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Around Nantes island Nantes by bike

French rivers
10,46 Km
50 min
I begin / Family
Around Nantes island
Start at La Nef des Machines (home to Nantes’s famed giant mechanical elephant and more), in the northwest corner of the Ile de Nantes, a large island in the Loire in the centre of the city. This tour allows you to explore two branches of the great river. You’ll see how here it’s partly urban, partly countrified, riding on a circular route that can be affected by the tide. Enjoy views across Nantes and its surrounds, getting a feel for the lively city. If tackling the way as the sun is going down, you may catch a breathtaking sunset along the Loire Estuary. If you have time, book a visit to the Machines de l’île!
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The route

Starting point: Les Machines de l’île. Making the most of Nantes Métropole’s combined pedestrian / cycling network, this cycling outing leads you on a tour around the Ile de Nantes, a central island in the Loire. Our chosen direction for the descriptions is clockwise. 

Places at which to take special care

  • In pedestrian zones, please ride very slowly and carefully 
  • As the Loire is still tidal in these parts, during high tides, the water can sometimes cover some or all of the track, in which case make use of the road just above 
  • Slow down on paved and narrow stretches, and where there are hard turns 
  • It isn’t possible to pass under Pirmil and Trois Continents Bridges 
  • Avoid passing under Anne de Bretagne Bridge, given the stairs

Tourist office

Don't miss

  • Nantes: Les Machines de l’île (outsized mechanical machines, some of which you can book a ride on); the Grue Titan (a massive crane recalling Nantes’s ship-building days); the Quai des Antilles (a lively renovated quay in the former shipbuilding quarter); Les Anneaux de Buren (a row of startling waterside rings, part of the Estuaire trail contemporary art installations); Résolution des forces en présence (an art installation for Estuaire), L’Absence (another art installation for Estuaire).

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