Pays de la Loire climate is generally made up of cold Winters and warm/ hot Summers. There are lots of regional variations depending on local conditions and terrains.
Pays de la Loire is made up of the following historical provinces:
a part of Brittany, with its old capital Nantes contained within the Loire-Atlantique department. This is only 20% of Brittany. The other 80% of Brittany make up the region of Bretagne.
Anjou: is largely contained within the Maine-et-Loire department. The whole of the former province of Anjou is contained inside Pays de la Loire.
Maine: is now divided between the Mayenne and Sarthe departments. The whole of the former province of Maine is contained inside Pays de la Loire.
a part of Poitou: is contained within the Vendée department. Most of the old province of Poitou is inside the Poitou-Charentes region.
a part of Perche: is within the northeast of Sarthe department. The rest of Perche is inside the Basse-Normandie and Centre regions.
a small part of Touraine: southeast of Maine-et-Loire department. Most of the former province of Touraine is inside the Centre region.
Consequently, the name of the region, chosen by the French central government, was not based on history, but purely on geographical references: Pays (i.e. "lands") de la Loire (i.e. "of the Loire River"). However, the majority of the famous châteaux of the Loire Valley are located in the Centre region, and not inside Pays de la Loire, despite the confusing name.
The Pays de la Loire present many great monuments as the castles of Angers, Laval, Mayenne and the Nantes "Château des Ducs de Bretagne", the Royal Fontevraud Abbey (the widest monastic ensemble in Europe), the old city of Le Mans, and also many natural parks such as the Brière and the Marsh of Poitou.
France is mostly composed of flat plains or gently rolling hills. This region is really typical of France geography on this point of view.
The following criteria are typical of Pays de la Loire geography:
- few lakes
- flat land
- few forests