Our Top 5 Days out in 2017

One of the reasons we love the Vendee is the wealth of things to see and do; and this year was no different.

We found more beaches we LOVE, more great days out, and more great places to eat! (Pizza by the ocean anyone?!)

1. Parc Floral et Tropical

This is a real hidden gem, and it’s easy to spend half a day here exploring the different themed gardens.

Renowned for its Lotus Lake, late July to mid August is the perfect time to visit to see the lake and it’s hundreds of Loti in full glory.

Take along a picnic and enjoy sitting amongst the musical plants (yes really!), feed the animals in the mini-farm, or simply explore the exotic plants

2. Les Sables d’Olonne

Ok, so not a new find for 2017, but a stroll around Les Sables d’Olonne is still one of my favourite things to do and it was no different in 2017.

I especially like to wander down after 7pm on an evening (free parking after 7pm), and enjoy the nightly entertainment in the summer months along the promenade, have some fresh moules by the harbour, and watch the sun set over the Grand Plage.

Each time I visit I find a new winding street, or a restaurant to try, and I will never get tired of the catching glimpse of the glorious blue sea through the grand Edwardian building.

3. Chateau Terre-Neuve and Fontenay-le-Comte

The impressive Chateau Terre Neuve is a treasure trove of French history, with much of the furniture coming from the Sun Kings palace of Versailles.

Not to be missed is the great hearth which features intricate carvings on how to create the Philosopher’s Stone, and of course the muses that adron the outside of the Chateau are a must see.

Terre Neuve is situated in the picturesque, and Italian and Renaissance inspired Fontenay le Comte, definitely worth a wander around the pretty streets, and parc.

Fonetnay le Comte plays host to the Tour de France 2018. Find out more about the route here.

4. Noirmoutier-en-L’Ile

One of the reasons I love the location of Chateau La Foret is its proximity to La Rochelle to the south, and Noirmoutier-en-L’Ile to the north.

Noirmoutier is the definition of an island paradise. With its golden beaches, rock pools, sailing and idyllic villages with lust (and insta) worthy houses. Its Centre Ville is also a bustling hub of boutiques, restaurants, museums, art galleries, fort, and wisteria covered buildings; it is utter perfection!

5. The Corniche

Anyone who follows Votre Vacances on any social media will know our love (*obsession) for Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, and this year, with a bit more exploring (ie walking further than the shops!) I ventured along the coastal path of the Corniche.

Not only does the coastal path take you along stretches of quiet beaches, but there are plenty of beachside cafes and restaurants too.

All of this culminates in teh Vendee lighthouse and views of the coastline that stretch up to Saint Jean de Monts, and down to Les Sables d’Olonne.

If you have little ones, let them ride their bikes from Saint Gilles along the bike paths, and stop for an ice cream, or alternatively take a picnic and enjoy a day at the beach followed by a stroll in to Saint Gilles itself.

In the summer there’s a small night market outside the church, or visit the large traditional french market every Saturday, follwed by some fresh patisserie et cafe a la the locals!