Vendée

Vendée at a Glance

Visiting the Vendée

The Vendée is nestled in the north west of France and is famed for the broad sweep of Atlantic coast that hugs the region.

Miles of beach and wide expanses of sea come as standard with any trip to the Vendée, but there is a lot more to explore if you can tear yourself away from the coast. Think wine-tasting, hiking, medieval games and comedy festivals…

Section 1

Vendee beach, La Tranche sur Mer
Vendee windsurfing
Vendee, Les Sables d'Olonne
St Giles Croix de Vie
St Gilles, Vendee

Section 2

Explore Vendee, windsurfing

Explore the Vendée

The Vendée is the ultimate outdoors destination for those searching for fresh air and fresh experiences. This northwest region is peppered with some of France’s finest beaches and there’ll never be a better opportunity to try your hand at watersports than here, with canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and many more available along the coast.

Once you’ve packed up your beach bag, take a trip to glittering resorts such as Les Sables d’Olonne and enjoy a sumptuous French dinner at the marina. If you’re after another day filled with outdoor pursuits, take your pick from the marshlands of the Ile de Noirmoutier or the wonderful bird sanctuaries of the Marais Poitevin.

Feel Vendee, surfing

Feel the Vendée

Open your palms to the sun. Wiggle your toes in Atlantic waters. Pick up a surfboard. Ride rising waves. Wade in low-tide marshland. Spot your favourite species at a bird sanctuary. Unleash the wine expert within. Mull over a Muscadet. Gurgle a Gros Plant. Lace up those hiking boots. Squelch through a salt marsh. Watch jousting in an ancient forest. Take a toboggan at the waterpark. Feel the flutter at the Island of Butterflies.

Taste Vendee, moules frites

Taste the Vendée

The Vendée sits next door to the Loire Valley, a region renowned for wine production. Taste for the grape has certainly rubbed off on this neighbour, with the Vendée offering a multitude of vineyards itself. Sample a Muscadet or Gros Plant for a true flavour of the region.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite order a portion of Moules Frites, a truly national dish and beloved across France. You will find ‘Huîtres de Vendée Atlantique’ on a lot of the restaurant menus; these are oysters, freshly caught in Atlantic waters. Watch out for Troussepinette, a prickly, powerful spirit made from blackthorn shoots and served as an aperitif across the region.

The Vendee Top 5 Attractions

Île de Noirmoutier

Île de Noirmoutier

Le Gois causeway will welcome you to this island – but only at low tide! The causeway quickly gets covered in water, so at high tide you’ll have to reach the island over the impressive bridge. Île de Noirmoutier is home to a host of fine beaches, architectural gems and the Oceanile water park.

Saintt Jean de Monts

St-Jean-de-Monts

This part of the Cote de Lumière is one of the most popular because of the 8 km stretch of Blue Flag sandy beach with every beach activity imaginable, and a few you can’t imagine.

La Route du Sel

La Route du Sel

La Route de Sel (or the Salt Road) is one of those unique holiday experiences that will see you paddle your way through Sallertaine’s ancient salt marshes. Canoe hire is available day and night, with a special candlelit diner for visitors who choose to paddle in the evening.

Le Puy du Fou

Le Puy du Fou

Le Puy du Fou is a spectacular medieval experience for all the family. It is a reconstructed 18th century village with villagers in costume and 13th century ruins, where you can see Vikings at war or fabulous falconry displays. The evening show is very exciting – an open-air performance with 50 horsemen and 850 people.

Les Sables d’Olonne marina

Les Sables d’Olonne

Les Sables d’Olonne is a bustling seaside resort famed for its seemingly endless beaches and splendid marina. Shake the sand out of your shoes in time for a trip to the stunning 15th century Chateau St Clair or the Vendée War Museum.

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