Getting to the Vendée

Travelling to the Vendée is easy thanks to the proximity of airports, railway stations and well-maintained access routes. If your destination is Le Bocage Vendéen (the countryside) or the Marais Poitevin, narrow country roads add another dimension to the charm and authenticity of the area. No matter your point of departure or mode of transportation, we hope to see you soon in the Vendée!

Airports and countries

With some planning ahead you can get very affordable flights from within Europe. to Nantes or La Rochelle airports. Planning itineraries from elsewhere in the world to these airports can be expensive but allowing yourself enough time and by splitting the itineraries, it could be done. Research to find best options!

Fly to the Vendée via Nantes Airport from these countries and cities
Fly to the Vendée via La Rochelle Airport from these countries and cities

Please note: reduced schedule in winter!

Get to the Vendée via CDG Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport from the rest of the world

TRAVEL TIP from Gerry M. via our Facebook Group:  I take the #290 bus to Nantes at Mouilleron-en-Pareds stop. It takes a couple of hours, but it's only a little over 5 euros plus the airport bus, OR from airport bus stop Neustrie to Tram #3 to the end and the (think it is) 480 bus or a taxi.

WE'VE CHECKED:  Bus #290 departs LA CHÂTAIGNERAIE at 07h10 and arrives at NANTES RAILWAY STATION at 10h10 (route description here)
Bus Navette Aéroport ticket is €
9 and runs every 20 minutes Monday through Saturday, and every half hour on Sundays.
Save money by using Navette Aéroport to bus stop Neustrie with change to tram line 3 for just €2

Travel via these French ferry ports to the Vendée

This article "Which route is right for you?" by Brittany Ferries might be helpful.
Service by:  DFDS SeawaysP&O FerriesBrittany FerriesCondor FerriesLD Lines and Eurotunnel
Other websites: Direct Ferries, Ferryonline, aferry, Ferrysavers and many more (Google search term: ferries to France from UK/Ireland).

By car or caravan to the Vendée

Since it's quite necessary to have a mode of transportation in the Vendée, arriving by car is the most convenient, whether you rent one (e.g. Rhino Car Hire) departing from a major transportation hub like CDG or a ferry port in France, or after arrival by train or bus. France offers a beautiful network of smoothly paved toll motorways, or non-toll motorways. Below tools and links will help to research your best options.

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HANDY TOOLS
  • The French Motorway Companies website offers a handy way to calculate toll and fuel (approximately)
  • Payment methods summary
  • Purchase a Télépéage box  here
  • Municipal campgrounds in the Vendée
Some Road Rules are different!

While road signs are largely the same anywhere, your country might follow different road rules than Europe. Here are a few things to look out for e.g. if you're coming from North America:

  • No right on red! You must stop at a red light no matter what.
  • Drivers IN the roundabout have the right-of-way.
  • Stick to the speed limit (really!)
  • Larger vehicles should make way for cars e.g. tractors, trucks...
  • Vehicles going uphill have the right of way (stop on the side to let them through)

TRAVEL TIP about travelling from via our Facebook Groupthe choice of driving through Paris or via Rouen from the North of France, Belgium, the Netherlands (and further north) is a matter of budget vs chance. Many prefer the Rouen route, because it saves time and stress behind the wheel. When traffic is log-jammed on the Paris ring, driving is dire. The Rouen route offers much less traffic with a dose of beautiful Normandy scenery on top.

WE'VE CHECKED:
The only gain is time. Even though the Rouen route adds around 50 kilometers (around €5 in fuel) plus €9 in tolls to the trip, it's a great alternative to driving through Paris. 
*Toll via Paris is €51 from Lille to Mauléon exit
*Toll via Amiens/Rouen is €60 from Lille to Mauléon exit

By bicycle to the Vendée via EuroVelo

The Vende is nested by three EuroVelo cycling routes, perfect for access from EV1, EV3 and EV6. The area itself is  home to the Harmonie Mutuelle French Pro cycling team. From flat countryside near the Atlantic ocean to the rolling hills of the Bocage and France's largest oak forest, the Vende is a popular training ground for road cyclists and mountain bikers.

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EUROVELO ROUTES
  • EV1 - in France: from Roscoff, Brittany via Nantes and Vende to Bordeaux and Portugal. Route.
  • EV3 - Pilgrims Route from Norway to Santiago de Compostella. Route
  • EV6 from the Black Sea to the Atlantic (Nantes). Route
  • From London via EV5 and EV4 to EV1
BICYCLING AROUND THE VENDEE

With no less than 1100 kilometers of cycling routes, the Vendée offers the largest bicycling network in France! The landscape and underground changes from flat and paved, to marshland, to dunes and hilly countryside.

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By bus to the Vendée

Even by bus it's easy to get to the Vende! Bus travel is comfortable and budget friendly. A quick Google search showed a ticket from Lille to La-Roche-sur-Yon was between €10 and €35 one-way. Bus destinations are La-Roche-sur-Yon or Les Sables d'Olonne. 

EUROPEAN BUS ROUTES
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