Tourist Information, Vendee History,
Accommodation, Photos, Reviews,
When on holiday in a foreign country having information on local
facilities and customs can save a lot of time and anguish, which in turn can
make your stay all the more enjoyable. There is nothing more annoying than going
to the shops only to find that they are closed due to unusual opening hours or
public holidays, or having a similar experience when you need a doctor.
have tried to put together a comprehensive list of the main items of information
that could be useful to you while on holiday in the Vendée. Some of these items
may be dealt with in more detail on other pages in which case we have linked
directly to that page.
Emergencies. The following telephone numbers should you require
Sapour Pompiers(fire brigade)........
If calling from a mobile phone use the international 112
number if you are not connected to a local service, or you are having trouble
explaining yourself in French.
In general in the Vendée all accident &
emergencies are handled by the 18 number as the Sapeur Pompiers have trained
paramedics, this is particularly relevant in the rural
Medical. Click on the link for some suggestions as to what to
you go on holiday
Hospitals. There are 8 emergency hospitals
in the Vendée as well as those at Nantes, Cholet, Niort and La Rochelle which
may be nearer depending where you are.
The Hospitals in the Vendée are
Fontenay-le-Comte,11,rue Dr.R Laforge,(ZI Trois Cannons) Tel 02 51 53 51
Lucon. 41 Rue Henry Renaud. Tel.02 51 28 33 33
Challans. Tel.02 51 49
Les Sables D'Olonne. 75, Ave d'Aquitaine.Tel.02 51 32 05 77
54, Rue st.Jacques.Tel.02 51 45 40 00
La Roche -sur-Yon Les Oudaires
Roche-sur-Yon Hopital-Sud. Tel.02 51 44 61 61
Ile d'Yeu. 17, Impasse Louis
Rreymond. Tel 02 51 26 08 00
Doctors. Virtually every large
village will have a doctor and there will be several in the towns. Most will
speak some English and many prefer to talk in English as this lessens the risk
of a error.
Doctors fall into 2 groups, those that charge the standard fee
agreed nationally and those who charge more. The majority of doctors are in the
first group, the second group often include specialists.
Although it is
normal to get an appointment most will accept those who just turn up at the
surgery. If it is not very urgent get an appointment, your local chemist
(pharmacy) or Mairie will usually help.
You will be asked to pay a standard
fee (22€-2009) which you can get a reimbursement of approx 60% (if you an EU
Dentists. Visiting a dentist for emergency care while on holiday is similar to
visiting a doctor, there are however fewer dentist and it may be necessary to
ask at a Pharmacy for the nearest. The pharmacist should also be able to make an
appointment for you with the Dentist.
Getting a reimbursement for the treatment is the same as for Doctors
Hospitals. To call for assistance Telephone 15 Ambulance, 18 Sapour Pompiers(Road and major
accidents) or if your on a mobile and neither of those above connects you use
the 112 international emergency number, this is especially useful if you are
in a remote place and not sure of your location.
This is for an adult who has to be admitted to a
hospital the following applies.
After admission you will need to take the
patient’s European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and passport to the
Bureau des Entrées and register the patient, this is quite often done for you
especially if you are on your own. Normally the EHIC covers 80 per cent of
treatment, however there is a daily sejour charge of 16 euros plus things
like telephone and TV. You will need private medical insurance to cover the
remaining 20%, you will need to phone your company to see if you are covered for
this. After you have been discharged, you, or your insurance company will
receive a bill for these charges.
You will need to pay for the hospital
charges, The Sejour, Tv, Telephone and meals when you are
discharged,this can be done by cheque or card.
In the event that you have
lost your EHIC, or forgotten to bring it with you, you should contact The
Department of Social Security, Pensions and Overseas Benefits Directorate,
Newcastle upon Tyne, England NE98 1BA (00 44 191 218 7547) and they will fax a
form to you.
Child. "Service Pediatrie"
In the unhappy event that
a child needs to be admitted to hospital, the rules for registration of a
patient are the same as are the reimbursements. The main difference is that a
parent is usually given a bed alongside their child, although this is not always
possible. You will either be provided with food or told where to get it, plus
you will have shower facilities. The charge for this facility will be added to
the bill which must be paid when discharged.
Getting to the Vendee. It has never been easier to get to the Vendée. The
network of road and rail links will quickly connect you to both the ferries and
airports. Although the Vendée does not have an international airport there are
several within an hour or so, and depending on where you are staying there is
possibly one within 30 minutes or less. Read
Banks and Money. The currency in France is Euros.
Generally Tuesday to Saturday 9.00 to 1.00 although some banks in major towns do
open on Mondays. Post Offices, which are also banks use general shop opening
hours although you will need to check as there are a lot of
Getting Cash The easiest way to get cash is through cash machines
using a card. ATM are everywhere from supermarkets to banks. Note most banks in small rural
locations do not carry any cash. They will have a cash machine inside, so you
will not be able to cash traveller's cheques.
general traveller's cheques are not accepted in shops and restaurants. The best
rates of exchange are in the major Post Offices, though major town banks will
also be able to cash them for you.
Credit Cards. This is the normal way to pay
for goods and services in the Vendée. All major cards are accepted although it
is worth noting that automatic petrol stations(24hr) will not except foreign
cards, so you need to use a manually operated station. This is also the same for
supermarket filling stations which have a card only section.
French Public holidays 2014
January 1st Jour de l'an (New Years Day)
20th Pâques (Easter Sunday) Note they do not have a Good Friday
21st Easter Monday
May 1st Fête du Travail (Labour day)
May 8th Fête de
la Victoire 1945 (marks the end of WWII)
May 29th l'Ascencion
8th la Pentecôte (Pentecost)
May 9th Whit Monday Pentecôte Lundi or day of
Solidarity on this day people work for no pay.
July 14th Fête Nationale
August 15th Assomption
November 1st La Toussaint (All
November 11th Jour d'armistice (Armistice day)
Noel (Christmas day) Read more on public holidays in france
Shopping. Most shops open from 9-00 or 9-15 although some
non-food shops may not open until 10.00 or 10-15. Most are open until 7-00 with
a break for lunch. This is usually from Monday to Saturdays although many
non-food shops don't open on Monday mornings.
The major Supermarkets and
Hypermarkets open from 9-00 to 7-00 Monday to Saturday without a break for
lunch, smaller supermarkets and many food shops also open on Sunday
Bakers generally open earlier from 7.00 or 7.30am until
6.00pm. In the more rural areas most will shut for lunch and have a day off
during the week, when usually another local shop will have a Depot Pain
for those days but you will need to check locally for this
Markets. Visiting the colourful market has always been a passion for
many holiday makers, and you can check out when and where on our markets
Motoring. The following is a list of mandatory requirement for
motorist. Failure to have these can result in an on the spot fine, usually
starting from 90€.
Driving License - It is compulsory to carry
this when at all times when driving in France.
documents - It is compulsory to carry this when at all times when driving in
Headlamp Adaptors - As UK vehicles are designed for
driving on the left hand side of the road, headlamps that have not been adapted
for driving in France will dazzle oncoming drivers. Failure to adapt your
headlamps will render the vehicle UNFIT for the road. invalidating your motor
insurance and could result in a spot fine.
GB Stickers - these are
required by International Law to indicate Country of
Warning Triangles - You will need to carry 2 x
warning triangles when driving in France warning triangle must be placed 50 & 150 metres behind
your vehicle to warn approaching traffic if your vehicle breaks down or is
involved in an accident. Hazard warning lights alone are not
Fluorescent Safety Vest - It is obligatory to carry these
in your vehicle while driving in France, in fact the vest must be within reach
so that if you have an accident or breakdown, you can get out of the car you
were driving with it on. Storing them in the boot of the car is not
Spare Bulbs - All car lamps, lenses and reflectors
must be in working order at all times and failure to replace a broken bulb could
result in a spot fine. It is therefore advisable to always carry spares for all
your car lights.
Spare Specs - Yes, a spare pair of glasses are
required. If you have contact lenses you will need spares of them if you are
going to be driving in France.
First Aid Kit - A First Aid kit
must be carried in your vehicle at all times when driving in France.
Extinguisher - Failure to render assistance in the event of a fire or take
necessary precautions to prevent a fire from escalating is an
Insurance Policies - If the driver/owner of a vehicle fails to
comply with the law and fails to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy for the
country he intends to visit it could result in the insurance company repudiating
liability under the Policy.
For a fuller guide go to driving
in France which includes information such as Priority a Droit,
breakdowns, insurance, speed limits, parking and more.
Telephones. Most people now have mobile phones and so telephoning
is not the problem it used to be, althoughr those that don't have a mobile and
need to use a public service will indeed need great patience. Call boxes
are few and far between and are all card machines. Telephone cards can be bought
from news-agents, Tobacs, and post offices they can be bought in several
denominations but be wary they have a limited shelve life so won't keep untill
next year if unused. Many will allow you to use your Visa or Mastercard but the
calls are more expensive.
Mobile Phone. France operates on a GSM
network so if you come from another EU country then your phone will be
compatible. Most will recognise that you are in France so you will only need to
dial the local number, however there are some that won't and with these you will
need to phone as if you are calling from your home country with an international
number starting 00+ country code. The calls are not cheap.
can either buy a SIM card for France, your phone will need to be unlocked and
the cost for this if it is not already unlocked can be 20-30€. Unlike in the UK
there is a limited life to the card regardless of whether you have used up the
money, and an alternative could be to buy a cheap mobile with pay as you go and top it up when you next visit
Internet The Vendée is well supplied with connections to the
internet. Most hotels have the service available and there are numerous cafes
that also offer internet facilities. Many of the Tourist information offices
have computers you can use. The Vendée was the first Department in France to be
completely covered by ADSL (broadband) Read More...
WI FI. The Vendée has 57 hotspots were you can get a connection to
your laptop. Virtually every campsite and hotel and now many Gites
have internet available for their clients, some like the hotspots are open
Taxis; Finding a taxis while on holiday can sometimes be
frustrating, On our page about taxis in the Vendee you will find listed most of
the taxis companies listed by towns. See Taxis in the
and Activities. There are many sports and activities available including golf,
fishing, sailing, walking, cycling an much more see
Entertainment. There are many kinds of entertainment in the Vendée which can be divided into Rural
Cultural and Tourist Culture. There are theatres in la Roche-sur-Yon and
Fontenay-le-Comte where the more classical types of entertainment are performed,
most other events are not in theatres but are held in Churches, Châteaux
and other historic buildings or as in the case of Puy-du-Fou
in several purpose built theatres arenas and halls etc within one
Cinemas. The French like to go to the movies and most towns will have a
cinema, with the bigger towns having multiscreens offering extended
Television. Although most people don't go on holiday to watch
TV, some do like to keep up with the news or their favourite soap. Many British
run gites (now) have satellite TV (available) and many of the bars and cafes in
the more touristy areas advertise when British sports are being
Fêtes. Throughout the summer almost every village will
have a fête, which are usually colourful events often with a theme. It is best
to check locally for upcoming events as they are not always very well
advertised. Some of the bigger regular fêtes are listed on our whats on
Journees du Patrimoine. This literally means “Days of
Inheritance” (and they) occurring on the third weekend in September. They are
two days when many of the historic buildings open their doors to the general
public, many are free or with reduced tariffs, many have special guided tours,
and for many it is the only time that they are open to the
public. Read More...
Church Services For those who wish to attend
church while on holiday there are a few things to remember. Most of the churches
are Roman Catholic, there are a few protestant and other religions
Services vary, the bigger churches in the main centres will have
regular services but in the more rural areas it is often a rotary system with
three or more villages sharing one priest, and the services rotating between the
different village churches. Usually the times and dates are published on the
notice board or
you can enquire at the local Mairie..
There are Church services held in
English, more details can be found on http://www.allsaintsvendee.fr/
Taking Pets on
More and more
people want to bring their pets with them on holiday and there are an increasing
numbers of holiday rental properties that will allow you to bring your pet with
you, but you do need to have the required pet passport.
Vendéen Wine. Besides the 4 main areas that produce wine
under the Fiefs Vendéen label which has an AOVDQS certificate there are
other areas that produce wine to the AOC standard and yet others that fall into
the Vin de Pay category. Read More...
In accordance with the law "and Freedoms" of January 6, 1978, you
have the right to access and rectify information concerning you. If you wish to
exercise this right, please contact us.
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