With its 600 kilometers of bike lanes and its 7,000 bike parking spaces, Nantes is the 2nd most bike-friendly city in France! At the crossroads of two major cycling routes, the Vélodyssée and the Loire à Vélo, the city of the Dukes is a strategic city for cycling: day trips, weekend trips and even more! But today, we wanted to make you discover Nantes under another angle. That of slow tourism and soft mobility. Just like Paulette!
The Nantes tourist office has set up a pedestrian circuit to discover the city of Nantes. It takes the form of a green line, drawn on the ground, which you can find here. It is also possible to follow this line by bike!
Here are our personal favorites:
- Les Machines de l'Île: a fabulous site to discover! The Gallery houses a set of machines, built in the company's workshops and nicely staged. Maybe you will have the chance to climb on the majestic elephant. Measuring 12 meters high and 8 meters wide for 48.4 tons, it can accommodate about fifty people for an amazing journey. On the same site, you will find the Carrousel of the Marine Worlds, a giant carousel 25 meters high, housing 36 marine creatures. Finally, from the terraces of the workshop, you can watch the work of the builders, in a universe of steel and wood.
- The Rings: on the Quai des Antilles, a series of 18 rings facing the Loire River light up at night for a magical result.
- Trafic of Ador and Semor: on the Marquis-d'Aiguillon quay, it is a mural frieze inspired by travel and mobility (after all, you are on a bicycle) and created on one of the sheds of the seaport.
- The Passage Pommeraye: located in the Crébillon street, this building, classified as a historical monument, now houses a shopping mall. Of a certain architectural value, it has remained intact since its creation in 1843.
- Le Belvédère de l'Hermitage: designed by Tadashi Kawamata, it offers a magnificent panorama of the Loire from the butte Sainte-Anne.
- The Quai des Plantes: installed on the Quai de la Fosse, this ephemeral open-air nursery is the ideal place for a moment of relaxation! You can cross the Loire River from the Gare Maritime to the Pont Anne de Bretagne on your bike and admire its 1,400 trees of 200 different varieties. The green space also includes benches and deckchairs suitable for napping, all facing the Loire. Isn't life beautiful?
- The Jardin des Plantes: we remain in a green theme with this space housing more than 10,000 living species, 50,000 flowers and 800 square meters of greenhouses. While strolling through the park, you will cross the path of some permanent works: the Processionary Benches, the Giant Bench, or the Dormanron. Ideal for a bucolic stroll.
- The Dukes' Castle: last but not least! In the historical center of the city of Nantes stands the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, a landmark monument with its cathedral. It has 500 meters of ramparts, 7 towers and houses a 15th century ducal residence.
Finally, be sure to take a tour of Place Royale and the medieval district of Bouffay. You will find the Porte Saint-Pierre, remains of the old city walls, the Place du Change, the Apothecary's house, and many others with typical architecture. Go to the streets Sainte-Croix, de la Bâclerie and de la Juiverie.
If you have some time left, we invite you to visit some museums: the art museum, the natural history museum, and the Jules Vernes museum.
For a successful outing, remember to:
- Take regular breaks, especially when children are present
- Wear a helmet, mandatory for children under 12 years old
- Keep yourself hydrated and bring enough water
- Wear sunscreen
If you want to know more about the Vélodyssée, click here and here for the Loire à Vélo. Our article on 6 cycling trips around Nantes is available here. Finally, find our itineraries starting from Nantes here.
Stay tuned for new adventures with Paulette!
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