With an amazing 250km of beach-populated coastline, our stunning Vendée region simply can’t be summed up in one article – and that goes for the region’s activities as well! There are innumerable family-friendly activities in Vendée, so whether you want to try something water-based or you’re after some culture, there’s plenty to choose from.
We’ve selected 10 of our favourites below, and if you’re feeling tempted, why not browse our Vendée properties, with a week’s stay costing from £189!
Vendée Globe Sailing, Les Sables d’Olonne
One of the proudest and most exciting events in Vendée’s calendar is without doubt the round-the-world sailing race, the Vendée Globe. Every year the race sets sail from Les Sables d’Olonne, which sees each helm sail out of the town on their 60-foot boat in a total party atmosphere.
The event is the only non-stop, solo round-the-world-race, where sailors receive no assistance and must sail completely unaided for around 80 days (the record is 78). This year, there are 10 nations represented in the race, and 30 boats. Festivities kick off on the 6th November 2016, so make your way to Vendée in time to join the party and wave these brave sailors off!
Lake Jaunay, nearby to La Chaize-Giraud
Lake Jaunay is a sprawling natural reservoir in the Vendée region, stretching for 8km and offering more than enough water based activities to go around! In the summer, the area is a hive of watersports, including canoeing, kayaking, pedalos (in the shape of cars..), sailing and fishing. Keen anglers will enjoy fishing for carp, bream and bass, pike and zander, while nature-lovers should keep their eyes peeled for kingfishers, otters and tawny owls.
Le Château d’Apremont, Apremont
This castle was built in the 12th century, and has a turgid past of sieges, prisoners being held captive, and wars. Today, it makes for a charming family day out, and the château regularly puts on treasure hunts for children. The view from the top of the East Tower is sublime, and it’s also a bargain to enter, costing between €2.50 and €5 entry, depending on your age.
Vendée Mini City, Brétignolles-sur-Mer
If you’re travelling to the Vendée region with small children who love toys (so basically, any child!), La Vendée Miniature is a must. Found just south of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, this model village presents the Vendée landscape of yesteryear in a 1/10 scale. It took 15 years to create, and depicts 650 characters at work with the pièce de résistance including a church standing at just 3 metres tall. Entry prices are between €5.30 and €8.30.
Le Puy du Fou, Les Epesses
Le Puy du Fou is the second most popular resort in France (Disney takes the top spot!) Expect epic battles, pyrotechnics and a whole lot of drama at this park. Parents needn’t worry about it being just for kids as the shows are genuinely mesmerising for all ages, featuring pirates, lancing, World Wars, Knights of the Round Table and lots more. There are also nighttime shows, with beautiful water and light displays accompanied by live music. An unforgettable experience, tickets start from €22, and are well worth it.
Noirmoutier Island, off the coast of La Barre-de-Monts
Accessible by a single road from the mainland, Noirmoutier offers simple beach days perfect for ultimate relaxation. The entire island is only 12 miles long but offers an impressive 25 miles of beaches. Day trips here are all about relaxing on the beach, rock-pooling, walking and sampling local oysters in the few restaurants. Bliss.
O’Gliss Park, Le Bernard
This brand new water park opened in June 2016 to much anticipation, offering a huge range of water-drenched activities for all ages. There’s a paddling pool for the smallest visitors, a beach pool for relaxing, and plenty of slides and rides, including Speed River, Niagara, and a host of flumes categorised by colour to indicate their difficulty: green, blue, red, and black (like ski slopes). There are also four restaurants on site for that much need refuel, and tickets cost from €10-€29 for a day’s entry.
The Big Wheel, St Jean de Monts
A visit to the pretty town of St Jean de Monts this summer will be enhanced by their newly built traditional Ferris Wheel on the beach. A turn on the wheel rewards with fantastic views over the town and out to sea, but you’ll have to plan ahead, as the attraction will only be available until the end of September. The town still boasts a lovely beach though, with sailing and surfing available from the water sports centre!
The Sables d’Olonne Zoo, Les Sables d’Olonne
This zoo is passionate about conservation and the protection of wildlife, and profits from tickets are ploughed back into looking after the animals. Self-titled an ‘eco-zoo,’ all the animals you’ll happen across are well-looked after, with respect held for both the animal’s natural environment and the surrounding French environment. The zoo’s residents include lions, lemurs, spider monkeys, leopards and more.
Golf de Saint Jean de Mont, Saint Jean de Mont
For anyone who enjoys practising their swing on foreign soil, this course is sure to impress. Sitting adjacent to the beach, we challenge you to remain focused with those stunning views before you. It’s been ranked among the top 10 on this coastline, and lessons are offered on a daily basis.
Vendée is a fantastic destination for family-friendly holidays, with a huge range of activities to try. Browse our properties, with prices starting from from £189!