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Atlantic Coast

With quiet country roads winding through vine-striped hills and wild stretches of coastal sand interspersed with misty islands, the Atlantic coast is where France gets back to nature. Much more laid-back than the Med (but with almost as much sunshine), this is the place to slow the pace right down.

But the Atlantic coast can do cities and culture as well. There's bourgeois Bordeaux with its wonderful old centre, extraordinary wine culture and dynamic dining scene; studenty Nantes with its wealth of fascinating museums; and seafaring La Rochelle with its breathtaking aquarium, beautiful old port and bucolic offshore islands.

A love of the finer things in life unites people in this region, a part of France where art de vivre means appreciating exceptional wine, famous worldwide, and feasting on an ocean of oysters and other fresh, salt-of-the-earth seafood.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Atlantic Coast.