vendee with children

Family Fun in the Vendée

Families who like to spend time together immersed in nature and history will find the Vendée to be a rich playground. From water sports to horse riding, to salt mining and a variety of other adventures like a day at world-famous theme park Le Puy du Fou, there is a lot to do. The Vendée is perfect for a holiday filled with adventure and learning, for local travel discovering wildlife, tropical flora, ancient windmills and medieval history, old customs, and endless outdoor activities. Whether you visit or reside permanently, the Vendée is a place the entire family will want to explore year-round. Welcome to our guide to the Vendée with children!

Why the Vendée?

One can hardly mention the weather without stirring up controversy, but ask any local, native or transplanted soul in the Vendée and he or she will not hesitate to claim the weather here is the best in France. Because Vendéen weather patterns are heavily influenced by the Atlantic ocean on the west and southwestern borders there are nearly 2000 sunshine hours annually with average high temperatures of around 20°C (68°F). Winters are cool, while autumn and spring seasons are mild. As a result, the landscape is green for most of the year, though summers are typically hot and dry.

Thanks to this lovely climate, tourism and agriculture are the main sources of income. Fauna and flora are rich and varied. Tropical varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers including palms, oleander, mimosa, magnolia, and hibiscus—plants found in holiday spots like Spain, Crete, U.S. states such as Florida and California, and in the Caribbean—thrive in the sunshine. This verdant bounty, mixed with the traditional terracotta rooftops that give south-western France its luster, evokes a vacation mood at first sight.

While the Vendée is ideal for couples who prefer tranquility over city trips, it is just as perfect for families from big reunions, to vacationing single parents, to the traditional family vacation. Water-parks, zoos, adventure and leisure activities there are choices abound but it is award-winning theme park  Le Puy du Fou that attracts millions of visitors to the Vendée each year (some 2.26 million). One visit will let you see why even the locals can't get enough of it.

For its 45th anniversary in 2022, the Puy du Fou will be open 173 days from April 9 to November 6, 2022. Its evening event, La Cinéscénie, is one of the world’s largest shows!

Countryside, beaches & islands

From a bird's-eye view, the green and sloping hills of the Vendéen countryside (le bocage) are edged to the south by the Marais-Poitevin, vast marshlands created by Benedictine monks many centuries ago; and to the west by more than 200 kilometers (120 miles) of wild coastline. 160 km of golden sandy beaches are as inviting for summer reading as they are for invigorating winter walking. Furthermore, each of the nearby islands supply history and charm. Located in the Bay of Biscay is Noirmoutier, accessible at low tide via the famous Passage du Gois causeway. Ile d’Yeu, situated around 100 km off the coast and reachable only by ferry, is reminiscent of any Greek island. Similarly, the beautiful Ile de Ré, and Ile d'Oléron both located just south of the Vendée beckon for a daytrip featuring towering platters of seafood, quaint villages and tiny ports.

The Vendéen countryside is rich with lively bird habitats and wildlife such as wild boars, hedgehogs, frogs... even crayfish in the ditches. Noteworthy are the night skies where, unhindered by light pollution, the Milky-Way is the star of the show. It is accompanied by the tunes of owls, nightingales and fox cries.

Summer and winter

Certainly, even after the leaves fall from the trees and many castles close for winter, there is no shortage of things to do. For the sporty family there's a smorgasbord of well-marked footpaths, signposted cycling routes, fishing lakes and rivers, and natural environments such as the incredible La forêt de Mervent-Vouvant, a large forested area that awaits your adventurous spirit year-round. Cycling is a popular sport in the Vendée - though fair warning... it is not entirely flat!

In winter, the racing bike is exchanged for a mountain bike for strenuous forest rides. Ocean swims become languid walks on pristine beaches along the Atlantic coast. The Vendee is excellently located between the Loire Valley chateaux and the Bordeaux area, so, city trips or romantic weekend trips are always just a decision away.


The Vendée is consistently voted second best in France for quality of life, right behind the Provence. But the tranquil surroundings with easy access to cities, wild coastline and islands are not the only reasons the area is popular among locals, vacationers, and expats. Actually, this south-western corner of Pays de la Loire is quite affordable. Accommodations are available at any price-range, restaurant meals are inexpensive and delicious. The real estate market is plump with affordable fixer-uppers and the market is in an upward swing!

Of course, attending multiple amusement parks with a family of four or more can add up. Dining out can be as expensive as you want it to be. But these costs can be off-set by touring places with free access, and choosing a self-catering cottage or studio (gîte in French) instead of a hotel. Likewise, travelling with the extended family or a group of friends, is an easy way to share the common expenses. With good planning, picnics, and frugal shopping, you will not live outside of a normal household budget. Let us also take the time to remind you that living on wine, bread and cheese is an age-old French tradition, so when in Rome...err, in the Vendée...

In this travel guide we highlight some fun addresses for you to consider to make your holiday stay or your life in the Vendée extra special. Note these are OUR suggestions. Do check the official tourism sites/offices for any and all experiences the Vendée has to offer.

vendee with children guide to the zoo
vendee with children guide aquarium
vendee with children guide to the beaches
vendee with children guide castles
vendee with children guide cycling
vendee with children guide escape and maze
vendee with children guide fishing
vendee with children guide horse riding
vendee with children guide karting
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vendee with children guide amusement park
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vendee with children guide puy du fou
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vendee with children guide scenic train route
skateboarding in the vendee
vendee with children guide
vendee with children guide
vendee with children guide


vendee with children guide to the zoo
Natur'Zoo de Mervent Animal Park

Natur'Zoo is an animal park ideal for a leisurely family outing in the Mervent-Vouvant forest.

The zoo features over 300 animals of the bird, reptile, mammal variety including lions from Angola, meerkats and, in a nutshell, 60 species from all five continents.

The zoo is involved in conservation and environmental projects at European level.

Included in the price of your ticket from April to September, on weekends, public holidays and every day during school vacations (depending on zone and weather), are the interactions between caretakers and animals during feeing time. For the little ones there is a mini petting farm with goats, donkeys, chickens, alpacas and guinea pigs. There is also a playground with a monkey bridge, a zip line, slides and swings.

Special program for junior caretakers from 10 to 14yrs old. Activities include the preparation of food for the animals, feeding and preparation of enrichment games for the animals, and a visit behind the scenes.

There is an extra cost for this and with limited places reservations are necessary. Practical information here. You can register your child for the 2022 season via email

Open – 05/02/2022 to 14/11/2022 see 
Info & tarifs here
Tip – Follow the zoo on social media Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with announcements
Reduced mobility accessible yes, but there are some slopes. Some wheelchairs available on site.
Dogs no
Picnic tables or catering yes
Address – Le Gros Roc, 85200 Mervent
GPS coordinates – 46° 30′ 40″ N, 0° 44′ 46″ W
Directions - enter your starting location

Parc zoologique des Sables d'Olonnes

Established in 1963 the zoo, located near the beach, is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) in association with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which have formed the European Endangered Species Programs (EEP).

The organization helps to breed endangered species with the goal of reintroduction to the wild.

The Zoo of Les Sables d’Olonne takes part in over twenty breeding programs. It is in particular responsible for the Breeding Program of the Great Green Macaw (Buffon’s Macaw).

In addition to species conservation, they participate in protecting biodiversity, such as plant life at the zoo and strive to limit their impact on the environment.

Open – 05/02/2022 to 13/11/2022, and Christmas holidays
Info & tarifs here
Reduced mobility accessibility – yes 
Dogsguide dogs only
Picnic tables or catering – yes

Tip – Follow the zoo on social media Facebook to keep up to date with announcements
Address –Route du Tour de France, 85100 Les Sables-d'Olonne
GPS coordinates – 46.48429440017056, -1.7558377232914149
Directions - enter your starting location

La Cité des Oiseaux - TOP CHOICE

Don't miss this incredible nature reserve located on one of the largest North-South migratory routes for birds, making it a major ornithological center. The Cité des Oiseaux (bird city) is one of the largest wetlands in the heart of the Vendee, (temporary) home to species such as the pochard and tufted scaup, great crested grebes, little grebes, whistling ducks, mallards, grey herons etc.

The park of some 56 hectares features two enormous ponds. There are around 3000 birds every day, some 210 species! Amateur and professional photographers, avid birders, nature lovers, and families can observe species from the observatory, the belvedere or simply by walking the trails of this amazing natural site.

So, wear your walking shoes and appropriate clothing (sunscreen), and don't for get your camera and binoculars!

Open – 09/04/2022 to 07/11/20222
Info & tarifs here
Save Pass Vendee
Reduced mobility access – yes
Dogs – no
Picnic tables yes
Tip – Family activities with treasure hunts, special adventures, and workshops for the children
Address –
La Cité des Oiseaux, 14, the Butchers 85130 Les Landes-Genusson
GPS coordinates – 46.9623624468898, -1.141843935534716
Directions – Enter your location

Marais Poitevin Farm - TOP CHOICE

"La Ferme du Marais Poitevin" is a family business specialized in Environmental Education and conservation.

They offer a family friendly environment where you can discover the Marais Poitevin, its fauna and flora and the breeds that native to the area such as the Poitevin or Poitou donkey (Baudet du Poitou in French, a large breed donkey), the Solognote sheep and the Marans hens.

They are protected species of farm animals.

A varied program of activities on and around the farm is available all year, specifically for children.

This includes workshops learning about animals and farm life. It is also possible to book an evening tour or an apéro tour with tasting of farm fresh products.

A comprehensive schedule is available on their website including online reservations.

A lovely experience of local farm life. (French)

Open – all year round, see website. Tours also in English.
Info & tarifs – here
Reduced mobility accessibility Please contact. Private tours can be adapted to each person and their needs (best in summer!) All facilities wheelchair accessible.
Dogs – no
Picnic tables or catering – yes (bar only)
Private tours  it is possible to book private tours for 10.00 €/person
Tip  wear appropriate shoes and clothing
Address – Ferme du Marais Poitevin, Sainte Christine, 85490 BENET
GPS – 46.355544, -0.667113
Reservations website or or (note: bank cards only accepted with online bookings)

L'Ile aux Papillons

Take a delightful stroll and discover hundreds of butterfly species from all over the world fluttering about in a tropical environment, the largest conservatory in France with a constant temperature of 26c.

Observe the life cycle of the butterfly at birth and all the stages in between. 

A mesmerizing experience to share with the whole family! Don't forget your camera as photo-ops are guaranteed.

No butterflies are taken from the wild. All butterflies come from breeding farms in their country of origin, supporting the economy and the indigenous people who support themselves by breeding butterflies.

Additionally the Butterfly Island greenhouse is a natural habitat where plants and butterflies thrive. No phytosanitary products are used for pest control. That job is performed by ladybugs and other insects.

Water used for watering and humidifying the greenhouse is harvested from rain collected from roofs and stored in tanks.

Open – 10/04/2022 to 
Info & tarifshere
Reduced mobility access – yes
Dogs – small animals that can be carried in arms or basket only
Picnic tables or catering – yes, covered picnic area. Drinks and ice cream.
TIP – excellent activity on a rainy day. 
Address – 5 Rue de la Fassonnière, 85680 La Guérinière
GPS coordinates – 46.97302982943517, -2.2435744476511283
Directions –  enter your location
Nearby Sightseeing – the island of Noirmoutier has a lot to offer

vendee with children guide aquarium
Aquarium de Vendée

Discover more than 5000 animals distributed in nearly sixty aquariums.

A great family excursion to relax - especially in the heat of summer or in the fall/winter the family.

Marvel at the riches of the Atlantic and Mediterranean universe, the Indo-Pacific universe and the Tropical universe.

Most importantly a visit to the Vendée Aquarium offers a great learning experience in understanding the marine environment and to become aware of the preservation of species.

Open – year-round
Special adventures and workshops
Info & Tarifs –
Reduced mobility access –
Dogs – no
Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes (June, July, August)
Tip – July/ August, pony rides for children from 3 to 10 years old!
Address –
Av. de la Mine, 85440 Talmont-Saint-Hilaire
GPS coordinates – 46.45081632493832, -1.6967219917130483
Directions – Enter your location


Walk through the universe of underwater fauna and flora in a climate controlled environment.

Sealand's aquarium consists of 500 000 liters of sea water, a course of 200 meters featuring 200 species and 500 animals.

Open – 05/02/2022 to 06/11/2022
Info & Tarifs  Website

Reduced mobility access – yes (reduced route and tarif)
Dogs – no
Picnic tables or catering – no
Address – Le Vieux Port - Rue de l'Ecluse, 85330 Noirmoutier-en-l'ile
GPS coordinates – 46.999527235364766, -2.2475817937461855
Directions – Enter your location

vendee with children guide to the beaches
A list of the best beaches in the Vendée

From a bird's-eye view,  the green and sloping hills of the Vendéen countryside (le bocage) are edged to the west by more than 200 kilometers (120 miles) of coastline. 160 km of golden sandy beaches are as inviting for summer reading as they are for invigorating winter walking. Furthermore, each of the nearby islands supplies its own history and charm.

Located in the Bay of Biscay is Noirmoutier, accessible at low tide via the famous Passage du Gois causeway or via the new bridge.

Ile d’Yeu, situated around 100 km off the coast and reachable only by ferry, is reminiscent of any Greek island.

Similarly, the beautiful Ile de Ré, and Ile d'Oléron (both located in the department of Charante Maritime just south of Vendée) beckon with towering platters of seafood, quaint villages, tiny ports and a colorful array of family activities. (recommended day trip to Citadelle de Brouage)

La Plage des Conches - Longeville-sur-Mer
GPS coordinates –
46.38921601303413, -1.4937957568693545
Watersports – yes, surfing, sand yachting, windsurfing and kitesurfing
Directions –
enter your departure address

La plage de la Terrière - la Tranche-sur-Mer
GPS coordinates –
46.35694816487604, -1.4748478266425051
Watersports – yes, sand yachting, windsurfing and kitesurfing
Snack bar  – yes

Directions –
enter your departure address

La plage Bois Soret - Notre-Dame-des-Monts
Watersports – Yes
(Pole nautique nearby)
46.833596929362635, -2.1452207076351812
Wild beach – surrounded by dunes and the Forêt domaniale des Pays-de-Monts
Directions – enter your departure address

La Grande Plage - Les Sables d'Olonne
GPS coordinates –
46.494930119928995, -1.7896013151002073
Restaurants, shopping and games – yes
Snack bar  – yes
Directions –
enter your departure address

La Plage des Cinq Pineaux - St-Hilaire-de-Riez
GPS coordinates – 46.71251054094279, -1.9792732703145663
Restaurants, shopping and games – yes
Wild nature – yes
, see also The Legends
Directions –
enter your departure address

La plage des Demoiselles - Saint-Jean-de-Monts
GPS coordinates – 46.774391718548586, -2.060537328234348
Boardwalk, shops, restaurants – yes
Wild coast – yes
Directions –
enter your departure address

Plage du Veillon - Talmont Saint Hilaire TOP CHOICE 
GPS coordinates –
46.43083336540599, -1.6545515812422695
Watersports – yes, paddle boarding, kayak etc
Picturesque port and wild coast – yes
Snack bar  – yes
Directions –
enter your departure address

Beach info reduced mobility access here

Vendée Island beaches

Plage des Dames – Noirmoutier
GPS coordinates – 47.01193114948853, -2.221065921553012
Nature spot – yes, and picturesque beach cabins
Directionsenter your departure address

Plage de Babatre - Noirmoutier
GPS coordinates –
46.931285269607905, -2.1736544040615424
Watersports – yes
Directions –
enter your departure address

Plage Anse des Soux - Ile d'Yeu TOP CHOICE
GPS coordinates –
46.69093029252674, -2.3236356394654654
Wild beach – yes
Directions –
enter your departure address

Taking dogs to the beach in the Vendée

Beaches, especially at the height of the summer season, may or may not allow dogs or special conditions exist e.g. dogs not allowed during bathing hours but allowed before 10h00 and after 18h00, or only at low tide, or must be kept on leash, or not allowed in supervised bathing areas etc... 

At every beach there are panels offering guidance on whether or not dogs are allowed (with conditions listed). Failure to comply results in a fine. Dogs accompanying people with reduced mobility are allowed.

If you want to be sure, double check with the local Offices de Tourisme.

On ALL beaches you must pick up your pooch's droppings, otherwise you will have to pay a fine of up to several hundred euros!

This list indicates where it is allowed to take your dogs and conditions: 

  • From May 1 to September 15, dogs are allowed on a leash only at the following locations:
    • Plage du Rocher, Longeville-sur-Mer: between access points LONGE 1 and LONGE 6
    • Plage des Conches, Longeville-sur-Mer: between access points LONGE 14 and LONGE 18.
    • Longeville-sur-Mer: dogs accompanying people with reduced mobility are allowed on all the beaches of the commune.
  • July and August
    • Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, dogs are not allowed on the beaches. The rest of the year, they are welcome on the Plage du Goulet.
  • 1st April to 15th October
    • Estuaire du Payré/ La plage du Veillon in Talmont-Saint-Hilaire: pets on a leash are allowed on the Payré channel side, but only if they take the path around the dune via the Veillon forest.
Dogs are allowed on the following beaches:
      • Plage des Régates
      • Plage du Murier
      • Plage du Petit Sochard
      • Plage de la Tonelle
      • Plage de la Parée du Jonc
      • Plage de la Davière
      • Plage du Petit Pont
      • Crique de la Sauzaie
      • Plage Corps des Gardes
      • Plage de Sainte Anne
      • Plage de Génerelles
      • Plage du Phare
      • Plage Flandre Dunkerque
      • Plage Camélias
      • Plage Clemenceau
      • Plage de la Terrière
      • Plage de l'Océan
      • Plage l'Atlantique
      • Plage les Acacias
      • Plage des Bouchots - Grière-Plage
      • Plage de Ragounite
      • Plage de Légère
      • Plage de Madoreau
      • Plage du Pé du Canon (to the righthand side)
      • Plage du Bélesbat (dogs on leash)
      • Plage de Ragnette: Access St Vincent 1 and St Vincent 2 (dogs on leash)
      • Plage de la Grande Casse
      • Plage des Amourettes
      • Plage des Naturistes
      • Grand'Plage (outside of supervised swimming areas)
      • Plage des Bélugas (outside of supervised swimming areas)
      • Plage des Chardons (outside of supervised swimming areas)
      • Plage de la Barrique (outside of supervised swimming areas)
      • Plage de l'Oasis
      • Plage de l'Éperon


    vendee with children guide castles
    The following are navigation images. Click a castle image to be taken to its info.
    Château d'Apremont

    Château d'Apremont was established in the XIth century atop a rocky cliff overlooking the Vie river, both elements forming a clever natural defense of the castle which was only accessible via the north.

    In fact the ruined castle that can be visited anno 2020 is the remainder of both the medieval fortress and the more elegant Renaissance castle that replaced it in the XVIth century by order of Philippe Chabot de Brion, Admiral of France and friend of King François I.

    Architecturally, the castle was built on the cusp of the two time periods because in the XVIth century build, elements of medieval defense were adopted, while the château didn't yet receive the elegance the Renaissance is known for, however Château d'Apremont is indeed one of the first Renaissance castles in Vendée.

    But what makes it truly unique in France is the cavalier vault which was carved into the stone rockface from the shores of the Vie river to the courtyard with the purpose of better  accommodating the arrival of visitors.

    Sadly, in 1733 the castle was largely disassembled. From the medieval castle remains the main gatehouse with traces of the old drawbridge, the north and east walls and towers, and the western wall.

    From the Renaissance period, remain the east and west towers, the chapel and the cavalier vault.

    Open09/04/2022 to 25/09/2022
    Info & Tarifswebsite
    Reduced mobility access – limited
    Dogs – yes, on a leash, also indoors
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – boutique only (may have drinks and ice-cream)
    – Place du château, 85220 Apremont
    GPS coordinates –  46°44′59″N, 1°44′28″ W
    Directions – enter your location 
    Tip – family friendly, activities for children
    Apremont – The village is listed as a Petite Cité de Caractère®. View the Saint-Martin church, the Croix Hosannière, Château d'Audardière, and the narrow Gallo-Roman bridge.
    Nearby castle – Château de Commequiers is 9km away (11 minutes drive). Directions

    Château des Avonturiers

    This lovely XVIth century French Renaissance château dates back to 1555. It was built for Jean Girard, who, at the time was the royal breadmaster (panetier) to King Henri II.

    The person in charge of the King's bread was an important role in the royal household and held a proper title (as a side note, the title was made hereditary in the noble family of Cossé de Brissac in the 16th century).

    Unfortunately Girard was assassinated in 1563, and building was discontinued until the XVIIIth century (1773), when the Count of Chaffault took charge of the project.

    He developed the gardens and pond but unfortunately, the royalist fled the country in the Revolution and the work he had accomplished inside the château was heavily destroyed.

    In 1920, the estate included a beach farmhouse known as la bicoque or 'the shack'. After retiring from politics, Georges Clemenceau rented the property from then owner, Amedée Luce de Tremont, with whom he became friends.

    The former president of France dined at the château frequently. That is why, upon his death, la bicoque was donated to the state, becoming Maison de Georges Clemenceau (85520).

    Today, the remains privately owned. The château has been completely restored to its former Renaissance glory and can be toured from cellar to rafter!

    And that's just the chateau. The 86-hectare estate is open to the public as the Parc des Avonturiers, an adventure park for children featuring treasure hunts based on humanity's history of world exploration. Children learn about history in a beautiful natural setting with trails and in beautiful gardens feature exotic trees like Magnolia, Swamp Cypress, California Redwood, and Zelkova, and menhirs (the area is a hotbed of prehistory).


    Open – 01/04/2022 - 04/11/2022. Castle visit
    Info & tarifs – here
    Reduced mobility access – limited to the park (no pushchairs of any type in the castle)
    Dogs – yes, on leash
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Address – Château de la Guignardière, Route des Sables d'Olonne, D949, 85440 Avrillé
    GPS coordinates –  46.474°N, 1.51°W
    Directions – enter your location

    A learning experience disguised in an adventure park.

    Château Féodal de Sigournais

    Chateau de Sigournais was restored in the 15th century on the foundation of an earlier one (anno 1000.) In its restored state, the castle represents one of the best preserved examples of a military donjon in the Vendée.

    During summer months there are often interesting art exhibits. The castle and its gardens are definitely something to see.

    Special attention is granted to the young visitors with a Knight's Challenge game book.

    Open – 02/07/2022 to 04/09/2022 (and journées patrimoine 3rd weekend September)
    Info & Tarifs here
    Reduced mobility access – limited
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables or catering–
    – Château Féodal de Sigournais, Rue du Donjon, 85110 Sigournais
    GPS coordinates – 46° 42′ 14″ N, 0° 59′ 07″ O
    Directionsenter your location
    Special events – medieval festival and spectacles every summer

    Château St. Mesmin

    Located right on the border of Vendée and Deux-Sevres on the Sévreau river, Château St. Mesmin would have been surrounded by water moats.  It was constructed annno 1370 by the lord and knight Pierre de Montfaucon. Its seigneury, however, belonged to Guillaume Larchevêque, the lord of Parthenay and the fortified castle in Vouvant.

    Though fortified from the start, a more intensive fortification took place in 1372-1375... without permission from the lord. This  resulted in a feud between the families.  Guillaume Larchevêque invaded, burned and looted the castle of Saint-Mesmin, prompting an investigation and a court case.

    The 28-meter tall tower was added in the 15th century. The castle stayed in the Montfaucon family until 1548 when by marriage it went to the family Plessis de la Bourgognière, and then the Saint-Phal family until 1650. Then it was sold to the family Petit de la Guierche  and in the time they owned it, the chateau and grounds became a marquisate (border government).

    During almost its entire life the Château St. Mesmin was used as a family residence, going from family to family by marriage or through sale.

    The family Proust, who owned the castle from 1818 to 1990 allowed it to be used as a military hospital in WWI. 

    Today the castle is in the care of the departments Vendée and Deux-Sevres. The castle was renovated and even made accessible for the disabled. Château St. Mesmin is now a superb destination to learn about medieval life.

    Open – 09/04/2022 to 06/11/2022 (but always visible)
    Info & Tarifs here 
    Reduced mobility access yes, auditory, mental, motor and visual
    Dogs yes, a leash (be aware there are animals here!)
    Picnic tables or catering– yes. Drinks and ice cream in the shop
    Tip – great animation, dress-up for the children
    Address – 79380 Saint-André-sur-Sèvre
    GPS coordinates – 46° 47′ 59″ N,  0° 43′ 04″ O
    Directions enter your location

    Château de Talmont

    The latest archeological research revealed that the first stone foundations (the bell tower) of the Château de Talmont date back to the year 1024.

    Under the authority of the Count of Poitou and Duke of Aquitaine, Guillaume V, this coastal territory (at the time the castle was IN the sea) needed to be defended from invasions by the Normans.

    It was the beginning of a turbulent history that went all the way through to the time of the Plantagenets.

    Its location not only allowed it to be built with rocks mined from the sea, which at the beginning of the XIth century was unusual, it also stood in defense of the the biggest port between Nantes and Bordeaux.

    Part of the castle's strategic dominance over the area was being bordered by the Sauvagère and the Payré rivers. Twice a day, at high tide, the castle was completely surrounded by water.

    From this time through the centuries to 1794 when the area had silted up and the castle was already being dismantled, it changed hands between powerful lords and French Kings, between Catholics and Protestants.

    The feudal Château de Talmont remains an important part of historical research and excavation.

    Open – From 11/04/2022; year-round for groups 
    Special events – easter egg hunt, summer, Halloween etc (see schedule), medieval festival etc., escape game
    Info & tarifs –  website
    Reduced mobility access – please contact
    or by telephone
    02 51 90 27 43
    Dogs – yes, on a leash
    Picnic tables – yes
    Address – 8 Rue du Chateau, 85440 Talmont-Saint-Hilaire
    GPS coordinates –  46.518697, -0.898290;
    Directionsenter your location

    Château de Tiffauges

    Perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley where the rivers Sèvre Nantaise and the Crûme flow together, the Château de Tiffauges is strategically located for battle.

    Geoffrey Thouars built the castle in the 12th Century, its ramparts and towers protecting the village by the Crume river. In 1420 his daughter Catherine de Thouars married the infamous Gilles de Rais, who fought alongside Charles II and Joan of Ark in the Hundred Years War. Château de Pouzauges and Château de Tiffauges were part of her dowry.

    Château de Tiffauges became the place where Gilles de Rais later committed atrocities against children. Believing he could turn their blood into gold, he performed experiments on them. Around two hundred kids disappeared from the area and nearby villages. In October 1440, he was tried for heresy, sodomy and the murders of one-hundred-and-forty-plus children. He was sentenced to hang. In folkloric tales of the 15th Century, he is frequently confused with the mythical Bluebeard - le Barbe-Blue.

    At the end of the 15th Century the Viscounts of Thouars inherited the castle. It burned down in 1569 in repeated attacks during the Hundred Years war but in 1793, in one more show of force, it played a strategic role in the last Vendéen victory of the Religious Wars, the Battle of Torfou [Tiffauges].

    Château de Tiffauges is the largest medieval castle in the Vendée area. Today it is a haven where children happily participate in medieval reenactments, archery and other events.

    Animation: fantastic 

    chateau de tiffauges in the vendee, shows and spectacles


    Animation: fantastic 
    Open – Open from 1 April through 3rd weekend September. Schedule
    Info & Tarifshere
    Save Pass Vendee
    Tip – Many cultural events scheduled throughout the year e.g. music, Christmas market etc... Picnic tables on the grounds and outside of the chateau.
    Reduced mobility access – yes
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables or catering– yes
    Address – Le Château, 85130 Tiffauges
    GPS coordinates – 47° 00′ 59″ N, 1° 06′ 53″ W; 
    Directions – enter your location
    Image courtesy of Vendee Expansion (see copyright)

    Donjon de Bazoges-en-Pareds

    The donjon of Bazoges-en-Pareds rises from the Vendée farmland like a medieval skyscraper. Measuring 30 meters high and composed of six levels, it is impressive. The two rooms on the second level of the castle are beautifully vaulted.

    During its history, the castle changed hands many times until in 1859 it was purchased by the Pervinquière family. They owned it for one-hundred-and-thirty years.

    Today the donjon and its surrounding structures, like the bakery and blacksmith forge, still exist.

    The garden was created in 1994 after the model of 15th Century medieval gardens: from the sundial in the center are sixteen squares enclosed by chestnut fascines (bundles of branches entwined around low stakes forming a border). The individual squares are designated for vegetables, for aromatic plants, medicinal herbs, plants used in witchcraft, flowers and an orchard.

    In medieval times, the garden represented the heart of activity, whether it was for storytelling, sustenance or healing, or courtly love. In summer, the Château de Bazoges-en-Pareds is home to many awesome events, kids workshops, and spectacles.

    Open – April through 3rd weekend September. Year-round for groups 
    Info & Tarifs – website 
    Reduced mobility access limited to (sensory) gardens and outbuildings
    Dogs – not in the castle. In the garden, on a leash, yes.
    Picnic tables or catering– no
    Address: 12 Cour du Château, 85390 Bazoges-en-Pareds
    GPS coordinates – 46° 39′ 23″ N, 0° 54′ 54″ W
    Directionsenter your location
    Tip – Participate in the ballade nocturnal around the village and castle. Other special events include an apéro concert, workshops for children. Spectacular nocturne medieval (July/ August).
    Nearby sightseeing –  6000 yr old dolmen

    vendee with children guide cycling
    Superb cycling and mountain biking

    What seems to surprise many a visitor is that the Vendée is not (completely) flat! We have spoken to people who'd strapped their bike to the car for a cycling holiday featuring easy terrain and found the hills bit them hard in the glutes. Of course, there are flat cycling paths aplenty but just be aware that every once in a while you might encounter one of our 'little' hills.

    There is a reason the Vendée is home to a professional cycling team (Total Energie): the topography is perfect for an easy to intermediate to difficult rides. There is even an annual Tour de Vendée which draws big names like Dutch wonder-boy Van der Poel.

    But flat or not, coast or inland, cycling and mountain biking are a beloved activity here. All along the Atlantic there is an efficiently maintained network of cycle paths to discover the wild Vendée coast safely from forest, to marshes, dunes and beaches.

    The area (formerly Poitou) used to be an ocean bay made up of many little islands until the monks devised an ingenious way to gain land and make it fertile.

    This created the Marais Poitevin (or the Green Venice) and Marais Breton, large areas of canals and marshes that anno 2022 feature lovely cycling paths.

    For people who enjoy building their vacation around cycling completely, check these interesting cycling itineraries for the Vendée.

    MTB trails are also dotted around the department, e.g. in the Masif-Forestier de Mervent-Vouvant where trails narrow, wide and steep range from easy to difficult, reaching heights of nearly 300 meters or approx. 1000 feet!

    It's a huge forest of 5000 hectares which includes a family circuit, a 9 km mountain bike route from Mervent especially adapted to young cyclists incl. picnic tables along the way.

    Vendée counts nearly 1800km of biking paths and is a top destination for a family cycle holiday in France.

    In more good news these stunning landscapes are accessible for cycling and mountain biking year-round! (unless deemed too dangerous due to weather conditions.)

    At we are fierce advocates of wearing a cycling helmet. Please protect your family.

    A few cycling & Mountain biking routes
    • MTB best routes as selected from data of cycling App
    • La Vélodyssée is a stunning 1200 km long cycle route along the Atlantic coast, from Brittany to  Charante-Maritime, including the entire Vendée coast.
    • For the super ambitious, cycle to the Vendée from anywhere in Europe, the EuroVelo site will be of assistance to you.
    • Vélofrancette a cycling route of 600 km from Ouistreham to La Rochelle
    • La Voie Verte is a beautiful cycling route of some 36km (one way) built on a former railroad from La Roche-sur-Yon through the Yonnaise countryside and the villages of La Génétouze, Aizenay, and Coex. From Coex it is possible to pedal on via a shared lane of 6km before rejoining the Green Belt at St Hilaire de Riez to St. Gilles Croix de Vie. From Coex you can also ride to Apremont. The route is 36km between La Roche and Coex (one way) and La Voie Verte is paved in asphalt.

    Here is a comprehensive cycling map courtesy of Vendée Tourisme. Go to any tourism office to pick up the necessary booklets and maps.

    Les Sentiers du Marais Poitevin take you along polders and marshlands (Baie d' Aiguillon), the Marais Poitevinm the Mervent forest, Vouvant, and more picturesque villages towards the Sentiers d'Haute Bocage. Les Sentiers d'Haute Bocage follows agricultural roads and paths through the countryside, including a repurposed railway track of some 27 km.


    Bike rental

    Google Maps locations

    vendee with children guide escape and maze
    Escape Games

    If you love an air of mystery or are a terrifi problem solver, immerse yourself in a fun "live" puzzle with the whole family.

    An escape room, or escape game, puzzle room or exit game, is a 'mystery game' in which a team of players are led from clue to clue by solving puzzles, to accomplish a specific goal against the clock.

    The goal is often to escape from the site of the game and sessions are typically to be completed within 60 minutes.

    Typically the escape rooms in the Vendée operate with French scripts, so, it's a great way to practice the language if that is what you're looking for. Of course, you can use a translation app during the game as well. (we recommend Deepl)

    Solving an escape game puzzle is a wonderful activity en famille, but also a birthday party/present your teenagers will not soon forget.

    Please check local websites for safety measures, reduced mobility access, duration, etc.

    Google map to Escape game experiences

    Check the map

    vendee with children guide fishing
    Daytime  -and nighttime fishing 

    From the Atlantic ocean, to lakes, to rivers, to the marais, and even fishing ponds, the Vendée catch (2nd category) includes bass, large conger eels, eels, trout, carp, pike, pike perch, roach, bream, rudd,  tench, sardines, and more. In the marais and in random ditches even the Louisiana red crayfish is present. 

    With a total of 4,500 kilometers of waterways and approximately 1,400 ha of dam lakes (for production of drinking water) Vendée offers an ideal spot for every experienced to novice fisherman or fisherwoman.

    Night fishing is a popular local sport in the Massif-Forestier de Mervent-Vouvant. Enthusiasts can fish for pike, eel, perch and roach from 3.2 km of shoreline, or by boat on the 128 ha lake. A fishing dock and boat launch are accessible at Mervent, near the Valley Bridge outside the village. Fancy some nighttime carp fishing? You'll not find yourself alone under the stars.

    Below is a link to our complete guide to fishing in the Vendée including schedule and French lexicon.

    Fishing lakes in the Vendée and links to Google maps. Simply enter your point of departure for the route.

    Le Barrage d'Albert
    85200 Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq
    Lac d'Aprémont
    85190 Maché
    Lac de Finfarine
    85440 Poiroux
    Lac de Graon
    85540 Saint-vincent-sur-Graon
    Lac de Gué Gorand
    85220 Coëx
    Lac de La Bultière
    85130 Bazoges en Paillers
    Lac de la Chausselière
    85600 La Guyonnière
    Lac de la Vouraie
    85480 Saint Hilaire le Vouhis

    L'Angle Guignard
    85110 Chantonnay
    Lac du Jaunay
    85220 La Chapelle Hermier
    Lac du Marillet
    85320 Château-Guibert
    Lac de Mervent
    85200 Mervent
    Barrage de Moulin Papon
    85000 La Roche-sur-Yon
    Pierre Brune
    85120 Vouvant
    Lac de Rochereau
    85110 Monsireigne
    Lac de Finfarine (Sorin)
    85440 Poiroux
    Barrage de Vouvant
    85120 Vouvant

    Anglers must hold a valid, current fishing license.
    You can get them online here.

    vendee with children guide horse riding

    One of the many interesting heritage sites in the Vendée is the beautiful Haras de la Vendée.

    In 1665, Colbert created the royal stud farms on behalf of King Louis XIV with the intention to produce horses for the King's army.

    The stud farms were quite important as they were tasked specifically with raising stallions to improve equine breeds.

    1842 by ordinance of King Louis-Philippe, La Roche-sur-Yon received an influx of stallions to blow new life into the program which had sort of faded under the reign of Napoleon.

    Only the director's house, the honorary saddlery, and the two southern stables existed at the time. Between 1876 and 1904, five new stables made it possible for the stud farm to house nearly 220 stallionsThe architecture of Haras de la Vendée is neoclassical.

    Highly recommended - great family activity!! Enjoy educational workshops, equestrian demonstrations, horse-drawn vehicles ca. 19th century, entertainment and shows combining history, humor and talent.

    Open –  Year-round (see info & tarifs)
    Info & Tarifs – here
    Save Pass Vendee
    Reduced mobility access – yes, reservation required!
    Picnic tables or catering – yes
    Tip – Vendee Pass
    Address –120 Boulevard des États Unis, 85000 La Roche-sur-Yon

    GPS coordinates – 46 ° 39 ′ 50 ″ N, 1 ° 25 ′ 37 ″ W
    Directions – Enter your location
    Nearby sightseeing – The Chocolate Museum in La Roche-sur-Yon
    Images  Copyright_P_Baudry_Haras_3,4 & 5, Copyright_D_Fugere_Haras_2, and HVdep 

    haras de la vendee royal stud - patrimoine vendee
    haras de la vendee - pass vendee
    haras de la vendee - pass vendee
    Mervent-Vouvant forest

    The Mervent-Vouvant forest features 150 km of marked equestrian paths between St Maurice des Noues and Fontenay le Comte offering a multitude of difficulty levels, geographical terrain and vistas that morph with the seasons.

    The circuits in the forest massif are marked with a yellow horseshoe. DO bring a map. It's possible to cross other circuits and find yourself on another loop. Circuits may be shared with other visitors of the forest.

    Local equestrian companies (e.g. Saint Maurice des Noues Ferme Equestre) offer excursions. Please contact them for schedules and more information.

    Easy circuits include:

    Difficult circuits include:

    Open – Open all year
    Dogs yes
    Picnic tables or catering – there are 63+ picnic areas in and around the forest. Here is a list. There is a bakery in the forest where you can get sandwiches and drinks to consume on the terrace or take with you.
    Parkings – Please consult included links for nearby parkings

    Google map to equestrian centers in the Vendée

    vendee with children guide
    Corn mazes

    Outside the village of Vendrennes, there is a corn maze for your family to go and conquer, a corn maze that is not only open during the day, but also in the evening after dark on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

    Each year, to organizers apply a new theme to the maze. In season 2022 that theme is the 4 seasons of life as a farmer. 

    In the maze, you'll solve puzzles and overcome obstacles, and the exit may be just an illusion! The maze will take you about 1h30 to navigate but there is more to do on the site. There are farm animals, a mini straw maze and various wooden games, a picnic area and a shop where you can purchase local products. 

    • Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Nocturnes until midnight on Wednesdays and Saturdays

    Open – 02/07/2022 - 31/08/2022
    Info & tarifshere
    Reservations online (-.50c discount)here 
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Address –5 Route de la forêt, 85250 Vendrennes
    GPS Coordinates – 46.825812714786125, -1.1089913264528226
    Directions Enter your location

    vendee with children guide karting
    Atlantic Kart System

    Loated 10 minutes from Les Sables d'Olonne in the Vendée bring your inner champion to the karting circuit of of Thomas Laurent winner of the 24H du Mans LMP2 2017, third of the 24h du Mans 2018 LMP1 and KZ2 World Karting Champion 2015.

    The track of 1000m (1km) is equipped with a timing system and karts are individually adaptable. Miscellaneous packages are available depending on age of the child.

    Open – Open all year, from age 7
    Info & tarifshere
    Reservations – 0251325252
    Address – Lieu dit Le Coudriou, 85180 Sables d'Olonne
    GPS Coordinates – 46.51215573249405, -1.6825807688986842
    Directions Enter your location

    Other karting addresses in the Vendée
    Vendée Kart Circuit
    16 Rue des Artisans
    Circuit Philippe Alliot
    Les Prés Hauts, 85170 Bellevigny
    60 Rue de Chambouin, 85200 Fontenay-le-Comte
    route de challans, les, gaches, 85340 L'Île-d'Olonne
    Karting West Adventure
    Rue du Point du Jour, 85220 Saint-Révérend
    Martini Racing Kart 85   
    4 rue Ayrton Senna, 85300 CHALLANS
    vendee with children guide
    What is a base de loisirs?

    Leisure bases are typically to be found around lakes, rivers and along the coast where a plethora of activities are an ideal way to spend family time or to practice a sport.

    At any such places it is possible to make reservations for equipment and/or opportunities to learn a new discipline such as archery, sailing, canoeing and so much more. Often there are playgrounds for children to play, and there is supervised swimming around a sandy beach.

    Whether you live in the Vendée or you're visiting, do take the opportunity to rent a paddle board, canoe, kayak, electric boat, sailing dinghy, and learn archery, climbing, mountain biking, orienteering, etc. to discover the beautiful natural environments the department has to offer!

    Leisure bases are a budget friendly solution to discovering the Vendée from a different viewpoint. Pédalo or paddle board on the lake anyone?

    If you have family members with reduced mobility or other handicaps, check for the LABEL "TOURISME ET HANDICAP" on the base de loisirs websites. This label means the leisure base was adapted in various ways to welcome people with special needs.

    Do check individual websites for detailed info. Dogs will not typically be allowed but do check! 

    Google maps to all leisure bases in the Vendée

    Touchegray leisure center - Chantonnay
    Open – Last week of June to first week of September website
    Address – Touchegray, 85110 Chantonnay
    Telephone – (033) 0251944023
    Email –
    Online reservations – here or here (includes opening hours)
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates –46.65323192589262, -1.0644723308811894
    Other – workshops!

    Espace de Loisirs du Lac Chassenon
    Located between the villages of Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq and Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges in Xanton-Chassenon offers more opportunity for family fun. Lac Chassenon base the loisirs features nice swimming area with sandy beach, waterslides, and games for children. Cycling, pedalos for hire, restaurant and bar, shaded picnic tables... A great place to spend the day or an afternoon with views of the forest.
    Open seasonallyfrom 19/06/2021 to 12/09/2021
    Address – Prairie de l’Aiguille, Route de Parthenay, 85240 Xanton-Chassenon
    Telephone – (033) 02 51 69 83 74
    Directions enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.487873829545926, -0.7071801182863642

    We have only included two bases de loisirs  here, but there are many throughout the Vendée, each offering something special such as archery or rock climbing, workshops, treasure hunts etc. Some may only be open in the peak season, others are open year-round by reservation.

    vendee with children guide
    Ecomuseum le Daviaud

    Le Daviaud is foremost a gateway for the marshes. You will go through its different facet, its functioning, its roots and the history of those who live here…


    The wonders of this area will amaze you. Fauna and flora compose a colorful blend that give to the landscape a singular and unique character

    Le Daviaud offers English-speaking visitors audio guides in English.

    Open – 19/05/2022 to 07/11/2022
    Info & tarifs – here

    Disabilities – all paths and buildings are accessible to people with mobility issues. Wheelchairs and folding chairs available. Guide or service dogs are allowed throughout the site. Both audio, and sensory touch. Sign language coming soon.
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Duration of the visit min. 2 hours to a day
    Address –Le Daviaud, 85550 La Barre-de-Monts
    GPS coordinates – 46.879030518121446, -2.10530208534945
    Directions – Enter your location

    Historial de la Vendée

    We daresay not just unique but brilliant! The ultra modern museum was designed to fit modular spaces and features a technical grill that overlooks the museum from a 6m height. The walls can be moved to accommodate different exhibitions and the museum is completely interactive, also featuring audiovisual projections, lighting games and shows.

    Because the museum is located in a "sensitive natural space" the building was designed as such that it integrates in the rural setting, indeed it has a spectacular geometrical green roof! 

    This museum is not only an architectural marvel, the only one of its kind in France, but features well-put-together permanent and temporary exhibitions highlighting some of the 19,000 artifacts of the department, as well as archeological collections found in the Vendée subsoil. 

    Open year-round (except Mondays, and Christmas/ New Years day) and with a dynamic offer of exhibitions, the wonderful Historial de la Vendée is anything but a stuffy old museum. It is great to visit at any age and at any time of the year, and young children receive very special attention!

    Open – Website and schedule
    Save Pass Vendee
    TIP Specific rate for camping cars: 10€ (1 entry + 4 hours of electricity and water recharge); reparation kits for cyclists 
    Family visits and tours here 
    Events – Night of the Museums (free entry) and Journees Patrimoines (September)
    Reduced mobility access – yes
    Dogs – no
    Catering on-site – yes
    Address –
    Historial de la Vendée Allée Paul Bazin, 85170 Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne
    GPS coordinates – 46° 50′ 45″ N, 1° 28′ 52″ W
    Directions – Enter your location

    Vendée Miniature - top choice

    Imagine rural life in the 1920's in the Vendée. If nothing comes to mind, head straight for the Vendée Miniature museum where you are warmly invited by the artists to dive into an old countryside village built on a 1/10th sale.

    Landscapes, buildings, trades, traditions reconstructed reveal rural Vendée 100 years ago, revealing traditions, the seasons and important events that eventually meet modern life.

    The family who owns and operates the 780sq.m. (air-conditioned) structure are also the creators of incredible models, a passion project that took 16 years to bring to fruition.

    There are 50 buildings, each meticulously constructed with authentic materials, 40 horse-drawn carriages  reproduced from real models. A miniature train with 030T Buffaud and Robatel locomotive and wagons totaling 2.65 meters travels around some 70 meters of rail. There are a mind boggling 650 characters and thousands of accessories. It is magical for the whole family.

    Vendée Miniature is more than museum, one of the most beautiful miniature villages in France. It is also a leisure park located by the ocean on 12 hectares of wooded land featuring ample parking, a lake, picnic tables, and sanitary facilities.

    Open – 01/04/2022
    Info & tarifs here
    TIP – pottery workshops for adults/ parents and children from 6 years old. From April to September.  7 people maximum. Reservations
    Reduced mobility access yes. Site adapted to people with motor, mental and hearing disabilities
    Dogs Generally not allowed. Exceptions: small dogs that can be carried (call ahead to be sure)
    Picnic tables – yes

    Address –50 Rue du Prégneau, 85470 Bretignolles-sur-Mer
    GPS coordinates – 46.635959063209775, -1.869696927954006
    Directions – Enter your location

    Logis de la Chabotterie

    The manor's restoration projects went beyond the interior rooms. Every piece of furniture, utilitarian item, and clothing is authentic, dating between XVth and XVIIIth centuries. The word 'antiques' does not begin to describe this incredible collection. 

    The tour, leading from the drawing room (where guests would have been received), through the dining room, the scullery, chapel, bedchamber, strategy room, the amazing study and attics, is well designed with unobtrusive, multi-lingual and easy to use technology as your tour guide.

    While nothing beats explanation by a personable, impassioned person, this approach does allow one to linger...

    ... and linger. The very detail of placement, from threadbare rugs to jackets casually thrown over the back of a chair to the ticking of a clock, makes you feel like an honoured guest just returned from a stroll in the gardens with the hosts not far behind.

    The manor's interior envelopes the unsuspecting tourist in such a way they may not want to leave. More than a house, it's a real home decorated with precious items like the silk-panel folding screen in the drawing room depicting Chinese scenery, a unique guaïacum egg holder on the dining room table, ancient watering cans on the amazing scullery floor, topographic instruments in the strategy room, the delicately painted ceiling in the study...  every corner of le Logis de la Chabotterie, including the spectacular gardens, oozes cosiness.

    But nothing quite took our breath away as much as the 18th century dollhouse, casually 'forgotten' in the attics.

    It is so exquisite, its colours seemingly untouched by the hands of time, it's impossible not to be drawn to it. Don't miss this beautifully preserved home in your quest to learn more about Vendée.

    Open – Year-round, see website for schedule
    Save Pass Vendee
    Family fun – treasure hunt, adventure booklets and nature trail! 
    Escape game –  by reservation - in French! Info here
    Reduced mobility access – yes
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes, lovely park for a picnic. Vending machines in the lobby/ gift shop (drinks, ice cream, snacks)
    Address – Saint-Sulpice-le-Verdon 85260 Montréverd
    GPS coordinates – 46.880089, -1.406092; enter your location
    Nearby Sightseeing – don't miss the museum depicting the Vendée wars included with the visit!

    Manoir des Sciences - Réamur

    This wonderful museum housed in an old mansion in the village named for René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1683-1757), the well known 18th century scholar who helmed the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris for some 40 years, is a kaleidoscope to the Age of Enlightenment, of science and experiments he lived in.

    Reamur owned the manoir, spending three months at a time here to study nature and all its gifts.

    The museum offers a discovery tour of the scientist's studies and inventions such as the alcohol thermometer (1731) which used the Réaumur scale as a reference for more than 60 years until the Celsius scale replaced it.

    Also learn about the glass hive, chicken coop, metals, minerals and so much more. Enough for a family to spend the day. There is a reading room, natural history cabinet, a sensory garden that offers a brilliant window to the world as seen through the eyes of Reamur's peers, who were travelers and explorers.

    Children learn while having fun, through touch, experiments etc. In the garden they can learn about insects, composting, the glazed hive which allows close observation of the bees (no risk to the children or the bees), and many chests containing a treasure trove of curiosities.

    The workshops offered at the Manoir offer children aged 6 to 12 to carry out scientific experiments. If you have a child that is curious about everything nature and science, this is the place for them.

    Info & Tarifs – Year-round, see website for schedule. Free under 6.
    Family fun – museum and discovery. Workshops for children (ages 6 - 12). 
    TIP* – annual chocolate festival with different guest countries & their cultures
    TIP** – workshops every Wednesday afternoon during the schoolyear
    Reduced mobility access yes
    Dogs no
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes. Coffee, tea, cold drinks
    Address – 1 Rue de la Tour, 85700 Réaumur
    GPS coordinates – 46.7188221356843, -0.8007448827962074
    Directionsenter your location
    Nearby Sightseeing – La Colline des Moulins, and Cheffois quarry are both excellent nature areas to discover.

    Le potager extraordinaire - open in 2023
    The Extraordinary Vegetable Garden, a beloved attraction in the Vendee, is a place where you and your family can dive into the world of plants from all over the world, and learn how to grow vegetables using different techniques. 
    The approach of the Conservatoire du Potager Extraordinaire is to create biodiversity and save certain unknown and/or threatened plants from extinction by being fully committed to its continued use, whether medicinally or in the kitchen.
    The association known as the Conservatory of Specialized Plant Collections (CCVS) was founded in 1989. Their goals are to:

    There is a seed store on the premises, as well as the opportunity to taste and buy products manufactured from the garden.

    OpenJuly 2023
    Info & tarifs here
    Gardening blog –  here
    Dogs, picnic tables or catering on-site – no info
    TIP – workshops and special events for children (e.g. Halloween)
    AddressBeautour, Route de Curzais , 85000 LA ROCHE SUR YON
    GPS coordinates – 46.664865716138365, -1.3579986387964393
    Directionsenter your location

    vendee with children guide
    Mines de Faymoreau

    In 1927, while digging a well nearby, it was a local clog maker who discovered coal by chance. It was an event that changed the socio-economic life for the region for the next 130 years.

    It's difficult to imagine now (in the age of environmental alarms) that coal was once considered 'black gold'. In the minuscule village of Faymoreau, generation upon generation risked their lives to bring coal from the bowels of the earth, to the surface.

    Those people as well as the history of environmental evolution embody exactly the reason why the mines of Faymoreau are interesting to visit at all ages.

    The excellent museum is housed in the old glass factory dormitory created to consume the low quality coal that was mined, on site.

    The glass factory proved to be a clever business pursuit as it allowed for the production of millions of bottles for the Cognac and Bordeaux regions, as well as jars and garden bells. Other companies that used  Faymoreau coal included the tile -and brick makers in the area, as well as the lime kilns. (e.g. Fours a Chaux in 85490 Benet)

    Faymoreau was a hive of activity, at one point counting over 1000 inhabitants including migrants, many of whom Polish. But in 1950 the coal deposit ran dry. The mine closed permanently in 1958.

    If mine settlements could tell stories, Faymoreau would certainly be one of them. The quaint old miner's cottages are still inhabited, earning the village the title of Petite Cité de Caractère® for its remarkable patrimony.

    Also to see here are cultivated allotments, the stained glass windows by Carmelo Zagari in the Miners' Chapel.

    A hiking circuit of 12km called "Chemin de la Mine" and a cycling path connecting with "Vendée Vélo" were established to highlight the area as an Urban and Landscape Architectural Heritage Protection Zone.

    Open – 05/02/2022 to 06/11/2022
    Info & tarifs here
    ExhibitionIn 2022, the Centre Minier museum offers a delightful exhibition honoring the history of the mines of Faymoreau in LEGO® bricks!
    Dogs, picnic tables or catering on-site – no info
    TIP – apple farms nearby - get your apples straight from the source during the harvest
    Address – la Cour, 85240 Faymoreau
    GPS coordinates – 46.55529045676741, -0.6309563478220622
    Directionsenter your location

    vendee with children guide
    Mervent-Vouvant Forest

    Athletes to artists will find the Forest of Mervent-Vouvant to be an area for sports, contemplation, admiration, and inspiration. The natural beauty of the countryside with its sloping hills invite those among you who favor these activities.

    You will be in your element in this 55hectare magical place. The Vendée's largest forest offers an array of activities, but the most popular among locals are hiking and mountain biking.

    Year-round, the forest is a peaceful haven, a protected nature reserve that shines its enchanted spirit everywhere you cast your eyes.

    From naked trees in the winter, to their chartreuse awakening, from the birth of wildflowers in spring, to welcome shade in the summer heat, and a breathtaking pallet of fall colors.

    Trails narrow, wide and steep range from easy to difficult, reaching heights of nearly 300 meters or approx. 1000 feet! Welcome to the Vendée! More information here.

    Open – all year round
    TIP: Wear good shoes and take water! Be aware that not all trails make a loop so please research before departure.
    Link to hiking and mountain biking trails – in the forest (from easy to hard)
    Dogs yes
    Address – 85200 Mervent
    Popular walk (easy) – Le Petit Maillezais 5km around the lake, a walk of approximately 1h45m
    Picnic areas there are 63+ picnic aread in and around the forest. Here is a list
    Images – by except intro image courtesy of Vendée Expansion/ Julien Gazeau

    Marais Poitevin Guided Walk

    A sensory and informative walking tour for children and parents!

    A guide takes you and your family on a 3.5 km walking tour discussing animals, plants and the history of the beautiful Marais Poitevin whose canals were developed from the ocean by monks many centuries ago.

    Equip your family with the necessary things for a walk through the swamps.

    It is advised to wear closed shoes, weather appropriate clothing, to bring a water bottle, sunscreen, a hat, water and some snacks.

    This tour will probably be in French but please don't let that stop you!

    Open – all year round
    Tip bring your camera 
    Cost – 5.50 €/adults and 7€/child
    Reduced mobility access - not on the swamp paths (difficult) please call them as they may be able to make arrangements. The facilities petting zoo are wheelchair accessible as are the facilities
    Dogs no

    Picnic or onsite catering there is a bar and some tables outside

    Address – Sainte Christine, 85490 BENET
    Reservations or
    Free alternative: see our article about hidden corners in the Vendée for La Claye walk incl. picnic area
    Images – by except intro image courtesy of Vendée Expansion/ Julien Gazeau

    Réserve Biologique du Vendée

    This biological reserve developed by the Department of Vendée is a man-made ecological reserve that leads you through life in the Marais Poitevin in the XIXth century.

    Located in the northern part of the Poitevin marsh, it is one of the last examples of wooded wet marshes in the area. In order to ensure the status of a reserved natural space, the Department has divided the space into two parts, each with a specific vocation.

    The first with a scientific vocation, refuge for many species, and the second with an educational landscape, aesthetic and historical vocation where the sectors formerly maintained without clearing them are valued. 

    This natural habitat offers 146 hectares of exceptional richness, 3 areas to discover flora including 319 plant species, and fauna including otters, wild boar, deer, species of bugs including beautiful butterflies and moth... all along more than 4km of walking trails that are also wheelchair friendly.

    Highly recommended for the whole family, all generations! Free access! 

    Open  Open from April to 7 November. Schedule
    Family activities – picnic tables, treasure hunt and more!
    School holidays – many special events throughout the summer such as nature walks, guided tours and workshops
    Reduced mobility access – yes
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables – yes 
      Departmental Biological Reserve, Les huttes 85370 Nalliers
    GPS coordinates – N46 ° 26’34.81 ” /O 01 ° 01’19.34 ”
    Enter your location

    Adult groups by reservation on 02 51 97 69 80
    Images – by pixabay

    Les Salines - TOP CHOICE

    Discover the heart of the marsh d’Olonne and all of its natural treasures.

    Boat rides take you to the Jardin des Salines where the salt workers mine their 'white gold' from the sea. 

    On your journey, touch the secret routes the smugglers used to use (many centuries ago salt was a precious commodity), learn about the centuries old trade of salt, meet the salt workers, become an apprentice (harvest your own salt) and so much more.

    The Salt Adventure Park also offers a unique look at the fishermen's huts of bygone years and secrets of the trade, bird life, fun and games, all in a natural setting.

    Children receive the “Petit Saunier” diploma after learning to harvest. You can also rent canoes and paddle boards.

    Yet another adventure park in a natural setting where learning while having fun is central to the experience.

    Open  from April to the end of June and from September 1st to the end of the All Saints holidays. See website for details

    Info & tarifs here
    02 51 21 01 19 or online in season
    Duration of visit – depends on your adventure package. Min. 2 hours
    Reduced mobility access – yes, but call 02 51 21 01 19 (e.g. electric wheelchairs cannot go on the boats, regular wheelchair, 1 per boat)
    Dogs –
    yes, on a leash
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – no
    Address  Route de l'Aubraie, 85100 LES SABLES D'OLONNE
    GPS coordinates – 46.51618176014869, -1.8049830021322286
    Directions – Enter your location

    Adult groups by reservation on 02 51 97 69 80

    vendee with children guide amusement park
    Pierre-Brune amusement park

    In the heart of the Mervent Forest lies a 12-acre recreational area.

    Don't expect hair raising roller coasters here! Instead the park invites to a day of good old-fashioned amusement park fun the whole family can enjoy.

    It is centered around a little train which has choo-chooed many families around since 1959.

    Enjoy the trampolines, merry-go-round, a zipline, bungee jump, bumper boats, mini-golf course, and a new toboggan of some 50 meters, 6 bumps and 4 lanes! In short,  including this is a fun park featuring over 40 different games and animations to delight children, parents and grandparents, in the natural setting of a densely wooded forest.

    There is also a mini-park for the littlest guests to enjoy.

    Lunch can be purchased at the Snack-Bar du Voltigeur. Options include steak-frites, grilled sandwiches, homemade burgers, pancakes, waffles, sundaes and drinks. Picnics can be enjoyed at Café de la Grotte at the entrance to the Park. 

    Open – schedule
    Follow the park on Facebook and Instagram social media to be kept informed
    Tip – Cyclists are welcome to stop by Café de la Grotte. Bike racks and repair kits are available.
    Reduced mobility access –
    Dogs –
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Address – Lieu-dit Pierre Brune, 85200 Mervent

    GPS coordinates – 47°10′53″N 0°03′06″E
    Directions to the parkenter your starting location
    Website here

    Le Grand Defi

    Fancy a playful time with the family or want to rediscover your own inner child through a touch of adrenaline?

    Le Grand Defi will let you play with generous abandon.

    It is an obstacle park featuring paintball, obstacle courses, zip-lining, bungy jump, disc golf, climbing, rappelling, pony rides, etc.

    Note that when the park is only open in the afternoon picnics areas are open from 11:30.

    Open – year-round see schedule of activities  
    Info & tarifshere
    Reduced mobility access – no info but assume you can enter the park in a wheelchair
    Dogs – no info
    Picnic tables – yes. (There is a restaurant off site)
    Address – 40 Rue de l'Étoile, 85150 Saint-Julien-des-Landes
    GPS Coordinates – 46.648899121484106, -1.7158534373398941
    Directionsenter your location


    In this interactive family park featuring robotic systems that lets the dinosaurs move, roar, breathe, let yourself be amazed by prehistoric scenes, a dinosaur -and prehistory trail, cave painting, virtual reality 4D experiences etc.

    The younger audience will enjoy the discovery of excavation, fossils, treasure hunts, educational wooden games, an excavation area, the discovery of a fossils, archery, a treasure hunt.

    There is also a playground with pedal go-karts, mini-golf , buoy slide and more

    In a unique animated dinosaur puppet show the children will trace the history of dinosaurs, from their creation to their extinction. Each puppet was sculpted and painted by hand!

    Open 09/04/2022 to 11/09/2022
    Info & Tarifs
    Reduced mobility access – difficult. Also difficult for strollers (baby carrier recommended)
    Dogs no
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
     – 63 Av. de la Faye, 85270 Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez
    GPS Coordinates – 46.737228364597904, -1.9727820879235547
    Directionsenter your location

    O'fun PARK - Top Tip

    In the heart of the forest located in proximity of the Vendéen seaside resorts, the O'Fun leisure park invites you for a day of fun with family and friends.

    O'Fun is already described by its name.

    It is a large adventure park where you're invited to discover your inner child, and where children can tap into just how adventurous they can be.

    Activities range from waterjump (slides ending in water), accrobranching through numerous treetop courses, dueling, zip-lining, paintball and other games for children.

    Accrobranching is a phenomenal tree climbing activity accessible from the age of 2. The 17+ courses are marked by color, are supervised by qualified instructors and allow you to safely progress at your family's pace.

    A briefing on the safety rules is given before each departure.

    Children under 5yo are hooked to a "continuous line" system for maximum safety. Everyone else is provided with a click-it harness.

    The largest leisure park in the Vendée welcomes you from April to September. Please wear casual clothes and sports shoes. 

    Open 09/04/2022 to 25/09/2022 details
    Info, offers & Tarifs
    Reduced mobility access – yes
    Dogs & Cats – yes, on a leash
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Address – Le Bois Lambert, 85540 Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits
    GPS Coordinates – 46.49134503856127, -1.4158001331530765
    Directionsenter your location

    vendee with children guide

    Journey back to prehistoric times in this wonderful interactive museum housed in a large wooded park.

    Activities and demonstrations include how to make fire, hunting, the transportation of menhirs, pottery workshops, face painting etc. 

    In addition there are 3 exhibition rooms featuring media (3D, touch screens etc) to fully understand life in prehistoric times.

    Open – 10/04/2022 - 30/09/2022
    Info & Tarifs here
    Reduced mobility access
    Dogs yes on a leash (also in the museum)
    Picnic tables – yes. Restaurant and shop off site.
    Address  17 Rue de la Courolle, 85440 Saint Hilaire la Forêt
    GPS coordinates – 46.44515119054863, -1.521510164615727
    Directions –  enter your location

    Cairn, menhirs and dolmen -

    The Neolithic period in Europe is considered to be from 7000–3000 BC. In the Vendée there is archaeological evidence of prehistoric life from around 6000 BC.

    This was determined by finds of western native pottery and linear pottery which was found here, also known as cardium pottery, a Neolithic decorative style of clay imprinted with cockle shells.

    The settlements here were rooted in the migration pattern originating from the Near East.

    In many cases, sightseeing the prehistoric Vendée is an adventure in and of itself. Most artifacts are to be found in rural settings, sometimes IN the farm fields of the Vendéen countryside or even in village neighbourhoods.

    It's fun to follow the road signs that indicate historical and prehistorical monuments spontaneously.

    The most densely populated area to explore menhirs and dolmen, is located around Avrillé. Be aware that you may need to take sharp turns and traverse unpaved country roads.

    One of the most amazing monuments is located in the village of Bazoges-en-Pareds. The amazing Ciste des Cous is a large prehistoric burial site to be discovered in the farm fields just outside the village (see also castles-section).

    Open – The monuments listed here are open year-round and free to visit, however, as so many are located in rural Vendee farm fields, they may not be visible.
    Address  Please use GPS coordinates in our complete guide to prehistoric Vendée
    Dogs yes
    Parking – be aware in some cases it may not be possible - some menhirs are only visible from a busy departmental road
    Bicycling – the Vendée department has established a new route entitled "Boucle des Mégalithes", a beautiful 38km cycling route to discover these very old historical treasures in the communities of Jard sur Mer, St Hilaire la Foret, Longeville sur Mer, Avrillé, Le Bernard and Saint Vincent sur Jard.

    Tip – Please be respectful of farmer's crops

    vendee with children guide puy du fou
    The ultimate historical exploration -

    Historical theme park with epic, period-specific shows depicting life from Ancient Rome through the Viking invasions, the Middle Ages all the way to the 19th Century. And everything in between.

    There. That is Puy du Fou described in a nutshell. It's just about the extent of what you'll find written anywhere. There seems to be a secret code of ethics not only by the owners of the multi-award winning theme park, but by the millions of visitors that leap into the deep end of history year after year, time and again. In truth, there are videos online, but we highly recommend letting yourself be surprised.

    The gardens by which you navigate the park are stunning. The arenas, huge.  Think, renaissance fair on an epic scale.

    The costumes are designed in authentic fashion and stitched on site, so much so that the organization frequently lends its art to historic film productions. Even you can wear them in one of several photo booth settings for a lovely souvenir of your time spent here.

    There is a private school attached to the park as well, something straight out of Harry Potter. Its students explore the world of academics as well as entertainment, horse riding, performing arts, stunts etc. from a young age.

    Le Puy du Fou is more than an adventure down history lane, a place of secrets. 

    History is depicted by way of spectacle, crazy mindboggling live stunt shows happening all around you. The bird show alone has over 300 birds circling overhead and landing on command. You will see things that have you wondering for days... how did they do that?

    Le Puy du Fou is both the biggest attraction in the Vendée (indeed in France) and its biggest enigma.

    We promise that you'll have a wonderful time here. At any age!

    Last but not least, the evening and nighttime show LA CINÉSCÉNIE is the biggest such event in the world. Its stage of 23 hectares with a castle as a backdrop, is home to 2550 actors and 28,000 costumes for a one-and-a-half hour show you will never forget.

    It is legendary. In the grand scheme of bucket lists, le Puy du Fou and La Cinéscénie should not be missed.

    Open – 09/04/2022 - 06/11/2022
    La Cinéscénie tickets & calendar
    Park tickets & info here
    TIP wear good shoes
    Reduced mobility accessible yes (there are wheelchairs for hire and there is also a train that can take you to the furthest points in the park)
    Dogs no
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Address 85590 Les Epesses
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.88980765725884, -0.9280406896761224

    Image – by courtesy of Vendée Expansion Image library

    vendee with children guide
    Vertical exploration -

    Underneath the canopy of 30m oak trees in the enchanting Mervent-Vouvant nature area, the forest is penetrated by steep rock faces.

    Located in the South Armorican Zone, the forest is a part of the Armorican Massif consisting of a string of hills with the type of granitoid rocks typical to form in a tectonic environment. (Yes, we do have earthquakes in the Vendée, albeit tiny tremors!)

    These vertical rockfaces are ideal for rock-climbing.

    Height – 40m
     – year-round
    Address chemin de pierre blanche D99a 85200  MERVENT
    GPS Coordinates – 46.54037638137914, -0.770221341866998
    Directionsenter your location

    Website – Pierre Blanche escalades
    Contact 02 51 44 27 22 or 06 50 08 70 32
    Ask for more info at Base de Loisirs:
    Telephone – (033)
    Email –
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.524238437083255, -0.7572130695686299

    Images – by courtesy of Vendée Expansion Image library

    Pierre Blanche rock climbing Mervent
    Pierre Blanche rock climbing Mervent
    Pierre Blanche rock climbing Mervent
    vendee with children guide scenic train route
    Steam Train rides

    Treat the family to a ride through the Vendée countryside on an old steam engine! During the 2h30 voyage of 22km from Mortagne-Sur-Sèvre to Les Herbiers, choo-choo through beautiful Vendée landscapes from a unique vantage point, crossing ancient aqueducts and valleys.

    On the return trip, children from 3 - 13 years old live the experience through a game of 24 cards (1 set per family) with brainteasers that lets them learn about the power of steam, train transport of bygone days, and the surroundings through which they are traveling.

    • Book the "Train a Vapeur" package (please reserve ahead of time as this is a popular attraction.) Free ages 3 and under.

    For a more adult "Grand Express" experience in the authentic atmosphere of the late 19th century (think Orient Express), book a 3hour fine dining experience (12h00 to  15h00). This is also open to children from the age of 3. (Infants and dogs not allowed on the Grand Express tour.)

    • Misc. menus/ prices are available. Book your lunch/ride tickets here.

    Brochure – Season 2022
    Info & tarifs for the "Train a Vapeur" here
    Reduced mobility access – not easy, no wheelchairs
    Dogs –
    yes, on leash on the "Train a Vapeur" only
    Note – Free for children under 3y/o (sitting on the knees of an adult). Dog allowed on a leash.
    Address – 2Bis Av. de la Gare, 85290 Mortagne-sur-Sèvre
    GPS coordinates – 47.011704793864766, -0.9528415380398682
    Directions – enter your point of departure

    skateboarding in the vendee

    Skateboarding has been around since 1950, a popular sport among teens that has finally made it to the Olympics in 2021.

    If your teenager loves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, there are a number of parks in the Vendee available.

    Google maps to skateboard parks in the Vendée

    vendee with children guide

    Not quite located in the Vendée, but definitely worth mentioning, this awesome theme park focuses on the future, and is driven by the latest 3D and 4D technologies.

    In over 40 attractions children will have fun getting a glimpse of the future, train for life on Mars, see space and planet earth through the eyes of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, the youngest astronaut from the European Space Agency (ESA), explore the world of robotics, gravity and so much more.

    We highly recommend the "Journey into the Dark" tour in which you'll follow a blind guide with your eyes shut and feel what the world of blind people is actually like. Incredible experience.

    The park features top winning attractions among which a magic show you need to see to believe. It offers a terrific day spent en famille filled with unexpected journeys, thrills, shows, and games.

    This theme park is great fun at any age.

    A visit to Futuroscope is a favorite among Vendéen families! It's an easy daytrip!

    Open – 14/3/2022 to 02/01/2023 (do check the calendar)
    Info & tarifs –
    build your package here
    Best offers here 
    Reduced mobility access yes. More info here
    Dogs – yes, on leash
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes

    Entrance address Avenue René Monory, 86360 Chasseneuil-du-Poitou
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.67302308182974, 0.3689614886846375

    vendee with children guide
    Atlantic Toboggan

    Located in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, this fun and friendly waterpark boasts a 1500m² wave pool and toboggans of dizzying heights.

    Families and friends are invited to spend a day frolicking around, to make giant splashes into the pool, to participate in numerous water activities... or to simply go for a leisurely pedalo ride.

    Rest, relaxation and fun are included in the ticket price.

    PROMO: Online promotion until June 15, 2022 17 EUR/ PERSON (FREE UNDER 3)

    The water park features heated swimming pools, 8 toboggan runs, a playground, Jacuzzis, a buoy river and of course, the wave pool!

    Open – 25/06/2022 to 31/08/2022 from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Info & tarifs –
    Reduced mobility access yes
    Dogs yes, on a leash
    Picnic tables or catering on-site – yes
    Entrance address 42 av. des Becs 85270 Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.75877230832258, -2.0245193490249314

    O'Gliss Waterpark

    Situated near the Vendée coast (25 minutes from Les Sables d'Olonne and 15 minutes from La Tranche sur Mer) the O'Gliss Park features a universe of water with assorted activities.

    Purchase a VIP ticket for entrance from 09h00 and enjoy the slides until 10h00 before the park actually opens to the public.

    There are 150 VIP Beach tickets available every day the park is open.

    There are several options for private areas for you to enjoy and supervised activities for the children. The O'Cayo Island lagoon is especially wonderful for the little ones with a beautiful heated pool (29c). beach, climbing rock, and waterfalls.

    The park comprises of many areas in addition to O'Cayo Island and VIP beach. There are also the Sunset Playa (with DJ, tapas & cocktails bar), the Ludo Park (family fun), Exploral'O (wild rivers of over 400 meters with several tracks to explore for different sensations) and DélirSpace (virtual rafting and 12 thrilling slides). 

    Open – 25/06/2022 to 04/09/2022
    Info & tarifs –
    Reduced mobility access yes
    Dogs no
    Picnic or catering on-site yes
    Entrance address Rte de la Tranche sur Mer, 85560 Le Bernard
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.458811418847404, -1.4185451338875494

    Cap Vert - Centre aquatique Les Herbiers

    This is a swimming pool to suit your athletic and relaxation needs including classes for children to learn how to swim.

    Slides indoor and outdoors. There is a large outdoor area with deck chairs, beach volleyball, lagoon, snack bar, playground etc.

    Indoors, in addition to a sports pool, there are hot tubs, sauna, hamam, etc...

    In short, there are numerous activities to enjoy as a family or for your teenage children to spend summer afternoons.

    Open – open year-round but check website for details
    Info & tarifs –
    Reduced mobility access yes
    Dogs no
    Picnic or catering on-site yes
    Entrance address Rue du Baron Pierre de Coubertin 85500 Les Herbiers
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.86232044140255, -1.019827705240128

    Centre aquatique Océanide - Fontenay le Comte

    A wonderful swimming center for young and old to enjoy year-round.

    From sports, to play, to wellness, the Centre Aquatique Oceanide offers something for everybody.

    There is a sports pool, a 5-meter pool, a recreational area with water at 32°C including waterfall, bubble bench and a counter-current swimming lane. there is a 39-meter slide and a paddling pool.

    The wellness area includes a spa, hammam and sauna. Classes such as aquabike etc are also offered.

    In the summer, an outdoor pool featuring beaches and deckchairs.

    Open – year-round indoors and seasonal outdoors
    Info & tarifs –
    Reduced mobility access yes
    Dogs no
    Picnic or catering on-site no info
    Entrance address Rue du Gaingalet, 85200 Fontenay-le-Comte
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.46082411221441, -0.7814888903501497

    Google map to all aquatic centers in the Vendée

    vendee with children guide
    Les Moulins Jumeaux du Terrier Marteau

    Built in the 18th and 19th centuries, these two beautiful windmills offer an interesting look at the miller trade and the secrets of the windmill. Jérôme, the baker-miller himself, welcomes visitors every afternoon in summer, delighting them with explanation and stories, and demonstrates his craft. Bread, brioches and pastries made from organic wheat grown locally, and baked on site in the wood fired oven.

    There is an enclosed park with chickens, pheasants, peacocks, turkeys, geese, goats, sheep, deer… and two donkeys named Eclair and Dubaï.

    An excellent visit that pairs learning, tasting, and a petting zoo with the most magnificent panoramic views across the Vendée countryside.

    Open – 01/07/2022 to 31/08/2022 14h00 to 19h00; open weekends in September (until 19/09) from 14h00 to 19h00. Guided tours.
    Organic bread – available on Fridays from 10h00 to 13h00. During the season you can buy bio flour, bread and brioches. Everything is baked in a wood fired oven
    Info & tarifs –
    Reduced mobility access please contact 07 85 53 42 52 or contact@les-­
    Dogs – no
    Baked goods for sale – yes
    Address Rue du Terrier Marteau, 85700 Pouzauges
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.79197764278466, -0.849823037029411

    Le Moulin des Gourmands – St Révérend

    The Mill of Father Aristide Praud was built in 1848. It ran until 1930 and was restored in 1997. The miller shows his wind-machine in operation and the baker demonstrates the bakehouse with its wood-fired oven.

    Enjoy cakes, pancakes, pizza, or the pizza pancake, and other products from the bakery in the park where you can enjoy a picnic in the company of donkeys, and for children from 6 - 12 there is a game of apprentice detectives, a police investigation offered in the adjacent park.

    Open – 25/06/2022 to 04/09/2022
    Info & tarifs –
    here  tours by reservation only
    Dogs – not in the windmill but allowed on leash in the adjacent park
    Picnic tables or catering – yes
    Entrance address Rue René Bazin, 85220 Saint-Révérend
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.69685667696246, -1.8256967536398305

    Le Moulin de Rairé – Sallertaine

    Built in 1555, this stately windmill is the only one in France that has never stopped spinning since its construction. It is to this day entirely driven by the wind.

    The Burgaud family that owns it, are descended from a long line of millers. They work this fascinating machine using the ancient techniques.

    Learn all about it in a guided tour of this historic monument of astonishing ingenuity. Specialties sold in the shop include wheat flour and buckwheat (organic), freshly baked pancakes, biscuits, local products.

    Open – currently closed due to maintenance (see website for updates)
    Info & tarifs –
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables or catering – yes

    Entrance address Le Raire, 85300 Sallertaine
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.8637530000065, -1.9795815505525338

    Le Jardin du Vent – Notre Dame de Monts

    In front of a curious mill wearing veils, hides an original garden that offers visitors an art walk, fun and informative … Animated sculptures, wind games, legends and weather indications of surprises punctuate this journey around a compass and a theater.

    In July and August workshops “kites” are offered for children.

    Open – 01/04/2022 to 30/09/2022
    Workshops  for children – schedule
    Info & tarifs –
    here (free visit, paid for workshops)
    Reduced mobility access yes
    Dogs – no
    Picnic tables or catering – yes (microwave available) Coffee, tea, hot chocolate

    Entrance address 29 bis Rue Gilbert Cesbron, 85690 Notre-Dame-de-Monts
    Directions – enter your point of departure
    GPS coordinates – 46.83215515764884, -2.134478690615512