It’s not cold in Nantes in April, but it’s not hot either. It’s spring, for sure—trees have leaves, flowers are blooming, but like the French say, “en avril, ne te découvre pas d’un fil” (basically, “don’t take off your sweater”).
Nobody in their right mind would go to the beach in February in France, at least not on the Atlantic Coast. It’s damp, windy, and rainy. Trust me, I tried. But right now, day trips at the seaside are a tempting option again if you keep an eye on the weather.
It’s a bit of a gamble, though. It can be pleasantly warm (like, 20⁰C) without wind but it can be a very chilly 15⁰C all of a sudden.
But when it comes to travelling, I don’t mind taking a gamble, plus regional TER trains are still cheap.
In April, some seaside towns like La Baule are still deep asleep, with half of the houses and most shops closed. They will wake up shortly before summer for a couple of months to welcome French families and foreign tourists, and they will be so packed that a handful of locals—making big bucks off tourism—will constantly complain about the “invasion.”
Other towns never fully go to sleep because, well, people live there year-round. I suspected Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie fell into this category, so it was my first pick.
My mum and I got lucky. It was actually pretty hot, not hot enough to swim—at least I didn’t—but perfect to hang out at the beach.
The light and the clouds were absolutely amazing too.
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