Bon voyage! The best of Nantes on an e-bike

Posted by Anita Froneman on 16 November 2021

By Mariette Adams 

The weather was uncannily perfect for this time of year in France – solid blue skies throughout my stay. The sights – historic or otherwise – were almost poetic in their representation of the city of Nantes’ history and native artists.

Mariette Adams explores Nantes on an e-bike in a post-lockdown era. Hop on for the ride.

E-bikes are a great way to explore a city.

Taking it all in 

Following my (short) struggle of getting accustomed to the pace of my mode of transport, we made our way to the St-Pierre and St-Paul Cathedral for our first stop. While the establishment itself is temporarily closed, the gardens are exquisite. Amongst the many statues seen around the gardens, the most prominent one is the one of general Pierre Cambronne.

I was awe-struck when we stopped at the Memorial to the abolition of slavery next. Situated in the former epicentre of the well-documented French slave trade, the site pays homage to the victims and serves in remembrance of it being a crime against humanity. It is also the largest slave trade memorial in the world.

If you need a more upbeat, frivolous and all-around fun setting, the revamped lIe de Nantes is the place for you. Formerly an industrial wasteland of old warehouses, the prime piece of land has been transformed into upmarket city development, housing several restaurants, bars, terraces, residences and offices. More recent additions are the Les Machines de l’ile, a playground that hosts handmade mechanical underwater creatures and carousels, including the Grand Elephant.

There are also largescale public artworks strategically placed across the city, while Cite Radieuse, one of the four Le Corbusier Cite structures in France, is also housed in Nantes.

As the sixth-largest urban hub in France and accessible by train from Paris in just two hours, Nantes – in its current form, following the city’s reinvention – should definitely be included as a primary destination on any tourist itinerary.

Stay here 

Oceania Hotel

Situated in the heart of Nantes, this hotel is just a two-minute walk from the inner city and all its grandeur.

Picture: Oceania Hotel

The hotel itself is a luxurious facility, with uber-friendly and professional staff who deliver efficient service to guests at all times. I had a one-night stay, but should I ever return to Nantes, this will be my choice of accommodation and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the city in future.

Pictures: Mariette Adams

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