Les Machines de L'ile, Nantes

4.3
#1 of 84 in Museums in Pays de la Loire
Enter the dreamlike world of fantasy that combines the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci and the imaginary worlds of Jules Verne at Les Machines de L'ile. This fantastic project is an absolute must, especially if you have children. Gigantic machines take you on a steampunk journey through time using artistry and magic--some of these mechanical marvels even take you on the ride of a lifetime. Hop on The Great Elephant, a mechanical mammal made from 45 tons of steel and wood, for a 45-minute walk around the grounds. Then, control the movements of the machines at the Marine Worlds Carousel. This massive 360-degree theater on three levels displays mechanical marine creatures--many of which you and your kids can control. The ship sets sail 5 m (16 ft) above the seabed, then plunges you virtually into the depths, where wild creatures like deep-sea lanternfish light your way. Use our Nantes itinerary planner to add Les Machines de L'ile and other attractions to your Nantes vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
4,724 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 18, 2017
    A carousel created and imagined on the theme of the ile de Nantes: the machines and the imaginary. The attraction is very successful it feels almost in a world distant and completely imaginary space of some time! To test with family, with friends, or as a couple, experience is worth it and is unique for sure!
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  • August 17, 2017
    We came back this year, it was so good last year. We don't s in tired. It is a place that even justify a detour by Nantes in him.
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  • August 17, 2017
    Only with children, and has a line. The ride on the elephant is the best attraction, the other left something to be desired.
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Google
  • September 1, 2017
    This place is fantastic, the machines and the carousel are incredible our children (and adults) were completely in awe of everything, especially the elephant. The elephant itself is worth a trip to Nantes, it is absolutely amazing! The detail, mechanics and workmanship that has gone into the carousel's (the permanent one and a smaller mobile carousel) is staggering. Once they start moving, with the children (and adults in the big carousel) making the creatures and machines do different things it's magical. There were adults of all ages on the large carousel which has a floor that young children aren't allowed on. Their faces looked like they were transported back too their childhood with childish glints in their eyes. Our only minor down point was that the machines gallery exhibition itself is very small and only takes about twenty minutes or so to see everything. The demonstrations which would have made the visit a bit longer seemed only to be in French (we couldn't see anything regarding translations) so they were a bit lost on us. If you are visiting or anywhere near Nantes try to make some time to visit the machines! You won't regret it!
  • July 26, 2017
    Disappointed after big queue for tickets that elephant ride sold out and that after paying to enter the gallery that the children couldn't go on any machine at all. This is quite misleading as brochures and website show children on machines. We did however enjoy looking at the elephant even though we didn't get on it. And getting sprayed by the water. We also enjoyed the carousel and thought it reasonable value. We would advise going at 10am to get an elephant ride. Skip the gallery and go on the carousel and have an ice cream. ..
  • August 4, 2017
    Be selective about the 3 attractions: 1. The workshops are quite small, and there are 3 main animal builds. When you go across to the main workshop there is an aerial platform to view the main workshop, that's it! 2. The elephant ride, worth a look, but I expect you'll have more enjoyment on the ground watching it stroll past. 3. The merry go round, of all 3 this is the best, more views of the mechanisms, and fun for the younger children too. If you want to go on the elephant be warned, arrive early ass it gets booked really quickly.
  • August 10, 2017
    To start-- book ahead of time if you think you want to ride the elephant. We knew we just wanted to watch so had no problems. Read the other reviews and consider what you like and don't like and whether the price makes sense for you. You can watch the elephant and carousels for free. Unfortunately their website is not as helpful as it could be. It is fascinating to watch and appreciate the mechanical and artistic accomplishments.
  • August 10, 2017
    Amazing for kids, OK for adults. The galleries have very little information in English and all the presentations are completely in French. That makes it hard to follow for kids not understanding French. The elephant is a highlight, but there's other cool stuff in the galleries!

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Affordable and convenient bases from which to explore the countryside surrounding Nantes, family-friendly campsites just a short ride from the city offer access to private swimming pools and proximity to popular seaside resorts. Within Nantes itself, you can choose a centrally located hotel or good-value hostel, from which you can walk to the city's finest shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. If all you need is place to sleep at a reasonable price, consider booking a room at one of the city's university residences.
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