Guerande is a famous city for its salt, but the most beautiful thing is the medieval city. In today’s post, we tell you about what to see in Guerande in a day and how to visit the salinas.
We visited this medieval city a few times, and it’s part of the road trip through the four-day South Brittany that we made in the van. If you come to Nantes, it is a must-visit 1-day side trip, as it is about 80km away and is reached very easily.
A Brief History of Guerande
Guérande is found in a region with abundant salt flats and is famous for its salt “Le fleur de sel.”
But if we leave later in time, Guerande is a town that was inhabited since the Neolithic. Numerous megaliths and vestiges of the Gala era and Gallo-Roman.
It was created in 1343 by Jean de Montfort after the Spaniards ransacked the town, and the next century they remodeled it again.
The door of the main entrance is the monumental “Porte St.-Michel.” Here resided the governor of Guerande in the 15th century. It is currently installed in the Museo du Pays de Guérande.
In the center of Guérande’s fortification is the Gothic church of St.-Aubin. In the buttresses of the facade, we can see an outer pulpit of the fifteenth century.
Inside Highlights include the Romanesque capitals of the late 12th century.
It is also interesting to visit the 13th-century Church of Notre Dame la Blanche. Jean IV chose this church to ratify the second treaty of Guérande, who confirmed him as Duke of Brittany.
What is the Difference Between Salt and Fleur de Sel?
All the difference lies in the fleur de sel and its use. Indeed, fleur de sel is often used as a dish’s “final touch” to preserve all the subtlety, while coarse salt is used during cooking or curing.
But Guerande has a fortified city of the fourteenth century, with bastions, towers, and 4 doors that correspond to the cardinal points, which is essential to visit.
Must-Visit Places in Guerande
The Gates of Guérande
It’s interesting to see all the city gates, but if you just want to see one, you have to see the door of Saint-Michel, for its monumentality.
It is the main door of access to the city and dates back to the mid-15th century.
He had a military function, but it was also the governor’s home in the 16th century.
St. John’s Church Aubin
At the heart of the medieval city, we find the church of Saint Aubin. It was declared a Historical Monument in 1853.
Its history and architecture are marked by numerous construction and restoration campaigns.
The first Romanesque church caught fire in 1342, of which there are few remains. Among the that we can contemplate today, we have the pillars and their spires.
Construction is from the 15th and 16th centuries in Gothic style. Most of its stained-glass windows are 19th-century.
Notre Dame la Blanche
It’s an important church and it’s Guerande intramural. It was built in the 13th century, and there is data that it already existed in 1206.
Here was signed the second treaty of Brittany, which the war of succession of Brittany ended and confirmed his duke.
In the 19th century, important restoration work was carried out.
Strolling through the People
Before entering the medieval city, you have to go to the Tourist office and ask for a plan. In it, you’re going to see the most important places to see in Guerande.
But it’s best to leave, go, visit the art galleries, buy some salt, and don’t miss the candy “au caramel au beurre salé” (salted butter caramel). They are absolutely amazing!!!
Visiting the Guerande salt flats
“Les Marais Salant de Guérande” is where the famous salt is collected. These salt flats can be visited and toured on foot, by bike, or by car—each by their corresponding lane.
There are about 2000 hectares of salt flats with a stunning landscape.
Here you have to make 3 visits, to the salt flats, to the Maison des Paludiers and to the museum des Marais Salant de Batz-sur-Mer.
In them, you’ll learn more about the history of the place, about the trade, and everything that moves Guérande’s white gold.
Where to Stay in Guérande
In Guérande, you can sleep inside the medieval city in one of its picturesque hotels or sleep in the surrounding area.
If you want to sleep intramural, we recommend staying at the Maison d’Hétes La Guérandiere.
It is an ideal Bed and Breakfast. It is located in a 19th-century house with a super nice garden. They have wifi and private parking, plus almost a 10 rating on booking by more than 150 people.
How to Get to Guerande from Nantes
Guerande is located on the peninsula of the same name. It’s 80 km from Nantes.
By car: you can rent a car in Nantes to visit Guérande. The price of the car rental varies depending on the car you choose.
I recommend booking it online and picking it up at the Nantes train station (very close to the castle).
From there you can take the highway very easily. To park in Guerande, it is better to do so outside the walls.
- What to see in Nantes on a weekend
- Route through southern Brittany in 4 days
- What to see in la Rochelle in 2 days
- A day’s visit to Clisson
I hope you enjoy your visit to Guerande!
Last Updated on 9 December, 2022 by Veronica
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Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.