For a refreshing vacation that’s part sea foam, part seaside chic, find out how to visit La Baule.
Its real name is La Baule-Escoublac, but the first part of its name is enough to evoke it: La Baule. For some, it evokes childhood memories; for others, it’s an unknown town in the Pays de la Loire region.
La Baule is the very definition of a vacation in the sun, without it being overwhelming. With its unique seafront and sometimes futuristic buildings, La Baule is the ideal place to enjoy a change of scenery without leaving France.
Neighboring Guérande, Le Croisic and, a little further afield, Nantes, it has an iodized, somewhat chic atmosphere, with the class usually reserved for large urban metropolises.
Find out how to visit La Baule, for a successful vacation rich in memories.
1. The Bay of La Baule
With its 9-kilometer-long sandy beach, the Bay of La Baule is one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Bordered by the many white buildings and hotels facing the ocean, this beach is a natural space where you can let off steam or relax.
At low tide, it becomes a vast space for games or sports (windsurfing, running, etc.). But you can also simply follow its arc shape, with your hair blowing in the wind and your feet in the water.
2. La Baule Casino
If you’re a gambling enthusiast, it’s a mistake to visit La Baule without discovering its Casino! It welcomes you on the seafront, along the Lucien Barrière esplanade, in all the luxury that casinos usually suggest.
In the end, whether you’re an expert or simply curious, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Slot machines, blackjack or poker tables, defy the odds and the croupiers.
It’s the ideal place for an unusual experience. We remind you that access to these establishments is reserved for adults who are not bank-obligated.
3. Brière Regional Nature Park
Since 1970, the Parc naturel régional de Brière has stretched north of La Baule, bordered by the D213 road. It’s an immense 548 km² park, made up of brières and marshes, where you can see a rich fauna and varied flora.
A project of 21 communes, it’s also an opportunity to discover the towns linked to it, such as La Baule. It’s a real regional treasure that we recommend you visit, simply for the change of scenery it provides.
The Brière Regional Nature Park is part of the Natura 2000 network, because of the many species that live there. Whether on foot, on horseback or even by barge (a flat-bottomed boat), you’re sure to find something to your liking!
4. The streets of La Baule and its villas
How can you visit La Baule without strolling along its gentle streets, lined with houses and maritime pines?
The town also owes its prestige to the architecture of its beautiful villas. Although they are no longer to be seen on the seafront, having been replaced by apartment buildings, they can be found throughout the town.
Slightly set back, as if protected, they are shaded by conifers and high walls. Despite this, it’s still possible to appreciate their architectural beauty.
Some were built in the style of the 1920s, others in the neo-Gothic style. An array of villas to be seen along the streets of the town center, parallel to the beach.
5. The Côte d’Amour
The commune of La Baule-Escoublac is right on the Côte d’Amour. But what is the Côte d’Amour?
It’s a stretch of coastline stretching from the mouth of the Loire to Mesquer, including the Guérande peninsula. It owes its name to a suffrage established by the weekly La Mouette in the early 1910s.
Given simply to increase the number of visitors to the coast at a time when summer tourism was exploding, the name has stuck. Even if the region no longer needs this name to attract tourists, it’s still a nice way to describe your vacation.
Take advantage of the opportunity to embellish your snapshots with enticing captions.
6. Bonsai Tropicarium
When visiting La Baule, some things are a little unusual. Such is the case of the Tropicarium Bonsaï. This space dedicated to nature and tranquility will be the ideal break in your stay.
Stroll the aisles, discover the many species (all produced on site), listen to the birds, observe the insects… A veritable plant nugget on the Atlantic seaboard.
And who knows, maybe the most passionate among you will treat yourselves to one of the 20 courses on offer?
7. Escoublac Forest
The mysterious Forêt d’Escoublac hides a secret: the village of Escoublac.
Indeed, beneath the dune it protects, with a maximum height of 52 meters – making it one of the highest coastal dunes in the country after the Dune du Pilat – lies the ancient village of Escoublac, which partly gave its name to the present-day town.
A cross in the heart of the forest marks the site of the former village. But the forest isn’t just this: it’s also a beautiful 47-hectare pine forest.
Discover it on horseback, on foot (hiking) or by bike. A must-see in La Baule, for a green break during your stay!
8. Parc des Dryades
On the edge of the Forêt d’Escoublac, another of the town’s lungs: the Parc des Dryades. This is a small wood that the town has transformed into a bucolic park.
Thousands of plant species grow here peacefully in the breathtaking iodine air, creating an idyllic place to relax in La Baule. An amphitheater seats up to 2,000 people. Visits are free of charge.
9. Sightseeing around La Baule
- Guérande peninsula (the marshes, the village) ;
- Le Croisic (Côte Sauvage, Pointe du Croisic, Océarium du Croisic);
- Pornichet (marina, Vieux Pornichet, landscaped park);
- Le Pouliguen (succession of points and beaches to the south, Bois du Pouliguen) ;
- Saint-Nazaire (waterfront, submarine base, city center);
- La Roche-Bernard (city of character, banks of the Vilaine, marina) ;
- Nantes (machines de l’île, Jardins des plantes, Château des Ducs de Bretagne) ;
- Herbignac (Riholo dolmen, Ranrouët castle, pottery).
How do I get to La Baule?
To visit La Baule, you first need to get there. There are several ways to get there: by car, train or plane. The nearest major city in the Loire-Atlantique region is Nantes, so it’s easy to get here!
Getting to La Baule by car
The city is around 16 kilometers from Saint-Nazaire, 75 kilometers from Vannes and 80 kilometers from Nantes. Journey times between these cities and the seaside resort are therefore not exorbitant.
From Rennes, on the other hand, it’s 150 kilometers to La Baule. In all cases, these 4 towns are ideal access points, whether you’re coming from Quimper, Paris, Caen or even Lyon.
- Saint-Nazaire is almost right next door, so simply follow the D213 to La Baule (25 min.);
- From Vannes, take the N165 (“l’autoroute bretonne”) to La Baule, then the D774 to the Guérande peninsula (1hr);
- From Nantes, take a short stretch of freeway, then branch off onto the N171 until you have to exit onto the D213, towards La Baule (1h20);
- From Rennes, take the N137, then the N171 and finally the D213 (1h50).
Getting to La Baule by train
La Baule has a train station with excellent connections. The Paris and Nantes stations are 3 hours and 48 minutes away respectively. In other words, it’s very quick to get to there from Nantes.
As with all tickets, prices vary widely according to season and day of travel.
Getting to La Baule by plane
The nearest airport to La Baule is Nantes Atlantique, 75 kilometers away. This short distance makes the city accessible from many French and international cities.
The airport has excellent connections to Toulouse, Lyon, Strasbourg and many other European cities.
From the airport, you can choose between renting a car, taking the train or taking the shuttle between Nantes Atlantique and the Guérande peninsula. NAVairport makes it easy to reach La Baule, via Pornichet and Saint-Nazaire, all the way to Guérande.
For a journey including 1 to 3 people, the fare is €110, for 4 to 6 people it’s €135, and for 7 to 8 people it’s €165. These rates are per trip, not per person.
Where to stay in La Baule?
Accommodation in La Baule is no problem at all. And with good reason: in the early 20th century, the town’s flamboyant tourism boom saw the construction of a large number of hotels, gîtes and inns.
After all, it was necessary to provide accommodation for all those who came in search of the sea, the beach and the sun of the destination. Today, as in most places, the accommodation offer is flourishing, and you may not know where to turn.
A visit to an online hotel comparator may help. Then it’s a question of knowing what you want: classic, unusual, by the sea or in the countryside? There’s something for everyone in town.
Lovers will appreciate the Barrière Hotel, for 5-star tourism, while others will appreciate the region’s Airbnbs, more modest but very bright and close to the sea.