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6 reasons to visit the Vendée

by Tash 12th February 2016
Le Littoral, Vendee aerial shot

When you think of holidays to France, the Vendée might not be the first place that springs to mind. But it’s well worth taking a closer look at this coastal region for your next holiday – here are 6 reasons we love visiting the Vendée.

1. Super seaside resorts

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Les Sables d’Olonne has a magnificent sandy beach and narrow cobbled streets packed with colourful restaurants and shops, including the Rue de l’Enfer – at just 40cm wide, it’s the narrowest alleyway in the world. The resort is also the main yachting harbour in the Vendée and there’s a chance you’ll see various races and regettas there throughout the season. Le Littoral is a brilliant beachfront parc that organises daily trips to the resort so you can explore!

2. An island of butterflies!

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Set your holiday heart aflutter at L’Ile aux Papillons (the Island of Butterflies), an incredible tropical hall that houses 700 butterflies of all shapes and sizes. Walk through the greenhouse and see how many different kinds you can spot – one or two may even rest on your collar. This totally enchanting experience is just 20 minutes away from Camping la Forêt.

3. Surf’s up

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Famed for its broad sweep of Atlantic coast and beaches for miles, it’s no surprise that surfing crashes into a league of its own in the Vendée. From St Gilles Croix de Vie all the way to La Tranche sur Mer, the Atlantic waves offer a surfing paradise for beginners through to experts. Bel is 300 metres from the beach and is a great spot to try windsurfing.

4. Fresh, delicious seafood

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The Vendée’s coastal location means great things for your dinner plate – freshly caught, delicious seafood every night. On menus you’ll spot bowls of Moules Frites, the national dish, and ‘Huîtres de Vendée Atlantique’, which are oysters, freshly caught in Atlantic waters. Stay at Sol à Gogo and try dinner at La Ferme de Melusine in nearby town St-Hilaire-de-Riez. It serves wonderful seafood and shellfish in simple, rustic surroundings.

5. Fly or catch the ferry

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There are two main airports you can use to get to the Vendée: Nantes and La Rochelle. Both are serviced by low cost airlines from London, Manchester and Dublin, with an average flight time of around two hours. Alternatively, if you prefer to drive to your holiday destination, you can book an overnight ferry to St Malo and hit the road on the other side. That’s what Simon from Derbyshire did for his stay at Les Ecureuils:

“Our third holiday in the Vendée in a row – we love it for the ease of getting there. With overnight ferries we can be on the campsite by lunchtime and straight in the pool!”

6. A spectacular medieval show

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Yep, that’s right. No trip to the Vendée would be complete without Puy du Fou – a spectacular medieval experience inspired by the history of France and Europe, set within an ancient forest. Over 30 million visitors have already enjoyed this unique live event, culminating in an open-air evening performance involving 850 actors, including 50 horsemen. La Garangeoire is just over an hour’s drive from Le Puy du Fou.

If you want to know anything more about holidays to the Vendée, or fancy sharing your own hints and tips if you’ve been there, leave a comment on this post or get in touch over Facebook and Twitter.

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2 comments

jakk02 4th June 2018 at 9:11 am

I also spent a really good tiem there with my family during my last winter holidays. We had huge fun there and came back with a lot of pleasant memories.

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Manuwee 13th July 2018 at 12:16 pm

Thanks for informative sharing. I also have a plan to go there in the middle of this month for having with my mates. I hope so that it will be a really great time for us.

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