SAINT-NAZAIRE : « THE SEA TOWN »
Saint-Nazaire is located in the Loire-Atlantique département, in the Pays de Loire economic region; it is part of Brittany. It is famous for its port, which reflects the town’s history, and its shipyards, in themselves a strong economic focus. The town has risen to the challenge of creating a genuine, dynamic and original tourist and cultural offer centred on the docks.
People here call Saint-Nazaire “the sea town”. It currently offers a wide and varied range of possibilities allowing visitors to have a wonderful time in the area.
As part of your stroll, why not board a boat for a trip round the port, taking you through Saint-Nazaire’s historical and maritime past? And take a look at the “Escal’Atlantique”, the only museum of its kind in Europe, devoted to the world of the liner. Not forgetting to visit the French submarine Espadon, moored in the fortified lock of Saint-Nazaire’s port, or Saint-Nazaire’s cultural heritage museum, its shipyards, the Airbus site with a guide, and much more.
If you enjoy swimming, you will feel thoroughly spoiled – another nickname for Saint-Nazaire is “the town with twenty beaches”, and they stretch along the wonderful coast of the Côte d’Amour..
CITY OF ART, HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE
Saint-Nazaire is also well known for its art and architecture, including one of the most beautiful examples of Neolithic art in the entire region – the tumulus in Dissignac. This 6000-year-old funerary monument is 28 metres in diameter; it is one of the most outstanding prehistoric sites in the region, and is officially classified as a historical monument.
Don’t miss what the locals call quite simply “the dolmen” – a 6000-year-old megalithic group standing proudly not far from the town centre. Its pillars are 2 metres high, its table weighs 7 tonnes, and its menhir is 4 metres high.
TAKE A WALK OR A BIKE RIDE
If you aren’t tempted by just lazing on the beach, you can set off on a walk or bike ride to discover the creeks, the cliffs, and the coastal path previously used by Customs officers and boasting a magnificent viewpoint out to sea, or along the sea front, which has been totally redeveloped, planted with flowers, and widened to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.
For cyclists, the local authorities for the town and the estuary area have developed 170 km of cycle tracks that will take you along the coast, on the sea front, and along country roads.
TINTIN PASSED THROUGH SAINT-NAZAIRE
The final must-visit place is the town’s tribute to Tintin. An entire episode of “The Seven Crystal Balls” story takes place here in Saint-Nazaire, as Hervé’s world-famous young reporter sets out to find the kidnapped Professor Calculus.