Spend your next holiday in France’s Vendée!

March, 16 2020

The Vendée is a great destination for a family holiday. This tranquil region on France’s west coast is the perfect place to enjoy beautiful nature reserves, friendly seaside resorts, clean beaches and best outings that the whole family can enjoy. A campsite in the Vendée is perfect for campers of all ages. Read on, and I can guarantee that your next holiday will be in the Vendée!

Pleasant camping climate

The Vendée is a sparsely populated department in western France, and is enjoyed by many French families every year. And we understand why! The friendly seaside villages, fine sandy beaches and fun attractions are a real draw to tourists. And being in a coastal region, you can count on a maritime climate, which has its advantages. The summer months rarely average more than 25 degrees, which is ideal for enjoying yourself outside. Plus, the many hours of sunshine year round make it just as pleasant when the temperatures start to fall.

Vendée Noirmoutier

One of the many beaches on the island of Noirmoutier. Holidaymakers to the Vendée can choose from more than 140 kilometres of vast, clean beaches.

There are more reasons to choose a holiday in the Vendée. It’s relative accessibility for a start. The regional capital La Roche-sur-Yon is well within reach of most of France’s neighbouring countries, and depending on the route you take, a stopover in the Paris area is not out of the question. Culture lovers might like to make it a longer stopover and enjoy what the French capital has to offer, while beach lovers will probably prefer to hit the road again the next day. From Paris to the coast, you should expect to drive for no more than five hours.

Five stopover campsites in the Paris area

A voyage of discover in the most beautiful of spots

The Vendée is devoid of large cities and the capital city La Roche-sur-Yon is home to only slightly more than 50,000 inhabitants. Visitors can enjoy the city’s churches, town hall and national stud farm (Haras de la Vendée), the ‘Haras’, which is a large indoor and outdoor horse complex spread over 4.5 hectares. Take a look inside the stables, the forge, saddlery and coach hose. There are regular guided tours, demonstrations, shows and workshops, which are particularly suitable for children.

Fontenay-le-Comte Vendée

We also recommend the picturesque town of Fontenay-le-Comte, which was the capital of the Vendée until the nineteenth century.

Anyone who loves the charms of small villages should visit Vouvant. This fortified village is home to fewer than 900 inhabitants and is located in the south of the Vendée region. Its Roman church, mediaeval tower and ramparts will take you back in time. Vouvant is enclosed in a loop of the River Mère, and its scenic location draws many artists every single year. The town’s extensive selection of galleries hold workshops that visitors can attend. The combination of history, nature and culture have put Vouvant firmly on the list of France’s most beautiful villages!

A destination for nature lovers

Consisting primarily of villages and small towns, the Vendée is a peaceful region, and with a distinct lack of urban development, nature has been given the space it needs to thrive. The western side of the Vendée is situated on the Atlantic Ocean and is home to extensive coastline. Farther inland, the department has plenty to offer. In the south of the Vendée is the large nature park Marais Poitevin, a marshy area that you can discover from the water or dry land. There are a variety of flat cycle routes through the area for you to explore.

Marais Poitevin Vendée

Enjoy fifty shades of green in the unique marshland of Marais Poitevin. A boat trip is the best way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the nature reserve.

With a coastline extending to more than 140 kilometres, you can’t miss the Vendée’s maritime character. Picturesque harbour towns, beautiful bays, unspoilt beaches and islands off the coast characterise the west of the Vendée. Don’t miss the pleasant resort of Les Sables d’Olonne. The region of l’Ile Penotte is famed for its colourful works of art made from seashells – they are sure to put a smile on your face! Nature enthusiasts will also love the island of Ile d’Yeu with its beautiful wild coast (see main image).

Enjoying your holiday in the Vendée with children

The Vendée’s most famous attraction is Puy du Fou, a historical theme park that is second only to Disneyland in annual visitor numbers. It’s popularity is easy to understand. The theme park puts on impressive shows designed to help visitors of all ages understand history. Its seven headline shows last around 30 minutes each and are set in times including the Roman era, the Viking period and the Middle Ages. The beautiful costumes, shows with animals and lighting and sound effects make for a unique experience for young and old alike.

Puy du Fou Vendée

The Puy du Fou adventure park is not only for children – adults will love its shows too!

Watching a show is enjoyable enough, but don’t forget that the Vendée has plenty for active children too. Young water rats will love Atlantic Toboggan in Saint Hilaire de Riez with its popular water slides. There is also a wave pool and you can hire pedal boats or go boating on the large lake. Those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land might like Château des Aventuriers. This castle in Avrillé is the place for exciting treasure hunts, and with games and puzzles, you can find your way back out!

Camping in the Vendée

Campsites in the Vendée are hugely popular thanks to their conviviality and the natural surroundings that form their backdrop. Along the coast, you can camp with the sand and the sea just a stone’s throw away, while farther inland, the forests and the meadows make for the perfect peaceful camping spot. Wherever you camp, fun on the water is never far away…

Yelloh! campsite Village Château La Forêt has a fantastic swimming pool, lakes within walking distance and the sea just a fifteen-minute drive away. Creep out of your tent and drive into the water to refresh. After breakfast, you should have enough energy to take to a canoe on the lake. And if you haven’t, a restful day on the beach sounds like a good idea.

Vendée camping

The beautiful castle at Yelloh! campsite. You can also see Village Château La Forêt from the water while you’re swimming!

The following are four fantastic campsites that you can enjoy with the family. In brackets are the distances to some local attractions. Handy!

Jeroen Timmermans
  • Auteur: Jeroen Timmermans
  • From Calais to Cannes, and from Nantes to Nancy: Jeroen has definitely done his fair share of exploring in France. With his parents and his brother, he spent weeks at the most beautiful campsites in a trailer tent. Then, the family travelled around the rest of Europe in a motorhome. Now he loves his cultural city breaks. He particularly loves funiculars and cable cars.

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