Saint-Herblain is a vibrant city located in the western part of France, just outside of Nantes. Known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and thriving cultural scene, Saint-Herblain offers visitors a diverse range of attractions and activities. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, enjoying outdoor adventures, or indulging in delicious cuisine, this city has something to offer for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Saint-Herblain, France.
1. Atlantis Shopping Center
Start your exploration in Saint-Herblain by visiting the Atlantis Shopping Center, one of the largest shopping complexes in France. Here, you can find a wide range of shops, boutiques, and department stores, offering everything from high-end fashion to local handicrafts. The center also features a variety of restaurants, cafes, and entertainment options, making it a great place to spend an entire day.
2. Jardin des Plantes de Nantes
Just a short distance from Saint-Herblain, you’ll find the Jardin des Plantes de Nantes, a stunning botanical garden. This beautifully landscaped garden spans over 7 hectares and features a vast collection of plants from around the world. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden, relax by the tranquil ponds, or visit the greenhouses to admire exotic plant species. The garden also hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year.
3. Château de Goulaine
History enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Château de Goulaine, located in the outskirts of Saint-Herblain. This medieval castle dates back to the 11th century and offers guided tours that take you through its impressive architecture and fascinating history. The castle is surrounded by stunning gardens and vineyards, and it’s also home to the Musée du Vignoble Nantais, where you can learn about the wine-making traditions of the region.
4. Parc de la Chézine
For outdoor lovers, Parc de la Chézine is a must-visit destination in Saint-Herblain. This expansive park covers over 56 hectares and is perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, or cycling along its numerous paths. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including beautiful gardens, woodlands, and a river. It’s a great place to relax and unwind amidst nature.
5. Le Chronographe
If you’re interested in archaeology and ancient history, make sure to visit Le Chronographe. This archaeological museum offers fascinating insights into the prehistoric and Gallo-Roman periods of the region. Discover ancient artifacts, interactive exhibits, and immersive displays that bring the past to life. The museum also organizes various workshops and activities for both adults and children.
6. Gastronomy and Local Cuisine
Saint-Herblain is located in the Pays de la Loire region, known for its exceptional culinary traditions. Take the opportunity to indulge in the local cuisine, which includes delicious seafood, regional cheeses, and the famous Muscadet wine. Explore the city’s restaurants and cafes to savor the flavors of the region and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.
7. Zenith Nantes Métropole
If you’re a fan of live performances and concerts, be sure to check out Zenith Nantes Métropole. This modern concert hall hosts a variety of shows, including music concerts, theatrical performances, and cultural events. Check the schedule to see if there are any performances that align with your visit and enjoy a memorable evening of entertainment.
8.Parc du Bignon
Located in the heart of Saint-Herblain, Parc du Bignon is a picturesque park that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. With its sprawling lawns, scenic walking paths, and beautiful flowerbeds, it’s an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. The park also features a lake where you can rent paddleboats during the warmer months.
9. Les Machines de l’Île
Just a short drive from Saint-Herblain in Nantes, you’ll find Les Machines de l’Île, a unique artistic project that combines mechanical sculptures with a whimsical atmosphere. Marvel at the grandeur of the Great Elephant, take a ride on the Carrousel des Mondes Marins (Marine Worlds Carousel), or explore the workshop where these extraordinary machines come to life. It’s an enchanting experience for both children and adults.
10. Nantes Cathedral
While visiting Saint-Herblain, take the opportunity to visit the nearby Nantes Cathedral, also known as Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul. This stunning Gothic cathedral is a masterpiece of architecture and boasts intricate stained glass windows, impressive vaulted ceilings, and ornate chapels. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.
11. Nantes History Museum
A short journey to Nantes will lead you to the Nantes History Museum, where you can delve into the city’s fascinating past. Housed in the magnificent Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the museum offers a comprehensive collection of exhibits that showcase the history, culture, and heritage of the region. Explore the castle grounds, walk along the ramparts, and discover the captivating stories of Nantes.
12. Beaches and Coastline
If you’re seeking some seaside relaxation, Saint-Herblain is conveniently located near the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic coast. Take a short drive to destinations such as La Baule, Pornic, or Saint-Nazaire to enjoy sandy shores, clear waters, and a range of water sports activities.
13. Château des Ducs de Bretagne
Venture to the heart of Nantes and explore the magnificent Château des Ducs de Bretagne. This medieval fortress-turned-museum provides insight into the history and heritage of the region. Wander through its well-preserved rooms, learn about the dukes of Brittany, and admire the impressive architecture. The castle also hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into various aspects of Nantes’ past and present.
14. Île de Nantes
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Discover the vibrant urban district of Île de Nantes, located along the Loire River. This former industrial area has been transformed into a creative hub filled with modern architecture, art installations, and innovative spaces. Take a stroll along the Quai des Antilles, visit the Machines de l’Île, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this revitalized neighborhood.
15. Musée d’Arts de Nantes
Art enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Musée d’Arts de Nantes. Located in the heart of Nantes, this museum houses an extensive collection of artworks spanning various periods and styles. From Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary art installations, the museum offers a diverse range of artistic experiences. The building itself is a work of art, blending historic and modern architecture seamlessly.
16. Planète Sauvage
Embark on an exciting safari adventure at Planète Sauvage, a unique animal park located near Saint-Herblain. Drive through the vast park and encounter a wide array of animals, including lions, elephants, zebras, and giraffes. You can also explore the walk-through areas to observe other fascinating creatures up close. Planète Sauvage offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and families alike.
17. Nantes River Cruises
Experience the beauty of the Loire River with a relaxing river cruise in Nantes. Hop aboard a boat and sail along the waterways, taking in panoramic views of the city’s landmarks and charming landscapes. Choose from different cruise options, including sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, and themed outings, to suit your preferences.
18. Guérande and the Salt Marshes
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Take a day trip to the picturesque town of Guérande, located not far from Saint-Herblain. Explore the well-preserved medieval walls, wander through its narrow streets lined with charming shops, and visit the Saint-Aubin Collegiate Church. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby salt marshes, where you can learn about the traditional salt harvesting techniques and witness the stunning natural scenery.
19. Puy du Fou
For a truly unique and immersive experience, visit Puy du Fou, located approximately an hour’s drive from Saint-Herblain. This historical theme park is known for its spectacular shows and reenactments that bring history to life. From epic battles to captivating performances, Puy du Fou offers a journey through different time periods, including the Viking era, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.
Take a short ferry ride across the Loire River from Nantes to the charming village of Trentemoult. Known for its colorful houses and artistic atmosphere, this former fishing village has been transformed into a trendy neighborhood with art galleries, cafes, and boutique shops. Explore the narrow streets, admire the vibrant facades, and enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the waterfront restaurants.
21. Machines de l’Île Workshop
Extend your visit to Les Machines de l’Île in Nantes by taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the workshop. Get an up-close look at the process of creating the mechanical wonders, meet the artisans and engineers, and gain a deeper understanding of the intricate craftsmanship involved in bringing these extraordinary machines to life.
22. La Baule-Escoublac
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Travel to the picturesque seaside resort of La Baule-Escoublac, located approximately an hour’s drive from Saint-Herblain. With its long sandy beach, elegant promenade, and Belle Époque architecture, La Baule-Escoublac offers a perfect setting for relaxation and leisure. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the shore, take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, or indulge in the various water sports activities available.
23. Passage Pommeraye
Visit the Passage Pommeraye in Nantes, a stunning 19th-century shopping arcade that is considered one of the most beautiful in France. This elegant passage features a spiral staircase, ornate architecture, and a variety of shops and boutiques. Take a leisurely stroll through the passage, admire the exquisite details, and indulge in some retail therapy.
24. Erdre River
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Explore the serene beauty of the Erdre River, which runs through Nantes and its surroundings. Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard and embark on a peaceful journey along the river. Enjoy the lush greenery, charming waterfront houses, and the tranquility of this picturesque waterway.
25. Château de Clisson
Venture to the town of Clisson, located just outside of Nantes, and visit the Château de Clisson. This medieval fortress stands majestically on the banks of the Sèvre Nantaise River and boasts impressive architectural features. Explore the castle’s ruins, wander through the picturesque town, and soak in the romantic ambiance.
26. Nantes Botanical Garden
Discover the beauty of nature at the Nantes Botanical Garden. Located in the heart of Nantes, this lush green oasis offers a peaceful retreat. Explore the various themed gardens, including a rose garden, Japanese garden, and medicinal plant garden. Take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply relax amidst the stunning flora and fauna.
27. Local Markets
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local markets in Saint-Herblain and its neighboring towns. Visit the market squares, such as Place du Commerce in Nantes, and explore the stalls filled with fresh produce, local specialties, and artisanal crafts. Engage with local vendors, sample regional delicacies, and soak in the lively ambiance.
28. Plage de l’Étang de la Roche
This picturesque beach is situated in the heart of the La Roche forest, offering a serene and natural setting. The beach is located on the shores of a small lake, surrounded by lush greenery. It’s an ideal spot for picnics, swimming, and enjoying a peaceful day in nature.
29. Plage de Porcé
Located near the town of Bouguenais, Plage de Porcé is a popular sandy beach along the Loire River. It features soft golden sand and is bordered by dunes and vegetation. The beach is known for its tranquil atmosphere and scenic views, making it a great place to relax and soak up the sun.
30. Plage de Saint-Nazaire
Situated in the nearby city of Saint-Nazaire, this expansive beach offers a wide stretch of sandy shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean. With its clear waters, soft sand, and well-maintained facilities, it attracts visitors of all ages. The beach provides ample space for sunbathing, beach games, and long walks along the shore.
31. La Baule Beach
While not directly in Saint-Herblain, La Baule Beach is worth mentioning as it’s one of the most renowned and picturesque beaches in the region. Just a short drive away, this long sandy beach stretches over nine kilometers and is known for its pristine beauty. The beach is lined with elegant villas, beachfront restaurants, and trendy shops, creating a sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere.
32. Pornic Beach
Another notable beach located a bit further from Saint-Herblain is the beach in the charming coastal town of Pornic. This picturesque beach offers a combination of sandy areas and rocky coves, adding to its natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the scenic surroundings.
Places and Things To Do