With the ocean at its feet, its river, vineyards and salt marshes, Loire-Atlantique offers great diversity. For starters, take the capital: Nantes, a nostalgic and adventurous city of workers and middle class, constantly refashioning itself into the city of tomorrow; Saint-Nazaire, industrious and festive, intrinsically linked to its shipyards but fringed by lovely beaches. These contrasts reflect the variety of a département that you can explore by bicycle as you follow the Nantes-Brest Canal, or by boat on the Estuaire de la Loire. And for a more in-depth visit, float down the Grande Brière and its immense marshlands on a barge, lounge on one of the golden beaches of La Baule, drive along the Côte de Jade ("Jade Coast"). After all that, have a well-deserved glass of Muscadet, to be sampled as you admire Clisson's Italianate façades.