A visit to Nantes (FR) with an ice cream break at La Fraiseraie

Nantes is a beautiful city, well worth a visit! I particularly recommend visiting it in July-August, which is when the yearly “Voyage à Nantes” takes place. In a nutshell the Voyage à Nantes is an artistic trail past temporary or permanent installations of public art works throughout the city of Nantes: a painted green line will guide you. Many events are organized around the Voyage à Nantes, but there’s lots to see and do in Nantes all year long really!

Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne et miroir d'eau
The Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne and the nearby water mirror/fountains
Passage Pommeraye à Nantes
Passage Pommeraye in the city centre of Nantes
Cathédrale de Nantes
Nantes cathedral
Part of the Voyage à Nantes: les anneaux de Burren
Part of the Voyage à Nantes: les anneaux de Burren along the banks of the Loire river
Voyage à Nantes (2014) : le poussin au Jardin des Plantes
Part of the Voyage à Nantes (2014) in the Jardin des Plantes
Bar Le Nid
Le Nid (= the nest) is a cool bar at the top of the Tour de Bretagne 144m tower. There’s a great view over Nantes

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Information about “Le Voyage à Nantes”:
Official website: www.levoyageanantes.fr
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/visitnantes (English) & www.facebook.com/voyageanantes (French)

Les Machines de l’île & the Grand Elephant are a highlight

The artistic project of Les Machines de l’île is set on the site of Nantes’ former shipyards along the banks of the Loire river and seems to be inspired by the invented worlds of Jules Verne (who was born in Nantes), the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and of Nantes’ industrial & maritime history.

Grand Elephant aux Machines de l'île
The Grand Elephant at Les Machines de l’île

I’m a big fan of the large 3-level “Carroussel des Mondes Marins” merry-go-round where you can choose to have a ride on the ground level on a sea creature from the seabeds, such as the Giant Crab, the Reverse Propulsion Squid, the Box Fish, etc. Or you can have a ride on the second level in the abyss, on the Deep-Sea Lanternfish, the Manta, etc. On the third level, aka on the sea surface, you can choose from the flying Fish, Nutshells, Jellyfish, etc. I think the creatures look wonderful & I love the fact that visitors have to actively operate the creatures while having a ride!

Carroussel des Mondes Marins
Carroussel des Mondes Marins
Sea creature on the top level of the Carroussel des Mondes Marins
Sea creature on the top level of the Carroussel des Mondes Marins: the people having the ride can activate “smoke” coming from the creature, can move its head, etc.

You can have a ride on the 12m high and realistic-looking mechanical Grand Elephant between the Carrousel des Mondes Marins and the warehouses. I’ve never had a ride on it, but I always enjoy seeing Nantes’ elephant!

Le Grand Elephant de Nantes
Nantes’ Grand Elephant out for a walk, spitting water to visitors on a hot summer day

Les Machines de l’île website: www.lesmachines-nantes.fr

Nantes is also a suitable destination for ice cream gourmets!

La Fraiseraie is in my opinion Nantes’ best stop for delicious ice cream! Their ice cream is produced 50km away from Nantes, in Pornic where their first shop opened in 1985. They have an excellent reputation in particular for their strawberry and red fruit sorbets: I can only confirm they deserve it!

Scoops of marbled ice cream at La Fraiseraie
Scoops of strawberry-vanilla, raspberry-passionfruit, raspberry-coconut and pear-chocolate icecream at La Fraiseraie

They offer single flavour sorbets, as well as delicious marbled ice cream/sorbets: my two favourites are raspberry-coconut (I love the marbled effect!) and their “fraise des îles” sorbet made with strawberry, mango and passion fruit. The strawberry-mint sorbet is pretty good & refreshing too! I’ve tried their ice cream many times over the years, but I’ve unfortunately not tried all their flavours yet, since I can’t help myself from ordering 1 or 2 scoops of my favourite flavours when I’m there…

La Fraiseraie ice cream flavours

La Fraiseraie ice cream flavours
The other ice cream flavours La Fraiseraie offers

They now have 3 shops in Nantes:

La Fraiseraie – NANTES BOURSE
1 place de la bourse, F-44000 Nantes

La Fraiseraie – NANTES DECRÉ
13 rue de La Marne (across from Galeries Lafayette), F-44000 Nantes

La Fraiseraie – NANTES MACHINES (possibly only open during summer)
Close to the « Machines de l’Île », F-44000 Nantes

You can find all their addresses in the region on their website.

La Fraiseraie ice cream shop
La Fraiseraie ice cream shop
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