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    Gateway to the Loire Valley

    Easygoing and green, Nantes is the gateway to the Loire Valley. On a delta between the Loire, Erdre and Sèvre rivers, this once important port is now an innovation pioneer.

    A former shipyard, the Île de Nantes in the Loire now has bars, clubs and restaurants. However, its most intriguing feature is the Machines of the Isle of Nantes, a collection of weird and wonderful mechanical sculptures – you can even take a ride on the elephant.

    Across the river is the moat-surrounded Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, a fortified castle and former home of Breton Dukes. A few streets away is Nantes Cathedral, whose façade is reminiscent of the one in Reims. Place du Bouffay in the historic city center is home to many restaurants and bars, while the 19th-century shopping center Passage Pommeraye has a range of stores over 3 levels. For a taste of daily life head to Talensac market.

    Other Nantes attractions are the Japanese Garden at Île de Versailles in the Erdre, the former shipowners’ houses at Île Feydeau, and the Jules Verne Museum, celebrating the city’s most famous son.

    Don’t head to Nantes Airport from your hotel, apartment or B&B without having tried the local speciality – crêpes. Delicieux!