Enjoy a fun-filled stay in… Vendée
This picturesque corner of Pays de la Loire has plenty to entice visitors, as FRANCE Magazine discovers
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.
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