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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The town of Les Sables-d’Olonne, just a few kilometers away, is a resort town with one of the biggest beaches in the west of France with a fishing port, marina and commercial port.If you like admiring and walking through protected nature parks, take the time to visit the Bay of Aiguillon nature reserve, the ornithological reserve of Saint Denis du Payré and the Marais Poitevin regional natural park.