Cultural activites to do in Vendée
Our ideas for cultural activities in Vendée
Are you looking to experience the Vendée in a unique and unforgettable manner ? Find out our favourite places in Vendée to immerse yourself into French culture.
The region Vendée is full of amazing cultural sites, fantastic food and peaceful places.
Activities to taste local food and beverage from the Atlantic Coast
Local food plays an important part in the region’s culture: seafood, pastries, drinks... The list is quite long, but here’s our favourite activities to discover these tasty dishes.
The region is known for oysters. The oyster farm “L’Huitrière de Vendée” in Fromentine is a nice way to learn about the production of these shellfish in a family business. You have the possibility to follow a guided tour and taste some delicious oysters.
A must-try in the Vendée is the brioche. The fluffiness of this bread will only make you want to buy more. You can buy it in any bakery in the Vendée.
Wine is also very important in France and the region has its own speciality: the Fiefs vendéens AOC which is an appellation that regroups 5 winegrowing areas in the region. Many vineyards and wine cellars are accessible for visits and wine tasting.
Discover the richness of the Vendée’s cultural heritage
If you like history and want to learn more about our region, you should visit these amazing places.
In the village Sallertaine, known as the city of art and artisan, you will travel in time. Only 15 minutes away from the holiday park, this city surrounded by marshes is truly a beautiful spot for a day wandering in the streets. Explore the roman church, the museum “La Bourrine à Rosalie” to learn about the way of living in the area in previous times and “Le Moulin de Rairé”, one of the oldest and still working windmills in the region. Many workshops owned by passionate artists are open and they will gladly make you discover their creations and art.
The castle “Logis de la Chabotterie”, one hour away from the holiday park, is a gem if you would like to learn more about the French revolution and the Vendée Civil war. Visit the castle decorated as the 18th century and the french garden filled with medicinal herbs. Audio guides are provided in English. You can bring your own picnic to spend a splendid day in Logis de la Chabotterie.
Spent the day in the castle “Terre Neuve'' in Fontenay-le-Comte to learn about the monument’s history throughout the centuries. In this renaissance-styled castle, situated 1 hour and a half from Saint Jean de Monts, you will discover many incredible secrets such as the stone that cured incurable disease and the story of the famous French poet Nicolas Rapin, known for his satirical poems. Guided tours and billboards are in English to explore different rooms of the castle on reservation. A museum is also accessible to have more details on the castle’s story.
Explore the Vendée with city-trips
We can not suggest food and cultural sites without talking about the cities and villages you can explore in the region.
The biggest city is Nantes; art, culture and heritage is at the heart of the city. Nantes is a walkable city which makes it easy to wander around and discover “Les machines de l’île”, impressive real size machine animals, inspired by Jules Verne’s writings and the historical city centre with the castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The castle was built in the 15th century and is free of access. Not far away from the historical city centre, find the medieval neighbourhood Bouffay with the famous Cathedral “Saint Pierre et Saint Paul de Nantes” and the garden “Le jardin des plantes”.
Les Sables d’Olonne is one of the most famous cities of the Atlantic Coast. This city is known internationally for the Vendée Globe, the only sailing race round the world. Walk in the city to discover the neighbourhood “l’île Penotte” decorated by a lady with shellfish and paint, the abbey Saint Croix, the Prieuré Saint Nicolas and its garden to have a beautiful view of the sea and the city. Walk along the port and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Les Sables d’Olonne.
If you want to explore smaller and more traditional villages, you should visit the city of Clisson. Heritage and history is combined with beautiful landscapes for an enchanting day in this “city of character”. Visit the medieval castle of Clisson and the paper windmill Liveau from the 19th century. This charming Italian-styled village, damaged by the French revolution and the Vendée civil war, still has many things to offer. Discover this authentic village, known for its tasteful wines and its breathtaking landscapes.
For a breath of fresh air we suggest you take a boat from the island Noirmoutier or a car to join the city Pornic. You will experience a splendid day in this seaside resort between a fishing harbour, a marina and beaches. Discover this famous french seaside city that lived through many centuries with 5 different tours offered by the tourist office. This city is typical from the 19th century with a beautiful medieval architecture, the famous castle that overlooks the narrow street city centre and a coastal path to admire the well-preserved fauna and wildlife. Pornic is also known for its special milk cheese “le Curé Nantais” matured in the regional wine Muscadet.
Activities you can not miss : the must-visits of the Vendée
The famous port in Saint-Gilles Croix de Vie has been in use since the 15th century and is still working nowadays. It is famous for sardines fishing as it is the leading sardine port of the Atlantic Coast. Follow the blue fishes on the ground to discover this harbour city and all its important spots in an amusing way. “L’atelier de la sardine” will offer you in-depth knowledge about the history and savoir-faire of sardines and the cannery industry in the region. Audio-guides are provided in English and the museum is free of access.
The island Yeu is a must-visit. You can cross the sea by tourist boat and, on the island, you can rent a bike or a scooter to explore every spot of this magical island. The castle surrounded by the sea, the sea lighthouse, the Saint-Sauveur church and the beautiful beaches will only make you want to stay. Reach each monument spread across the small island for a fun day full of discovery.
Stop by the island Noirmoutier, a beautiful and peaceful island recognizable by the small white fishermen houses with blue shutters. Noirmoutier is a maritime island connected to the land by “le Gois”, a man-made submersible road of 4 km long. If you visit the island, you have to see its salt marshes, the port of “l’Herbaudière” and “Vieil” and wander around in the historical city centre. Noirmoutier is a must-visit of the region Vendée thanks to the artisans, the food specialties such as the salt, the potatoes and the salicorne herb, and the fantastic landscapes. Let yourself get guided by the workshops’ tasteful smells and enchanting sounds of the island Noirmoutier.
The Puy du Fou historical theme park boasting spectacular shows is located an hour and a half's drive from the holiday park. You will be amazed by the fantastic shows, decors and stories played by thousands of volunteers. This park has been elected the best park in the world for a good reason !
Now we believe you have all the necessary advice to spend amazing holidays on the Atlantic Coast. Find also our favourite traditional and local restaurants around Saint Jean de Monts.
We hope you will spend memorable holidays by exploring our special and favourite places in Vendée.