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Five off the beaten track places to visit in the Vendée

Posted the 5 September 2023
Outdoor experiences

There are numerous peaceful places to visit in the Vendée whether it’s by car, on foot or by bike. Here, you take the time to escape, explore and get back in touch with nature. Experience a rejuvenating and peaceful break in the Vendée! Tempted by the idea? Read on…

Enjoy the pleasures of the sea, the wide-open spaces and take a deep breath of fresh air. Here are five off the beaten track places where you can discover nature in the Vendée.  

5 spots loin de la foule, port du bec

Marais Breton Vendéen, a unique peaceful place to experience

To the north of the Vendée lies the  Marais Breton Vendéen. But don’t be fooled, the marshes are definitely on… Vendean soil! They border the Vendean coastline and the Bay of Bourgneuf with its wet meadows, canals, and polders. The Marais Breton Vendéen region offers a truly unique experience in the heart of unspoilt nature. The marshes can be explored in a flat-bottomed boat called a yole. You’ll be amazed by the plants and wildlife, it’s also a favourite haunt of migratory birds. As you make your way along the marshes, stop off at the pretty Port du Bec, an atypical and very unusual place that’s well worth a visit! Succumb to the charm of its wooden pontoons on stilts, earning it the nickname of ‘Port Chinois’ the Chinese port. A stop over with a completely different feel!

Smart tip: to prolong your little getaway, head to La Barre de Monts to explore the fisheries there. Marvel at the pretty seaside village and its fishermen’s huts.   

5 spots loin de la foule, forêt de Mervent-Vouvant

Forêt de Mervent-Vouvant, mysterious peaceful place, full of charm

Red, blue, or black trails, each in its own colour, for a great escape in the heart of the Vendée’s green lung: the Mervent forest. The Forêt de Mervent-Vouvant lies hidden away in the south of the Vendée, providing a rolling landscape and 5 000 hectares of oak and pine trees … perfect for a sporty mountain bike outing in complete peace and quiet. Equipped with your bike and helmet, set off on an adventure from the Pierre Brune Plateau. Wind your way through the forest to reach the “Petite Cité de Caractère” of Faymoreau via the Mère and Vendée rivers. Along the steep paths, meet the legendary fairy ‘Mélusine’, who will reveal all the secrets of this mysterious place. A 100% discovery walk, featuring the many different landscapes of the southern Vendée.

Smart tip: If you like a challenge, take advantage of this walk to explore the narrow streets of Vouvant, a charming medieval town full of a rich and unique heritage.

La Pointe de L’Aiguillon a remarkable off the beaten track birdwatching spot

Take a trip between land and sea in the beautiful Baie de L’Aiguillon nature reserve! Forming a huge sandy spit in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pointe de l’Aiguillon is listed as a natural area which offers a remarkable birdwatching spot. This sandy headland will delight nature lovers looking for wide open spaces and diverse landscapes. Bordered by dunes, marshes, salt meadows and mudflats, the mosaic is ideal for observing migratory birds. This truly natural site, home to over 400,000 migratory birds. With binoculars in hand, you can observe them in their natural environment!

Smart tip: The site is an ideal place for a ‘sea-scented family walk, and to watch the magnificent sunset in the evening.

5 spots loin de la foule en Vendée, Marais poitevin

Marais Poitevin a beautiful peaceful picture postcard setting

Looking for a refreshing break that is as different as it is romantic? Well, just head for the Marais Poitevin ! Tucked away in the heart of the southern Vendée, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful area. There’s no doubt, here, you’ll be far from the crowds! The Marais Poitevin, also known as the Venise Verte (Green Venice), is a true picture postcard in its green setting, which you can explore on foot, by bike, on a paddle or in a traditional wooden boat! In winter, we recommend that you wrap up warm and follow the footpaths that run alongside the marshes, plunging yourself into the site’s lush greenery. The Marais Poitevin a delightful mosaic of wet and dry marshes. A truly peaceful place to visit

Smart tip: You can also experience the Marais Poitevin by bike on a guided tour with Original Vélo Tour. This is a chance for you to discover its history and natural heritage.

5 spots loin de la foule en Vendée, Chaos Piquet

Le Chaos de Piquet a natural, romantic, and peaceful place to visit

Wild, natural, and romantic, the Chaos de Piquet has everything! Located in the heart of the Yonnaise countryside, it is also known as “les petites Pyrénées vendéennes” the little Vendean Pyrenees. The site is ideal for a peaceful walk with all the family. Follow the steep paths and jump from rock to rock to discover the flora and fauna of this picturesque site. Enjoy the charm and serenity of the place and experience magical moments in the heart of nature.

Smart tip: During your walk, you’re bound to come across the old spinning mill buildings.

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