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Destination guide

Staying in Vendee holiday rentals

The department of Vendee – wedged between the well-known towns of Nantes and La Rochelle – is famed for its rural vibe. It rolls down from the edges of the wonderful Loire Valley to the salt-spraying waves of the Atlantic, hiding characterful little gites and enticing Vendee holiday lettings between its historical towns and vineyards. Highlights include the long, sandy beaches and the speckling of intriguing islets that pepper the ocean.

History

Holiday cottages in Vendee are surrounded by French history

The region of Vendee has had a tumultuous past. It was a major flashpoint in the Hundred Years' War and then the incubator of major peasant rebellions against the Napoleonic government in Paris, following the French Revolution. This war-torn history has left its mark, too. Those who opt to go off-shore to the isle of Noirmoutier will be able to visit the striking Chateau de Noirmoutier. It's excellently preserved, and still bears its formidable Gothic keep – once the lookout tower in the battles with Norman raiders, from the north. Meanwhile, in the region's main commune, La Roche-sur-Yon, great statues to Napoleon I and monumental church architecture stand as a testimony to the town's destruction and reconstruction following a number of revolts against France's new emperor, in the 1790s.

Things to do

Discover the top attractions of Vendee

Start your explorations along the stunning Vendee coast by hopping across to the island of Noirmoutier. It's accessed by a low-lying causeway, called the Passage du Gois, that gets totally submerged when the Atlantic waves roll in for high tide. On the isle, you can discover the glimmering Chateau de Noirmoutier. It dates to the 1100s and hosts an enthralling set of historical exhibits in the keep. The Ile d'Yeu requires a real boat trip to arrive at, but the extra effort is rewarded by earthy lobster bistros and rugged stretches of empty coastline, carved by granite cliffs. Back on the mainland, the Sables d'Olonnes Zoo has tapirs and multicoloured parrots to see, while the relaxed seaside town of Saint-Jean-de-Monts comes fringed with glowing beaches and bird-stalked wetlands.

Activities

Activities and attractions in Vendee

Are you looking for attractions to visit while you're in the area? Venture out of your cosy holiday rental and check out everything that makes Vendee a fun spot to go on holiday. Here are some of the top attractions to see, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city centre:

  • Domangere Golf (7.1 mi / 11.5 km)
  • Indian Forest (14.5 mi / 23.4 km)
  • Olonnes Golf (15 mi / 24.1 km)
  • O'Gliss Park (16.3 mi / 26.2 km)
  • Port Bourgenay Golf (17.8 mi / 28.6 km)
  • Explora Park (27.5 mi / 44.2 km)
Natural features

Exploring the natural landscape of Vendee

Whether you're looking for adventure or just want to appreciate the scenery, Vendee is a great place to get outside. Here are some of the area’s most eye-catching sights, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city centre:

  • Ponds Nature Park (4.2 mi / 6.7 km)
  • Les Sables d'Olonne Beach (17.9 mi / 28.8 km)
  • Parc des Rochettes (22.9 mi / 36.9 km)
  • Griere Beach (23.8 mi / 38.4 km)
  • Parc du Cornoir (29.4 mi / 47.3 km)
  • Gros Jonc Beach (29.7 mi / 47.9 km)
Beaches

Chart-topping beaches near Vendee holiday lettings

  • The Grande Plage at Saint-Jean-de-Monts is a wide, sunny stretch of soft sand that's great for sunbathers during the summer months
  • The Plage de la Pege is an enticing place for coastal walks, lined with slatted wooden paths and undulating dunes
  • Go for a villa rental on Vendee's Noirmoutier, if you want honey-coloured beaches with kitesurfing and excellent sunsets
  • Surfers will love the waves at Les Conches
  • Search for a Vendee holiday cottage on the out-at-sea Ile d'Yeu, if you're keen on rugged, wave-splattered coves and little beaches with excellent seafood restaurants
How to get there

Transport options to and around Vendee

The nearest airport is in Nantes (NTE-Nantes - Atlantique), located 33.2 mi (53.5 km) from the city centre. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you might consider flying into La Rochelle (LRH-La Rochelle - Ile de Re), which is 38.2 mi (61.4 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, La Roche-sur-Yon Station, La Mothe-Achard Station and Belleville Station are the main stations in the city.

How to get around

How to get around Vendee and vicinity

If you're keen on forging a Vendee itinerary that has all the top attractions, you might find it's easiest to rent a car for the duration of your stay. The A83 and A87 motorways are the main arteries serving the region, but a host of smaller, well-maintained country roads will be able to get you to the white-sand beaches and hidden Vendee holiday cottages that pepper the vineyards and farm fields away from those. It's also possible to hop on a number of local buses from the 2 main regional towns of La Roche-sur-Yon and Challans.

Food & drink 

What to eat when staying in Vendee holiday rentals

Settling in a Vendee holiday home on the coast? Then the Vendee oyster is a must-try for you. It's salty and potent in flavour, farmed along some of the most pristine shores on the French Atlantic. Inland dishes tend to follow the peasant-style of old cooking. That means platters of hearty jambon-mogettes – a simple meal of butter-covered beans and salty gammon. And then, of course, there are the wines. They are grown in 5 individual viticulture areas, with Brem-sur-Mer perhaps the most famous for its light, crisp and fruity whites that go perfectly with seafood.

Essential info

Key facts about Vendee

  • La Roche-sur-Yon is the capital of Vendee
  • Vendee is part of the greater region of Pays de la Loire
  • Vendee has a population of 656,000
  • Both the Nantes Atlantique Airport and the La Rochelle Airport – the 1st to the north, the 2nd to the south – are excellent access points for Vendee

How many holiday rentals are available around Vendée?

Our 2020 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 6,979 holiday lettings around Vendée. From 283 villas to 273 cottages, find unique self catering accommodation for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends for a long holiday or a weekend break.

Can I rent a seaside property in Vendée?

Nothing comes close to the feeling of sand between your toes and salt on your skin. It's time to wrangle your buddies for some lively beach action. HomeAway has 3,145 beachside rental homes. Alternatively, you may be searching for something else. HomeAway has a whole lot of options to select from, including:

  • 2,319 beach holiday accommodation options.
  • 1,293 oceanfront holiday accommodation options.
  • 1,032 village holiday accommodation options.

Can I rent a house in Vendée?

If you want to live like a local and love having lots of room to move, renting a whole house is the way to go. There are 2,940 options currently listed on HomeAway. Prices start at £24 per night. If that doesn't suit your posse's taste, we've got a range of different self-catering accommodation options to choose from, such as:

  • Apartment: 1,558 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £26 per night.
  • Mobile home: 483 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £23 per night.
  • Villa: 274 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £30 per night.

Can I stay in Vendée in a large group?

Nothing beats reconnecting with your old friends or spending a couple of weeks with extended family in a sensational new place. And the best thing, HomeAway has places to suit. The top choice for bigger groups here are house holiday rentals, and you'll find 883 available. The rental property options that are perfect for large numbers around here include:

  • If yours is a crew of 6, we've got 1,905 rental properties perfect for that size. Spend a night from just £26.
  • If you've got 5 in your group, you'll be happy to learn that there are 798 holiday rentals that are perfect. The starting price is £18 a night.
  • Planning a trip away with a group of 8? We've got 662 accommodation for rent that will suit. Prices start from £29 a night.

You and your crew will be well looked after when you arrange your Vendée adventure with us!

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