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Discovering the Estuaire art trail Nantes by bike

Canals & intimate rivers
29,37 Km
2 h 12 min
I begin / Family
Discovering the Estuaire art trail
Nantes
Le Pellerin
From Nantes, just follow the Loire à Vélo cycle route due west to seek out contemporary art creations that form part of the Estuaire trail, with installations dotted along the Loire’s banks. From a lunar tree to an outsized sea serpent, you’re in for a few surprises. Crossing the Loire via the little Bac d’Indre ferry is another delight. The south bank reveals further surprises to cyclists keen on an otherworldly adventure, with strange creatures, a giant clock and luminous rings to spot… Welcome on a trip mixing cycling with art!
51 m 49 m

The route

Starting point: Nantes Tourisme, opposite the Château de Nantes.

  • La Petite Boucle (The Little Circuit): Nantes > Indre > Cross the Loire via the bac (or little ferry) to reach the south bank > Indret > Nantes. You follow the Loire à Vélo along the north bank and both the Loire à Vélo and Vélodyssée along the south bank. We’ve chosen to describe the circuit in anti-clockwise direction.
  • La Grande Boucle (The Big Circuit): Nantes > Couëron > cross the Loire via the bac (or little ferry) to reach the south bank > Le Pellerin > La Montagne > Nantes.

No difficulties to point out on this cycling outing, except along the track you need to go down at St-Jean de Boiseau to reach the Indret bac, or little ferry.

Places at which to take special care 

  • At La Montagne, there are some climbs and descents to deal with 
  • Between Port-Lavigne and La Roche-Ballue, there’s a stretch with loose surfacing
  • In the zone of Cheviré’s timber port, watch out for the lorry traffic 
  • The access barriers to the zone of Cheviré’s timber port are closed at weekends, making it difficult to get panniers, tandems or trailers through. New provisions are in the planning.

Tourist Office

SNCF train services

  • Train stations at Nantes, Chantenay and Couëron: regional TER Nantes <> Le Croisic and Interloire services accept bikes on board.

Don't miss

  • Nantes: Les Machines de l’île (outsized mechanical machines, some of which you can book a ride on); the Mémorial de l’Abolition de l’Esclavage (recalling the city’s links with slavery); Lunar Tree (a contemporary art installation, part of the Estuaire trail); le Jardin extraordinaire (another Estuaire art installation); the Quai des Antilles (a lively renovated quay in the former shipbuilding quarter); and Les Anneaux de Buren (a row of startling waterside rings, also part of Estuaire’s contemporary art installations)
  • Indre: the Sunday morning organic market; Serpentine Rouge by Jimmie Durham (an Estuaire contemporary art installation)
  • Rezé: Trentemoult with its former fishermen’s villas beside the Loire; Le Pendule by Roman Signer (an Estuaire contemporary art installation) on the south bank  
  • Bouguenais: Port-Lavigne; La Roche-Ballue (with its bathing spot); The Settlers by Sarah Sze (an Estuaire contemporary art installation)

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