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Attractions in the Vendée

Welcome to the Vendée Guide to Tourist Attractions.

We hope that you will enjoy browsing through our list of over 140 major attractions throughout the Vendée.  Whatever type of tourist attraction you are looking for we will do our best to help you to find it. The Vendée being one of France’s most popular holiday destinations means that there is no shortage of things to do whatever the weather or the time of year. There are a wide range of things to do for all the family, with cultural & heritage attractions, ranging from: Châteaux, Castles and Churches, museums , Theme Parks, Amusement Parks, General Interest, Historic Heritage, Markets, Childrens Games and Entertaiments to Zoos Gardens, Adventure parks,   Water Sports, Rivers of the Vendee and Wildlife Reserves.

To find a place to go, something to do or to find a tourist attraction that you may have heard of, simply select the place and/or type of attraction on the right of the page. Whatever your age or interests, we are sure you will find that there are attractions to suit. Below you will find an extensive list of the major attractions in alphabetical order, with links to pages for further details.

There will also be many smaller attractions within towns and villages and of course the towns and villages may well be the attraction themselves, as with Vouvant, Foussais-Payre, Fontenay-le-Comte, and Rocheserviere to name but a few.

If in the unlikely event you don't find anything that excites you then try looking at our Vendée beaches section for a comprehensive listing of the many wonderful beaches, or our Things to do section, with ideas ranging from painting to shopping. We also have pages on activities where you can find information on the different sports together with cultural venues and events.

As well as the attractions in the Vendée we are adding attractions from just outside of the Vendée that you may want to visit while on holiday in the Vendée. These include places such as  La Rochelle, Ile de Re, Coulon and Clisson.
A to Z of Attraction.

Abbaye de la Grainetiere Built in 1130, Les Herbiers. has seen many attacks, but itscloisters and chapel are still intact
Lieu Dieu. Near Jard -sur-Mer. Built by Richard the Lion Heart.
Prieure de Grammont. Built by Richard the Lion Heart in the 13th Century .Open June to Sept.
Abbaye de L'Ile Chauvet on the Breton Marshes between Chateauneuf and Bois-en-Cene.
Abbaye-du-maillezais large abbey on the Marais Poitevin it is architecturally unique in the Poitou Saintonge..
Abbaye de St.Michel-en-l'Herm. Founded in 682 part of the abbey is open to the public.
Royal Abbaye Neuil-sur-l'Autise. Granted royal status by Eleanor of Aquitaine. Open daily throughout the year...

Adventure Parks.
201 forest Avenue.
Adventure Parc Mervent tree top adventures ia an aerial assault course to test your skills, agility and balance.
Donjon des Cimes. New for 2010. Fontenay-le-Comte. Promenades and games up in the trees
Le Grand Defi  St Julien des Landes, 5 courses of adventure up in the trees.
Feeling Forest. St.Hilaire-de Riez. 6 courses in the trees.
Indian Forest. The Vendées largest adventure park with 310 events on 17 courses.
Pierre Brune.  Mervent Forest.A fun park with large variety of games
Tepacap. Mesnard la Barotier. 6 courses in the trees + paintball.

Animaux de la Ferme  This Farm and Nature wildlife park has over 500 animals.

7th Continent.  The aquarium at Talmont-St.Hilaire.
Sealand Noirmoutier. The aquarium on the island of Noirmoutier.

Atlantic Toboggan.  Large water park consists of a huge lake with all its fun equipment is a fabulous assembly of facilities.
Barrage de Boisse one of the hydaulic water managements in the Marais Poitevin.
Bazoges-en-Pareds. The keep and gardens of a Medieval Feudal castle.
Bourrine de Rosie  Traditional Marais Breton thatched two room cottage was until recently the home of an old lady,
Bourrine-du Bois-Juquaud.  Discover the lives of the people of the marshes
Brasserie Melusine. The Vendées first Brewery at Chambretaud in the Haut Bocage
Center for Archaeological Research Initiation and the Neolithic. A prehistory discovery centre...
Canal-de-Ceinture-des-Hollandais one of the major drainage canals of the Marais Poitevin.
Centre Minier de Faymoreau. The Village, chapel, museum and exhibitions on the life of mining in the Vendée.

Churches of importance; see also churches in the Vendee
La Baslica. St.Laurent-sur-Sèvre. The main church in the Vendee's "holy Town"
Le Boupere. This fortified church looks more like a castle than a church.
Cheffois.  Medieval fortified church.
Fontenay-le-Comte. Cathedral Notre-Dame. Founded in the 12th century as an Augustinian abbey.
Lucon Cathedral.The Cathedral of Lucon dominates the skyline for miles around. Cardinal Richelieu was a Bishop here.
Mesnard la Barotiere. 11th century church of St.Christophe with medieval wall frescos that were discovered in 1950.
La Pommeraie-sur-Sevre. 12th century church of St.Martins has some XV century Frescos on the south wall of the nave,
Notre Dame Vieux Pouzages.  built around 1066 in the shape of a Latin cross it contains Medieval wall paintings.

Chateau Adventurers.  2 grand courses of adventure for a fabulous day out with the Family.

Châteaux: see also châteaux and castles in the vendée
Château Commequiers. Feudal chateau with moat. Hold spectacular events during the summer.
Château d'Apremont. The two surviving towers were part of a renaissance chateau built in the early 1500's...
Château d'Ardelay The Large 15th century square tower with red tiles, the wall court yard and several buildings...
Château de Barbe Bleu Chateau at Tiffauges. Its most infamous resident was Gilles de Rais also known as blue beard.
Chateau Bessay .This renaissance château has a magnificent Henry 1V  tower and ancient pigeonnier.
Château de l'Hermenault. In 1003 a fortified priory was built here and was annexed to the Bishops of Maillezais abbey.
Château de la Greve. St. Martin des Noyers. 12th Century medieval château.
Château dela Guignardiere. Historic Renaissance château, you can view it from the cellars (Cave) to the roof timbers.
Château La Landebaudiere. The château was built in 1786 by Pierre-Prosper de Boisy the Marquis de Boisy,
Château de Noirmoutier. Built in the 12th century it has survived well through the ages retaining all its charm and character.
Château Talmont st.Hilaire Experience life in the middle ages in the Fortress of Richard the Lion Heart.
Château des Essarts. This medieval Château with its feudal moat sits on top of a mound which dates from the 10th century.
Château Garnache.  Built for the lords of la Garnache around 1045 by the Viscount of Thouars.
Château-la-Citardiere. Renaissance castle built around 1625 for Jacques de Morienne a tax collector.
Château Palluau. Old feudal castle hidden amongst the woods.
Château du Parc Soubise. The chateau was burnt down during the war of the Vendée, today it is a ghostly reminder...
Château Pouzages The fortress which dates from the X11 and X111 centuries has 12 towers including the magnificent Keep.
Château Sigournais. 15th Century feudal castle at Sigournais on the border between the Haut and Bas Bocage...
Château St.Mesmin. Built in 1370 by Pierre-de-Montfaucon in a hexagonal shape has 5 horseshoe shaped towers,
Château Terre Neuve Fontenay-le-Comte. Built in 1580, contains monumental fireplaces, stone carved ceilings...
Châteaumur. The smallest, yet most enchanting feudal castle in the Vendee.
Loges Chabotterie. An astonishingly evocative insight into the gentility of life in the Vendée in the years before the Revolution.
Tour Moricq The keep of the medieval castle near Angles
Vieux Château Ile d'Yeu, built to defend the island from the English and Spainish, but also from pirates.

Chavagne en Pallaua follie the Sanctuarie de Notre Dame de Salette.
Chemin de Fer Steam railway.The Vendée's only steam railway.
Cheval Parc horse and donkey park.
Cinescenie de Puy-du-Fou. This unique night time spectacular is famous the world over.
Cite des Oiseaux wild fowl reserve.
Clisson (loire Atlantique) Medieval town with an Italian feel.
Coulon. (deux Sevres) Capital of the Green Venice.
Court d'Aron  Ornimental & Tropical Gardens

Daviaud Eco-museum of the Breton Marshes.
Ecluse- Pointe aux Herbes. Hydaulic feature of the Marais Poitevin.
Espace des Records Exhibition of world record.
Espace Gaston Chassac. The vendéen artist who painted on many media.
Feeling Forest. Adventure in the tree tops.
Feerie des Santons Magnificent miniature villages peopled with 600 original santons
Folie de Finfarine. The Folly Finfarine is a tourist site that invites young and old to explore nature.
Fontenay-le-Comte Renaissance town with many attractions, Cite de Plus Beau detour de France.
Foussais Payre    "Petites Cites de Character"
Gardens of the Vendée. There are many beautiful and interesting gardens in the Vendée
Grand Parc de Puy du Fou World famous Theme Park.
Green Venice The wet marshes of the Marais Poitevin. One of the major tourist attractions in France.

Haras de la Vendée.   The Nation Stud, a most for horse lovers.
Historial de la Vendée.  The museum of the Vendée.
Ile aux Jeux. Island of games, childrens play centre.
L'Ile d'Yeu. Island off the coast of the Vendée
Ile Noirmoutier.This is a beautiful and stunning island, and is must on everyone's list of must see.
Ile de Re (charente Maritime) Charming and picturesque island with so much to do and see
Indian Forest. Adventure park. One of the largest adventure parks in France.
Jardin du Loriot. Bamboo gardens.
Jardins de Olfacties. Purfumed gardens at Coex, scented trails water features and so much more...
Jardin du batiment. Thire. William Christie's remarkable garden.
Jardin du Prieure St.Pierre. Reaumur. An interesting garden well worth a visit.
Jardins de Chaligny.A garden of geometric design of the 18th century
Jardins du Vent. Garden of wind driven things
Kulmino. A water tower with panoramic views and exhibition of water cycle.

L'Aqueduc de Maille Fascinating medieval water system
l'Aunisceane, Water park complex at La Tranche-sur-Mer.
L'Ile aux Papillons Butterfly farm.
La Corniche From Les Sables to Port Bourgenay.
La Corniche Vendéene. From St.Gilles Croix de Vie to Sion-sur-l'Ocean.
La Rochelle. (Charente-Maritime) Frances second most visited  tourist city
Le Noeud Hydaulic Bazoin  Picturesque water management system.
Les P'tit Mousses.  St Gilles Croix de Vie. Miniature ships you can ride around the lake of Jaunay.
Les Salines Boat trip through the marches to discover the salt production of the Marais Olonne
Loges Chabotterie The loges and their gardens are one of the more interesting stately homes in the Vendée

Maison de l'Ane  Donkey farm with rides etc.
Maison Meunerie Working watermill.
Maison de la Riviere watermill.
Maison de la vie Rurale  Eco-museum to the rural life.
Maison deux Victories. Mouilleron-en-Pareds. Museum of the lives of Clemenceau and Marechal Lattre.
Maison Libellules. dragonfly farm, eco-museum.
Maison-jardins Clemenceau. St.Vincent-sur-Jard. House and impressionist gardens of Georges Clemenceau
Manoir Reaumur. Science museum
Marais Breton.Picturesque and interesting marshlands in the north Vendée
Marais pays d'Olonne. Marshlands of the Marais d'Olonne
Marais Poitevin. 2nd largest marshland in France
Marais Salants. The salt marshes.

Markets  Weekly markets of the Vendée.
Mervent Forest. This ancient forest with its lakes is as interesting as it is Beautiful.
Mervent Zoo. Small but well run and interesting zoo.
Mini Ville  Miniature village Ile de Noirmoutier.
Moulin a Elise working watermill also houses the Tourist information office.
Moulin a Foulon.Cugand. Last working water driven woollen mill in France.
Moulin de Raire. Working windmill.
Moulin de Ramboug. Watermill open to the public.
Moulin des Alouette. Les Hebiers, windmills including one in working condition.
Moulin des Gourmands  St.Reverend. Windmill Open to the Public.
Moulin Pocouinay. Renovated windmill with a museum near Oulmes.

Automobile de Vendée museum of motor cars, motor bikes and carriages.
Historial de la Vendée. Vendées state of the art museum at les Lucs-sur Boulogne.
Musee Andre Deluol. St.Michel-en-l'herm. Works of scupture Andre Deluol
musée-de-l'Abbaye-St-Croix. Contemporary art gallery, Les Sables d'Olonne.
Musée de la France Protestante. The museum of the protestant movement in western France.
Musée Deux Victories.Mouiller-en-Pareds. celebrate the Vendées 2 men of the 2 World Wars.
Musée la Mie Caline. Museum of the bakers trade in the Vendee
Musée Ornithologique.  Stuffed birds by Taxidermist Charles Payraudeau.Chaize le Vicomte.
Musée de Traditions Populaires Collection of arts ,crafts, costumes memorbilia. Olonne-sur-Mer.
Musée des utensiles St Denis la Chevasse Museum devoted to Kitchen utensils of bygone years.
Musée Vendeen. Fontenay le Comte. One of the major Museums of the Vendée.
Musée du Coquillage. The Sea Shell collection at Les Sables d'Olonne.

Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle. This small chapel on the Ile d'Yeu has watched over sailors for centuries.
Oceabul. Swimming pool complex and well being centre St.Jean-de-Monts.
Oceanile. Swimming pool complex on the Ile de Noirmoutier, with water slide torrent rivers etc.
Parc des Dunes. Fun parc, water games and pools, ideal family entertainment.
Parcours Adventure. St.Jean-de-Monts. Adventure in the Trees. 5 courses for all the family.
Passage du Gois. The 4.5km causeway that joins the island of Noirmoutier to the mainland appears twice a day.
Petit Moulin de Châteauneuf. Join the Vrignaud family in their 300 year old Windmill and learn about milling.
Pierre Brune. Fun Park in the Mervent Forest. Water dodgums, Toboggans, Games and Frills for all the Family.
Pointe de l'Aiguillon. Large nature reserve and the Anse d'Aiguillon, also some great beaches.
Pointe du Payre. Nature reserve and one of the prettiest places in the Vendee.
Pont du Brault. The last part of the drainage system on the Marais Poitevin.
Port Bourgenay. Interesting marina and cliff top walks plus nearby golf.
Port Courdault. Last working port on the Marais Poitevin now a very attractive and relaxing spot.
Port de la Meule. Charming and picturesque fishing harbour on the Ile d'Yeu.
Port du Bec. Known as "Chinese port" because of the spindle wooden jetties. A picturesque fishing harbour.

Potager Extraordinaire.  A special market garden that specialises in gourds and other rare vegetables.
Prieure de Grammont. Built by Richard the Lion Heart in the 13th Century .Open June to Sept.
Puy du Fou.  The day time Grand Parc and the night time spectacular Cinescenie are world famous attractions.
Refuge de Grasla.  In the woods just outside of Les Bouzils this is where the Vendéen army took refuge.
Rivers of the Vendée  All the major rivers of the Vendée.
Roseraie de la Vendée. Superb rose gardens at St.Reverend.
Rosnay. Village at the centre of the Vendée wine growing industry. Wine route and wine tasting.
Sanctaire Salette. A folly of cascading towers, renovated for 2010.
Sealand Noirmoutier. The aquarium on the the island of Noirmoutier, cold and tropical fish, 200 different species.
St.Denis Payre. Nature reserve and observation station on the edge of the Marais Poitevin.
St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Picturesque port and marina, so much always going on.
Tepacap. Mesnard la Barotiere. Adventure park in the trees, plus other games.

Valley de Poupet. Picturesque watermill on the river Sévre Nantaise, summer music festival, and more.
Velo Rail. Commequiers.Take a trip along a disused railway line though the heart of the Bocage.
Vendée Miniature. Model Village at Bretignolles-sur-Mer. 1/10th scale model of a Vendée village of yester year.
Vieux Château, Ile d'Yeu. Old feudal castle which sits on a rock just off the western coast of the island.
Vouvant. Listed as one of the prettiest villages in France, also as village of painters.
Windmills and Water mills of the Vendée
Zoo les Sable d'Olonne. The largest zoo in the vendée close to the beach
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