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The Loire estuary: the end of the Loire Valley

With Saint-Nazaire on one side and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins on the other, the Loire estuary marks the point where the waters of the river flow into the sea. It is also the end of the Loire à Vélo cycle route. Set out to explore the estuary from Nantes, where the proximity of the ocean can already be felt with the rising and lowering of the tide. From the ducal city of Nantes to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins, explore the quaint villages of Trentemoult and Paimboeuf, the works of art of the Estuaire itinerary and the impressive bridge of Saint-Nazaire.

From the Île de Nantes to Paimboeuf

The great journey of the estuary starts in Nantes and leads to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins, where the Loire Valley and the Loire à Vélo route both end.

After the Île de Nantes and the pretty fishing village of Trentemoult, you will see a number of water channels and small towns, up to the little port of Paimboeuf and then onto Donges. It is at this point that the estuary starts to widen.

A large wetland area, the estuary plays an important role in the region, particularly in the Grand-Lieu Lake and the marshes of Brière and Guérande. Marshes and wetland areas form a flourishing green space here covering 18,000 hectares, created through the interaction between humans and nature, and shared by 300 farmers, 250 hydraulic structures, 700 flowering plants and 250 species of birds!

Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins: the end of the estuary and the start of the coast

Before you stands the impressive bridge of Saint-Nazaire which is 60 metres tall and over 3 km long.

It connects the port city of Saint-Nazaire, on the other side of which is the Guérande peninsular and the Bay of Baule, to the seaside resort of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, situated just north of Pornic and the Côte de Jade (the Jade Coast).
Here, you will discover pretty fishing huts on stilts and the enormous “Serpent d’Océan”, a work of art from the Nantes Estuaire itinerary.

This permanent work is just one of many along the estuary! Along your riverside journey you will already have noticed “Les Anneaux" by Buren on the Île de Nantes, the “Villa Cheminée” in Cordemais as well as the “Maison dans la Loire” in Couëron.

Accommodation nearby
Are you looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, gite or traditional horse-drawn caravan? Discover all our accommodation ideas for your stay in the Loire Valley.