Things to do
The small historic town of Sainte-Hermine is just 15 minutes away and holds a market every Friday morning at the Halles rue Georges Clemenceau. On the last Friday of each month the city holds a lively fair and the first weekend in August the Festival of History of France Sainte-Hermine takes place.
Your nearest large town is Fontenay-le-Comte just a short 20 minute (15 kms) drive. Fontenay was the capital of the Vendee region until 1789 when Napoleon decided to re-locate it to La Roche-sur-Yon. The town is laid out on both sides of the Vendee river and on a Saturday morning the town buzzes with activity when the market is in full swing.
20 kms south-west you will find Lucon that offers a variety of shops with everything you need in one location. Lucon offers something for everyone, with its old port, beautiful cathedral and Dumaine Garden (cited among the most beautiful gardens in France) along with a market every Saturday.
Puy du Fou voted the world’s best theme park, offers a multitude of great shows and adventures for the whole family. A historical theme park open every day during the summer months and an evening sound and light show staged in the chateau’s grounds two nights a week. Not to be missed! www.puydufou.co
Cycle Vendee offers the largest network of cycle tracks in France, a 1,100km cycling network using various tracks to explore the department in complete safety with family and friends. The Vendee has a tourist-friendly cycling network with an outstanding variety of landscapes and surfaces and with a variety of difficulty levels. Everything has been set up for maximum safety, dedicated tracks with signage and picnic areas along the way. vendeevelo.vendee-tourisme.com
The medieval village of Vouvant is labelled one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is said it was created by the fairy Melusine in 1242 and offers charming cobbled streets and squares with cafes, bars and interesting crafts. Well worth a stroll.
La Venise Vert (Green Venice) is a 35,000-hectare labyrinth of tree lined waterways within the Parc naturel regional du Marais poitevin, one of the regions most enchanting features. Here you can hire a boat that can fit four to six people, or if you prefer to stay on dry land, you can hire bikes and explore the signposted trails.
Mervent just 25 minutes from us in the heart of the forest has much to offer. The forest of Mervent is a hikers paradise with well-maintained and marked walking and mountain bike trails. There is a 9km mountain bike route specially adapted for children with picnic tables along the way.
Mervent Zoo is a ‘Natur’Zoo’ animal park, adapted for family outings with more than 300 animals and 60 different species. Young children will love the mini farm and a playground located nearby with a monkey bridge, zip line and swings and slide.
Deep in the forest of Mervent there is Park de Pierre-Brune amusement park where you can enjoy 40 games for all ages such as mini karting, bungee trampoline, bumper boats, crazy bikes and more.
Lake Mervent, the largest expanse of fresh water in the middle of the forest, is ideal for angling and boating, you can hire an electric boat, a canoe or rowing boat or get started on paddle boarding or windsurfing.
O’Gliss Park A fantastic aquatic park offers an ideal location to take it easy or enjoy the thrill of the rides on offer. Open from June to September there is a lagoon to relax by, a wave pool, Ludo’s park with playful activities for younger children including the aqua tower with 4 slides. For the more adventurous there is 400 metres of wild rivers plus “Delir’s Space” with 12 breath taking rides. This park is just 35 minutes from us and you are advised to book in advance. www.oglisspark.fr
La Rochelle, take a walk around the picturesque harbour and browse the stalls and markets in the old town. With a beautiful cathedral, museums and a waterpark, La Rochelle has something to offer the whole family.
Head to the beach! …140km of beaches line the Vendee, most of which receive blue flag accolades for cleanliness and for their water quality. The best surfing beaches are said to be between St-Gilles and Les Sables. In less than an hour’s drive Le Maupas offers water sports and the departure point for visiting the Iles. At low tide Terriere Beach transforms into a playing field for sand yachts. La Faute-sur-mer is just a 50 minute drive and offers 10km of wide sandy beaches particularly appreciated by families for their safety.