Visiting Vendee

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Vendee Department is one of France’s most popular holiday destinations. It is known for its beaches, seaside and countryside villages, amusement parks, historic landmarks, sailing, and cycling.

It is located in west-central France on the Atlantic coast.


Vendee is gifted with many long, sloping sandy beaches that are kid-friendly. The coast here is known as the Côte de Lumière ('Coast of Light'), with over 2400 hours of sunshine each year in its warm and sunny climate.

Seaside and Countryside Towns and Villages

There are many seaside towns and villages along the Atlantic coast. More known ones include:

Passage du Gois - a natural, unique 4 km sea passage that is periodically flooded and leads to the island of Noirmoutier.

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie - a town with sandy beaches, fishing and pleasure marinas, and five weekly markets.

Passage du Gois.JPG

Les Sables d’Olonne - with its seaside promenade lined with shops and cafes, and the Vendee Globe race (see below).

Interesting countryside towns and villages include Vouvant, Fontenay-le-Comte, Apremont, Aizenay and Commequiers.


Amusement Parks

Puy du Fou is the largest amusement park in Europe, with live daytime and evening shows.

Bluebeard’s Castle at Tiffauges offers displays, demonstrations and movies to experience life in the middle ages, and holds one of the most visited Christmas markets in France.
Château de la Guignardière is a 16th century castle and park that hosts a number of family -oriented quiz-pathfinder games. The area is known for its natural beauty.
Océanile is a large waterpark complex on the island of Noirmoutier.

Historical Landmarks

The Vendee region is rich with history and includes Feudal and Renaissance castles, chateaus, abbeys, churches and living history displays. Noteworthy ones include:

Abbey of Saint Vincent/Nieul-sur-l'Autise is a restored complex that includes a church, cloisters and monastic buildings.
Château de Noirmoutier is a well-preserved example of 12th century medieval architecture.
Château de Talmont is one of the oldest stone castles in France, offering tours and entertainment throughout the year.
Apremont is home to a 16th century castle, a quaint village, and hosts a number of seasonal activities for adults and children.


Vendee has over 140 km of coastline and many inland lakes and rivers. There are many sailing and other boating opportunities.

The Vendee Globe is an international sailing race held every four years that circumnavigates the globe. Many consider it to be the greatest sailing race in the world. Sailors often accompany the competitors at the beginning and end of each race.


There are over 1500 km of marked bike paths in Vendee, including the Bocage, Marais Poitevin (also known as Green Venice), and an Atlantic Coast segment of the Eurovelo network.

Accommodations for short and long term stays

Many Europeans who frequent Vendee own a second home there. A static caravan / sited mobile home in a park is an attractive and affordable option. A leisure park home can offer many amenities, such as swimming pools, restaurants, bars and entertainment, with greater privacy and at a greatly reduced cost compared to other accommodations.

Note: Amenities, activities and services are subject to COVID-19 restrictions.