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Saint-Nazaire is a French commune, sub-prefecture of the Loire-Atlantique department, administratively in the Pays de la Loire region. Historically, Saint-Nazaire is part of Brittany and the Nantes region. Located north of the Loire estuary, at the limit of the Atlantic Ocean, the city originally developed as an outer port of Nantes, which is about fifty kilometers to the east. Today the Autonomous Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire is the leading French port on the Atlantic coast. The city was formerly the capital of French shipyards.

Known for its high-skill shipyards, France (now Norway), Normandie and Queen Mary II were built there.

It is a city with a working class tradition, which wants to open up to tourism (Ville-Port), culture (Festival, VIP, LIFE), residentialization and the tertiary sector (Villes-Gare). It also has a strong associative and union fabric. Many visits can be made: the Espadon Submarine, the Chantiers de L'Atlantique (shipyards), the Airbus shipyards, the Escal'Atlantique museum (visit in the wake of the old transatlantic ships built in Saint-Nazaire through the promenade deck , cabins, dining room, performance hall, entrance hall ...) as well as the Ecomuseum which retraces the history of the city through models.

It is a town of 70,000 inhabitants, member of the CARENE (Community of agglomeration of the Nazaire region and the estuary). Its catchment area, which brings together nearly 300,000 inhabitants, extends from the Guérande peninsula to the west (La Baule; Le Croisic; Guérande; La Turballe) to the Sillon de Bretagne to the east (Savenay; Ponchâteau; Saint-Gildas-des-Bois) and de la Brière in the North (La Roche-Bernard; Herbignac) in the Pays de Retz in the South (Saint-Brévin; Pornic; Machecoul).

Some neighborhoods to know
The center :
Villès-Martin: sandy beach, the lighthouse, beginning of the customs path to the Villès lighthouse, the fort of Villès (place of temporary exhibitions);
Little Corporal:
Kerlédé: the Bout du Monde belvedere, in the Kerlédé square, beautiful view of the estuary.
La Berthauderie:
La Chesnais:
The Bouletterie:
The Immaculate: the tumulus of Dissignac
Saint-Marc-sur-Mer: location of the filming, in 1951, of Jacques Tati's film Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot. Dominating the main beach, we can see the statue, by sculptor Emmanuel Debarre, representing Jacques Tati interpreting the character of Monsieur Hulot. As for the famous Hôtel de la Plage, featured in the film, it still exists.


The beaches

The coast of Saint-Nazaire has more than 20 beaches from the city center to the limits of Pornichet. They offer very varied spaces. They are almost all accessible by the U3 bus line.

from Petit Maroc (Le port) to Pointe à Villès-Martin, three sandy, urban beaches.
Petit Traict beach, located very close to the outer harbor jetty, it has a children's play area
the Grand Traict beach, very sensitive to tides
the beach of Villès-Martin, more suitable for swimming, supervised in summer, accessible to disabled people, volleyball courts.
from Villès-Martin to Pointe de l'Eve: beaches in the form of rather well sheltered coves.
Kerlédé beach
Kerloupiot beach
Belle Fontaine beach
Lion Rock beach
Bonne Anse beach
Porcé beach
Trébezy beach
Virechat beach
Port Charlotte Beach
Fort de L'Ève beach, with a large campsite.

From Pointe de l'Ève to Pointe de la Lande (limit between Saint-Nazaire and Pornichet), the coast measures a little more than 3 km. These are rocky cliffs with many beaches, first oriented to the south-east:
the beach of Courance (supervised in summer) known for the practice of bodyboard and skimboard
Saint-Marc beach known as Monsieur Hulot: supervised in summer, accessible to disabled people.
Saint-Eugène beach
Grand Traict beach, renowned among surf enthusiasts for its spots
Géorama beach and manor
the Petite Vallée beach, partly naturist.
The tip of Chemoulin limits between the estuary of the Loire and the Atlantic Ocean, carries the fort of Chemoulin, occupied by the French Navy which manages the Chemoulin semaphore there and ensures the control of maritime traffic at the entrance of the estuary; the fort also houses the CROSS.
Beyond Chemoulin, the coast faces south-west:
the beach of the Jaunais cove, sometimes called the Chemoulin cove, well protected from the wind by high cliffs, is a naturist beach;


the beach of the Jaunais cove, sometimes called the Chemoulin cove, well protected from the wind by high cliffs, is a naturist beach;
the Jaunais beach (supervised in summer) is the last beach in Saint-Marc, on the edge of the town of Pornichet. These last two beaches share a large free car park and a reception area for camper vans. The Jaunais campsite was closed a few years ago, and this sector of the coastal path underwent a major redevelopment in 2008.