Western Loire, or Pays de la Loire, is a region of lush countryside covered in chateaux, stunning beaches including the 9km long expanse of fine sand at La Baule, and historic towns and cities where troglodyte caves are hidden underground, carved out of the beautiful soft white tuffeau stone.
As the Loire river runs west towards the Atlantic you will enter a peaceful region of leafy countryside, a gorgeous coastline and salt marshes, dotted with a wealth of châteaux and quiet, charming rural villages.
Here you'll find popular seaside resorts with plenty of family entertainment including St Jean de Monts, Les Sables d'Olonne and fashionable La Baule whose long crescent shaped beach is regarded as being the most beautiful in the country.
This is also a huge wine growing area and the vineyards of the red, white and fruity rosé vintages of Saumur and Anjou are amongst the first you will see when travelling south through western France. The dry white Muscadet which is so perfect with seafood is produced near the commercial port of Nantes - head to the city centre and treat yourself to a meal in one of the gourmet restaurants and sample this delicious wine at the same time (great shopping and sightseeing here too).
Amongst a host of other attractions is the amazing medieval theme park Puy du Fou near Les Epesses which features a 6,000 seat Roman coliseum complete with chariot races, gladiators and lions, an authentic medieval village and much, much more. It is highly recommended that you go for a full day (take a picnic!) and then stay until dark to watch the spectacular Cinéscénie show.