Situated at the mouth of the Loire River, the town of Saint-Nazaire is famous for its port facilities and shipyards. The port's attractions include Escal'Atlantic international ocean liner centre, situated in the former submarine base, a heritage museum tracing the history of Saint-Nazaire, the Esapdon submarine, which is open to visitors, and the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard which specialises in building cruise liners. The terrace on the submarine base roof offers a good view of the whole port and its installations.
In August, the city takes on a festive feel with Escales, a world music event.
In the midst of this city built in the second half of the 19th century, there are plenty of sites and other monuments to remind us of the industrial richness of Saint-Nazaire and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
Mainly focused on the sea and the naval industry, tourism in Saint-Nazaire is an opportunity to admire incredible sites, starting with the Escal'Atlantic. This former submarine base of more than 3,700 m² is dedicated entirely to the era of large transatlantic liners. The tour itself is conceived as a cruise, with a crew staff who welcomes you to discover the engine rooms, the entrepont or the dining room.
Shipyards can also be visited through a coach circuit in the former Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The opportunity to observe huge ships, and learn a little more about how they are made. In the same way, the Airbus site can also be visited.
Facing the estuary, the eco-museum of Saint-Nazaire is a real mine of information about the city. He recounts his history from Prehistory to the present day, notably talking about the shipbuilding and the Second World War which ravaged the city.
The French Army submarine, now disarmed, is located in a fortified lock and can now be visited. We discover the life of the sailors aboard this impressive building.
Beautiful site of the Neolithic, the tumulus of Dissignac, located on the outskirts of the city, recalls the old past of the Loire-Atlantique, with its 6 000 years of existence.
Saint-Nazaire is surrounded by twenty exceptional beaches, four of which have the Blue Flag label for their cleanliness and purity of water. Various water sports can be practiced there such as windsurfing, or even kitesurfing. Not far away, a trail of the Douaniers offers a beautiful hiking trail to admire the view of the Atlantic Ocean.
A haven of peace, the gardens of Océanis allow to admire, on almost 14 hectares, the best of Atlantic and Mediterranean flora. Bamboos, palm trees and lavender rub shoulders with local oak and poplars.
Known for its industrial wealth, the city of Saint-Nazaire has nevertheless a strong cultural activity, notably thanks to many events and other festivals that mark the entire year.
In January, place at the Folle Journée. Created in 2005, this activity takes place in several towns in the Pays de la Loire and offers classical music concerts for three days. The opportunity to appreciate the talents of great international musicians, and to learn about this musical genre.
Every year in March, the arts school of Saint-Nazaire proposes the festival Croisesments des arts. For two weeks, exhibitions, conferences, performances and shows are held throughout the city. All this is central to digital creation and its various possibilities.
The Grande Marée takes place in June, on the beach of Saint-Nazaire. This giant picnic gives the opportunity to enjoy a friendly and warm moment, opening the ball of the summer festivities. In the streets, concerts, circus shows or even a guinguette, the city is animated.
Festival of world music recognized in Europe, Les Escales places its suitcases at Saint-Nazaire in August. More than 30,000 people flock every year to discover the heads of posters and the discoveries that take place in shows on the harbor.