Vendée Tourism | Excursions in the Vendée | What to Do and See in the 85
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Campsite in Vendée » explore the Vendée

Tourism in the Vendée

Book your campsite trip to the Vendée for great times in our department where nature and sea are in perfect harmony. An incredible mix of land and Atlantic Ocean, the Vendée department offers beaches, forests, marshes and the famous Bocage region.   With a great location in the west of France (Pays de la Loire region), our department is sunny all year long and has a warm climate that gives it the nickname “Côte de Lumière” (Cost of Light). A favorite vacation destination for the French, the Vendean coast allows your family to enjoy the sea as well as many recreational activities on both land and sea. No matter where you are in the Vendée, you will be amazed by the riches and heritage of the department.

Discover the Côte de Lumière

You can explore on foot, by bike, on horseback, by train, by car or by boat. Located between land, sea and marshes, the Vendée will amaze you with its many landscapes and colors. From the Ile de Noirmoutier to the Marais Poitevin, the Vendean coast is full of beautiful sand beaches like Demoiselles beach in Saint-Jean-de-Monts and Veillon beach in Talmont-Saint-Hilaire. And of course there are the larger resort towns of the Côte de Lumière like Les Sables-d’Olonne, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and La Tranche-sur-Mer. When you visit the Vendée, you will also learn about history, like at the Puy du Fou theme park, not to be missed, as well as churches and castles that make each village unique. The Vendée is also a region of great sailors; the hardest solo sailing race in the world leaves from here, the Vendée Globe.

campsite near the beach Longeville-sur-Mer

The 85, an historic department

Head back in time with the family! You can learn about the history of the Vendée from prehistory (The CAIRN Préhisto’site) to World War I (Georges Clémenceau), including the French Revolution and the Vendée War (The Cinéscénie at Puy du Fou). Take the whole family to see these places steeped in history for a great adventure. Right next to the campsite, only 600 meters away, the CAIRN Préhisto’site will make you feel like you are living in prehistory! Check out the museum’s website for more information. History becomes entertainment at the Puy du Fou theme park, known the world over and voted best park in the world.

Puy du Fou Vendée campsite

The Vendee coastline

With 250 km of coastline and 140 km of beaches, the Vendean coast is the perfect place to enjoy water sports. The La Grand’Métairie campsite is located 4 km from Longeville-sur-Mer between Les Sables-d’Olonne and Jard-sur-Mer. The typical Vendean village of Saint-Hilaire-la-Forêt has easy access to many of the Côte de Lumière beaches, 10 minutes away, where surfers (beginners and experts) can enjoy great surf spots. You can learn to windsurf nearby with the La Tranche-sur-Mer Wave School, to canoe/paddleboard/catamaran/kayak in the town of Longeville-sur-Mer and to land surf at the La Faute-sur-Mer water sports center on Chardons beach. Meanwhile, fishermen can board the Aigue Marine at the port of Bourgenay in Talmont-Saint-Hilaire for a boat ride and deep sea fishing.

go outside vendee

Nature outings in Vendée

Do you like hiking? Tie your hiking boots and take the over 1000 km of trails the follow the coast and cross the Marais Poitevin, the Bocage, the plains and the forest. You can also discover the secrets of beekeeping at La Folie de Finfarine during your stay at La Grand’Métairie or enjoy golf in Talmont. Are you an adrenaline junkie? Have fun at the Aventuriers theme park, swing from tree to tree at the Indian Forest ropes course, slide down the XXL water slides at O’Gliss Park near La Tranche and end your trip to the Vendée with the department’s flagship attraction : the Puy du Fou theme park and its famous phantom birds show.

Folie de Finfarine near Vendée campsite

Where to go in the Vendée?

The department is home to several beautiful castles such as Talmont castle (once the stronghold of Richard the Lionheart) and La Guignardière in Avrillé. If you are interested in religious history, check out the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral in Luçon, the Aliénor Abbey (Nieul-sur-l’Autise), Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Chaume Church (Sables-d’Olonne) and Maillezais Abbey. There are several beautiful churches in La Roche-sur-Yon (Sacré-Cœur, Saint-Louis).   After having explored Medieval times up to the Renaissance, take a jump in history to the CAIRN prehistoric center in Saint-Hilaire-la-Forêt, right by the campsite. Would you rather wonder down long aisles? Check out the Vendée Automobile Museum (Talmont), the Shell Museum (Sables-d’Olonne) and the beautiful Vendean aquarium, Le 7ème Continent (Talmont).

campsite near La Guignardière Castle

The natural reserves of the Vendée

A few kilometres away you will also find the town of Sables d’Olonne, a seaside resort offering one of the largest beaches in the west of France and hosting a fishing, leisure and commercial port. If you like to admire and walk in protected natural areas, take the time to visit the national nature reserve of the bay of Aiguillon, the bird reserve of Saint Denis du Payré, and the regional nature reserve of the Marais Poitevin.

The 15 most beautiful destinations in the Vendee

Saint-Hilaire-la-Forêt

Our campsite La Grand’Metairie is located in the centre of the town of Saint-Hilaire-la-Forêt, a pretty little village with many tourist attractions. Located in the south of the Vendée, 6 km from the most beautiful beaches on the coast, it is one of the municipalities of the “Carnac vendéen” with its many megaliths such as the Dolmen de La Sulette. You can also visit the Prehisto’site du Cairn, a place of exhibition and leisure activities entirely dedicated to Prehistory. With its hiking trails, the natural environment of the municipality is ideal for hiking and you can discover with pleasure the charms of the region.

saint hilaire la forêt

Talmont Saint Hilaire

 

Situated only 10 km from the campsite, Talmont Saint Hilaire is particularly famous for the Veillon classified Grand site de France. It is in fact a vast natural complex composed of a dune of almost 1 km, a magnificent beach of golden sand, the Payré Estuary, cliffs where wild creeks nestle and a very beautiful pine forest, all offering a sumptuous landscape always in motion where many relaxing or sporting activities are possible. Some remarkable sites are to be visited: the Château de Talmont Saint-Hilaire, former fortress of Richard the Lionheart, the Notre-Dame-de-Bourgenay chapel in Gothic style and the oyster-farming area la Guittière.

Talmont Saint Hilaire

Jard-sur-Mer

 

Located directly facing the Atlantic Ocean, the seaside resort of Jard-sur-Mer has many assets to spend a pleasant holiday. Between pine forests, marshes and fine sandy beaches, you will be spoilt for choice to practise your favourite water sport or go hiking, walking or cycling and make the most of this magical environment. But the town centre is also very pleasant with nice shops such as La Cave des Chouans, a lively marina where it is nice to stroll. Don’t miss the Monday market, one of the nicest in the region, to stock up on local products 7 km from the campsite!

Jard-sur-Mer

Les Sables-d’Olonne

 

Visit les Sables-d’Olonne with its 3 km of fine golden sandy beach in the town centre, the town is the largest seaside resort in the Vendée region. The embankment, is a popular promenade for tourists who can stroll, have a drink or find a good seafood restaurant while admiring the bay. The town offers many cultural, sporting or discovery activities for holidaymakers: visit to museums, that of Le Coquillage, or that of the Blockhaus Hôpital, boat trip on the Salt River, visit to the ecozoo, gourmet getaway at the workshop Le Chocolatier Sablais, sea trip on a sailboat with Les Sports Nautiques Sablais. All this less than 30 km from La Grand’Métairie.

Les Sables-d'Olonne

Longeville by the sea

 

Nestled in the Poitevin marshes 5 km from our campsite, take the time to visit Longeville sur Mer has no less superb beaches renowned in the world of gliding, the large beach of Les Conches, that of Le Bouil where you can take out your kitesurfing or surfing. Le Rocher beach is ideal for sand yachting thanks to its immense expanse of wet sand. But don’t forget to discover the exceptional and very rich fauna and flora of the Marais Poitevin, during a nice boat trip at La Maison du Marais, also possible at night for even more enchantment!

Longeville sur mer

La Tranche sur Mer

 

Also called “La petite Californie” for its exceptional sunshine, the town of La Tranche sur mer is not lacking in character. Situated on the coast facing the Ile de Ré, 20 km from the campsite, it is a friendly seaside resort which has kept an authentic spirit in a family atmosphere ideal for holidays: a pretty town centre, 13 km of golden sandy beaches, numerous spots for water sports, and no less than 30 km of cycle paths between pine forests, marshes and the coast. It will also be very easy to reach the Ile de Ré during a sea walk with Ouest Sea Zone and to discover the wide open sea of the Vendée.

La Tranche sur mer

Avrillé

 

Do not hesitate to make a small diversion by bike, 4 km from our campsite, to discover the generous nature of the commune of Avrillé. It is absolutely necessary to come and visit the Château de la Guignardière, a real intergenerational adventure park composed of 6 universes representing different eras, in an 86-hectare estate. Discover Avrillé, also rich in a megalithic heritage which has been partly destroyed, but of which there are still beautiful examples such as the Menhir of Camp César visible in the garden of the town hall.

Avrillé

La Roche-sur-Yon

 

A Napoleonic town par excellence, La Roche-sur-Yon has many monuments and sites that bear witness to its construction in 1804, starting with its pentagonal shape and its checkerboard layout interspersed with strong neo-classical-style buildings, institutions which, according to Napoleon, were intended to build a modern France. History and architecture lovers will be happy to come on holiday to La Roche-sur-Yon to discover the national stud farms, the town hall, the Saint-Louis church, the court or the prefecture. Situated 32 km from our campsite, the town has other tourist attractions: a superb market under the halls, the City Zèbre, a large covered amusement park, the aerodrome which offers parachute jumps, Axe Yon, a large paintball park, not forgetting a natural environment full of surprises.

La Roche-sur-Yon

Angles

 

You must come and visit this lovely village built in the Middle Ages in the Poitevin marshes, only 12 km from the Grand’Métairie. Why not plan an excursion by bicycle to come and discover the ancient fortified town of which La Tour Moricq is the emblem? When you arrive in Angles, put down your mounts and let yourself go for a stroll in the narrow streets of the town, discover the authentic charm of the limestone houses, let yourself be surprised by the church Notre-Dame des Anges, spot La Malebête at the top, according to the legend, she eats the beauty of girls… We won’t tell you more.

Angles

Moutiers les Mauxfaits

 

Situated 11 km north-east of La Grand’Métairie campsite, the town is distinguished by the presence of its remarkable Halles built in 1765. Their architecture is impressive and their framework a true masterpiece of know-how. Don’t forget to come and do your market on Friday after visiting Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits where you can admire this building at your leisure while stocking up on local produce. Two amusement parks are also located in the town: O’Gliss Park and Indian Forest.

Moutiers les Mauxfaits

St. Vincent sur Jard

 

7 km to the south of the campsite, Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard has a pretty range of fine sandy beaches, a real playground for fishing and water sports: La Ragnette and the Museum beach. You will enjoy long walks in the maritime pine forest where along the golden sand dunes, Saint-Vincent offers superb natural panoramas of the Ile de Ré or the Pointe du Grouin. You can also visit the house where George Clemenceau spent his old days, situated facing the ocean, it is an oasis of calm and simplicity. As in other towns in the region, you will find many Dolmens and Menhirs during your walks in the countryside, and in particular, the Dolmen du Grand Bouillac. It can therefore be said that it is ideal to spend your holidays in Saint-Vincent sur Jard!

Saint-Vincent sur Jard

Saint-Jean-de-Monts

 

Situated in the south of the island of Noirmoutier on the Côte de Lumière, 70 km from the campsite, the seaside resort of Saint-Jean-de-Monts is the family destination par excellence benefiting from no less than 2,300 hours of sunshine per year! With its 8 km of long beaches of fine golden sand, its 26 km of cycle paths, its spots for water sports, fishing and walking, its 30 km of hiking trails, between forest, marshes and dunes, it is not lacking in tourist attractions. It is now up to you to discover Saint-Jean-de-Monts.

Saint-Jean-de-Monts

Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

 

A beautiful commune that can be explored by bicycle along the cycle paths, bordered by the Marais Breton which undulates according to the colours of the sky, to the rhythm of the seasons and the activity of the sauniers. There are beautiful gently sloping sandy beaches, a lively seaside resort with a market every day of the week, friendly amusement parks, Dino’s Park, Atlantic Toboggan and no less than 3 water sports bases so that everyone can practice their favourite activity. Don’t forget to organise a special horse-drawn carriage ride with Vincent, coachman and storyteller, who knows this superb area inside out and tells you all about it with poetry along the way. Ideal for a holiday in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez which is 1 hour’s drive north of the coast.

Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

Noirmoutier

 

Impossible to miss a visit to Noirmoutier, the mimosa island, you can reach it in less than two hours, by the remarkable bridge over the sea, on the way admire an unforgettable panorama on the coast, or by the passage of the Gois, depending on the tide, a magical experience! Nature lovers, prepare to be bewitched by the island’s sandy coves, golden sand dunes, windswept forests with the scent of maritime pines, salt marshes as far as the eye can see… The island is best visited by bicycle, which can be hired for a day to make the most of this delicate and generous nature.

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

 

We like to get lost in the meandering alleys of the town centre, to admire the white houses studded with hollyhocks, to stroll along the embankment, animated by the terraces of bars and restaurants, overlooking the immense beach of fine sand which runs all the way to Bretignolles. Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is a lively seaside town where you will never get bored: a boat trip on the ocean, on the river La Vie or through the marshes, a visit to the Atelier de la Sardine, the town’s emblem, a chic evening at the casino, lazing on the beach, surfing and many other water sports. The town is located 1 hour’s drive from the campsite.

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie
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