An Affordable Seaside Escape in France's La Baule

Posted January 25, 2010 by Jamie Moore

France-guerande-def The French Atlantic seaside resort town of La Baule is home to one of Europe's longest and most beautiful sandy beaches. Plan a picturesque holiday playing in the sea and watching the sunset from your table at a seafood restaurant by the beach. Along the crescent coastline you'll also find Guerande and its salt marshes, where fleur de sel comes from. Eat, sleep, and play here in south Brittany without shelling out too many euros.

Stay
Hotel le Saint Pierre: This 1930s timber house villa, built in the typical La Baule architectural style and renovated last year, is a quaint and contemporary 19-room hotel. It sits in the heart of La Baule Bay, putting you only a quarter of a mile from the beach and a half mile from the town center, city market, casino, and thalassotherapy centers. Every morning the hosts serve a tasty breakfast buffet on the veranda. Double rooms start at about $89 per night (depending on exchange rate).

Eat
La Barbade: Located right on the beach, this seafood restaurant's terrace with big windows is an ideal place to watch the sun sink into the Atlantic. Candlelight flickers from each of the close-set tables, and the atmosphere is relaxed and festive. Menus are reasonably priced compared to the other more expensive restaurants nearby.

Play
Salt marshes of Guerande: For more than 1,000 years, the sea has flowed into these massive marshes where salt workers have used the sun and wind to transform water droplets into tiny grains of salt. Acclaimed chefs around the world season their cuisine with the fleur de sel harvested here. Pick up cooking salts, bath salts, and other products in the gift shop, or take a guided tour (from about $9) of the site led by a salt worker or naturalist. Displays at the exhibition center also explain how the crystallization process works.

To search for flights and compare prices to Nantes, which is home to the La Baule’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: iStockPhoto/Michel Mory)

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