We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Giant elephant and carrousel”

Les Machines de L'ile
Ranked #2 of 114 things to do in Nantes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Machines de l’Ile is an artistic and a tourist project. It is a blend of the invented worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the industrial history of Nantes, on an exceptional site in the former shipyards. A ride on the 12-meter tall Great Elephant, climb aboard the Marine Worlds Carrousel of 27 moving sea creatures or the Heron Tree to fly over the hanging gardens.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Giant elephant and carrousel”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Don't visit this with any great preconceptions. It is unlike most things that you'll come across although the basic concepts are familiar. It is a very gentle but supremely imaginative experience, think of a blend of Jules Verne and retro funfair. I, too, remember that it took while to sort out a multi-layer pricing system.

Visited August 2012
Thank Oaky_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,369 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Carlow, Ireland
Level Contributor
92 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I'm not 100% sure what to make of Les Machines de L'ile.
Did I like it? Yes
It's a very quirky attraction and has a kind of steam punk / Jules Verne inspired thing going on mixed with a bit of circus art
The mechanical elephant is impressive to watch, but some of the other machines aren't that impressive.
Worth visiting though

Visited July 2013
1 Thank mneylon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
74 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“There's really just the elephant and a carousel”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We visited Les Machines on our holiday in France. Somehow from the website we had gathered that there would be a sort of fair-ground area - there really isn't. There is the hall from where the elephant leaves, a huge carousel and they are constructing a show about the devices inside a building nearby. Aside from that, it is an old dock area, mostly asphalt.

Having said that, the kids (8 and 10 years) were having a blast with the elephant, both on the ride and walking ahead of it, playing and avoiding (not always) the water jets the elephant shoots from its trunk.

Definetly a must see if you are in the area, but not enough to warrant a trip on its own from further.

Visited July 2013
Thank hphuhtin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Turballe, Pays de la Loire, France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Les Machines de l'ile is AMAZING. I loved every moment here. The pricing is a bit confusing but here;s how it works (I worked it out when I was there):

The Elephant Ride: 8 euro for adults, 6,50 euro reduced, and 5,50 euro for children.

The Carousel: 8 euro for adults (if you went on the Elephant, then you get a 1euro50 reduction) , 6,50 euro reduced, and 3 euro for children.

The Museum: 8 euro for adults, 6,50 euro reduced, and 5,50 euro for children.

They're all separately paid for but I felt like it was worth every cent. I only had the opportunity to go on the elephant (WHICH IS AMAZING) and I can tell you I was mind blown. It's roughly the size of a mammoth and is 21m long, 8m wide and a whopping 12m high. It is a stunning piece of art, and I am really astounded. The Elephant spurts water and makes the same trumpeting sound of it's smaller, lifelike equivalent.

Note: They don't really speak English at the beginning of the ride when they tell you not to drop you cameras and not to let your children fall. Basically it's the normal safety guide lines one would expect to find.
A very important note: Do not take photos inside the elephant - it is an engineering ingenuity and it is the only one like it in the world. So just to be safe don't take photos inside - it's just so someone doesn't rant and rave at you in French.
Yet another note: They provide earmuffs for the little ones who have sensitive ears because the elephant is relatively loud.

I think that about covers what I have seen and what I think you guys should know :) I had a great time there and I would easily recommend it for the whole family.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Arienne_duPlessis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
2 reviews
“Must-see in Nantes for all the family”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The "Machines de L´ile" offer a great mixture of entertainment, art, technology and urban development - our whole family of ages 3 to 77 thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Riding the 30 foot high elephant is an exceptional experience, guaranteed to make a longer-lasting impression than having your picture taken in front of the Eiffel tower...

Visited July 2013
Thank Su-Tsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Les Machines de L'ile also viewed

Nantes, Loire-Atlantique
Nantes, Loire-Atlantique
Nantes, Loire-Atlantique

Been to Les Machines de L'ile? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing