En­joy a fun-filled stay in… Vendée

This pic­turesque cor­ner of Pays de la Loire has plenty to en­tice vis­i­tors, as FRANCE Mag­a­zine dis­cov­ers

France - - Advertising Feature -

The Vendée dé­parte­ment lies in the eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble south-west cor­ner of the Pays de la Loire re­gion and, with its wel­com­ing cli­mate, has been a pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion since the 19th cen­tury. End­less spec­tac­u­lar, sandy beaches line its At­lantic coast­line, while the ver­dant coun­try­side is dot­ted with en­chant­ing vil­lages. Book now for this per­fect sum­mer des­ti­na­tion, which has sun, sea, sand, wa­ter sports and fun for all the fam­ily.

The pop­u­lar sea­side town of Les Sables-d’olonne has it all: a fish­ing port and ma­rina, and a his­toric cen­tre that is per­fect for a stroll along nar­row streets of ship-own­ers’ homes, 18th-cen­tury town­houses and fish­er­men’s cot­tages. The re­sort is also a great place for wa­ter sports, with kite surf­ing, sea kayak­ing and land sailing all avail­able at the main beach, La Grande Plage.

For nat­u­ral beauty with­out the mass tourism, head to the un­spoilt coastal vil­lage of La Tranche-sur-mer. The beaches and sand dunes stretch for 13 kilo­me­tres, pro­vid­ing plenty of scope for walk­ing and pad­dle board­ing.

Just off the coast, the Île de Noir­moutier is reached by a modern road bridge. The is­land’s mi­cro­cli­mate at­tracts many species of mi­gra­tory birds in spring, while the flat land­scape makes it ideal for cycling, with 80 kilo­me­tres of trails.

Pea-green wa­ter­ways

One of Vendée’s other ma­jor at­trac­tions is the Marais Poitevin, 800 square kilo­me­tres of wet­land dubbed La Venise Verte. This net­work of pea-green wa­ter­ways is teem­ing with flora and fauna that are best ex­pe­ri­enced in a tra­di­tional flat-bot­tomed boat known as a bar­que. Vil­lages within the re­gional park in­clude Saint-sauveur-d’au­nis, which holds a weekly mar­ket.

Vendée is also home to the sec­ond most pop­u­lar theme park in France af­ter Dis­ney­land Paris. Puy du Fou in Les Epesses stages lav­ish re-en­act­ments from eras in­clud­ing Ro­man times and the Mid­dle Ages, and fea­tures a series of re­con­structed his­tor­i­cal vil­lages for you to stroll through.

For more in­for­ma­tion on what to see and de­tails of ho­tels and restau­rants, visit vendee-tourisme.com

MAIN PIC­TURE: La Grande Plage at Les Sables-d’olonne; BE­LOW: Ex­plor­ing the Marais Poitevin in a tra­di­tional bar­que

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