08 June 2018 by Jessica Boston
Discover Le Mans – the 24-hour race, the racetrack and the wonderful city!
Le Mans is a famous name in motorsport and the incredible 24-hour car race has been hosted there since 1923 attracting fans and enthusiasts from all over the world. If you are a petrol head or just fancy experiencing the thrill of attending such an iconic event you won’t be disappointed! Le Mans is much more than just one event, and has more to discover than the famous racetrack; it’s a great place to visit on your French holidays at any time of year.
Le Mans motorsport events
The most famous event at Le Mans is the 24-hour race. It takes place every year and this year will fall on 17th June. The route includes Le Mans racetrack as well as stretches of public roads that are closed specially for the event so there is plenty of opportunities to spectate. The event is buzzing with excitement and a must for any motorsport fan; many say it beats an F1 rally in offering great value for money and a fantastic festival atmosphere. Experience the race and enjoy food stalls, bars and shopping for memorabilia and souvenirs. There are large screens up to help you see all the action and shuttle busses to different sections of the circuit so you won’t miss a thing!
The 24-hour race is just one of the great events at Le Mans racetrack. Other notable dates include the Moto GP motorbike race and the Le Mans Classic where vintage cars are raced. There are more minor events to see all year round with exciting racetrack challenges for cars, motorbikes, go karts and even trucks! Check the website to see what’s on during your holiday.
Le Mans racetrack – a tourist destination
Even when there are no races Le Mans racetrack offers a great day out for all the family. The on-site museum is home to 120 beautiful vehicles from famous names like Bentley, Jaguar, Ford and Porche from through the ages documenting the evolution of motor racing at the track and highlighting notable events in the history of the iconic 24-hour race. You can even get access to the track and visit the grandstands and the paddock for a guided or independent tour. After you leave you can use a map to drive on the road sections of the Le Mans 24-hour circuit and imagine what it’s like to be in the real race!
As well as the museum, there is an impressive souvenir shop which, whilst expensive, offers some unique branded goods that will delight any motorsports fan.
Le Mans – the city
Although the racetrack is what really makes Le Mans famous, it is also a wonderful historic French city in its own right. There is a lovely old town with cobbled streets lined with bars and cafes – the perfect place to watch the world go by with a café-au-lait or a glass of wine. There are museums and parks to explore, and the magnificent Le Mans Cathedral which dates back as far as the 6th Century and has 20 beautiful stained glass windows. On summer nights the city is lit up for a ‘Soirée Nocturne’ where scenes depicting a story are projected on the Cathedral and lights guide you on a journey around the old town – a magical way to spend an evening after a family dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants in the town. There are food and general markets in the city almost every day and on Sunday Le Mans is host to a large Brocante market at Place des Jacobins – go along and find a treasure or two.
Visit Le Mans on your next French holiday, we have plenty of lovely holiday homes available to rent in the region, and when you book with us you’ll get 20% off your Brittany Ferries crossings too!