance of the old town.
Inside the main courtyard of the Dukes of Brittany castle
View of the medieval part of the castle
The entrance gate from the old town
The cutest duck playing in the moat of the castle
View from the castle on the LU Tour and the “Lieu Unique”
We went on to explore the old town, just appreciating the intimacy of the narrow streets and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
You should at least walk by the Saint Pierre & Saint Paul Cathedral.
D’artagnan, the most famous musketeer, arrested Nicolas Fouquet in front of it!
View of the city from the castle
I just loved this view of the Saint Croix Church and the different styles of the buildings mixing together.
We couldn’t leave Nantes without a stop at the Machines de l’Ile. There is something about the big warehouse which hosts the Grand Elephant and the other machines. It does feel like you have stepped into Jules Verne’s mind! Check out the official website to learn more about this artistic project. Link below.
There is much more to do, see an enjoy in Nantes. It really is a surprising city. A mix of new and old. Vibrant, and chill. It is rich in history and is today one of the most dynamic city in France. It received the European Green Capital Award in 2013 and is a new technology hub making it one of the most lively and innovative city in France. Totally worth a visit!!
Did I mention that Nantes is a stone throw from the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful beaches?
The Useful Links:
The Dukes of Brittany’s Castle: www.chateaunantes.fr
The Saint Pierre & Saint Paul Cathedral: www.cathedrale-nantes.cef.fr (only in French but useful to find out the opening time)
How to see the Grand Elephant? Check out the official web site: www.lesmachines-nantes.fr
Le Lieu Unique: www.lelieuunique.com
The best vegetarian / vegan & Organic restaurant in Nantes: http://le-bistrot-de-l-ile.blogspot.lu
Some super cool vegan friendly & ethic shopping: www.lestresorspartages.com
I will very soon give you a lot more details about the Dukes of Brittany’s Castle. In the mean time, you can check out the Suscinio castle, one of their favorite residence…