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Five unusual ideas for a green get away from it all experience

Posted the 13 February 2024
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Yes, me, the Vendée, I attract visitors because of the diversity of my landscapes. When you come here on holiday or for a weekend, you can enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors. I'm all about nature and the unusual, because yes, I do offer activities and places that you won't see anywhere else. Nature is beautiful and full of surprises. In this article, discover 5 unusual places in the Vendean countryside. Ideal for recharging your batteries while getting away from it all! 

1. Le Gîte Alpagas de la Montagne in Commequiers – Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie

gîte alpagas en vendée

A weekend away in a self-catering cottage in the Vendée is a real treat. And what would you say if we were to include a few alpacas in the decor? Rather unexpected, wouldn't you say? In Commequiers, near Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, you can stay at the "Alpagas de la Montagne" gîte. This "Bienvenue à la ferme" and "Gîtes de France" approved gîte boasts 26 hectares of greenery, a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a summer kitchen and cute alpacas that roam around the gîte. You can combine moments of relaxation with the chance to discover these unusual animals. The owners sell clothes made from their high-quality wool. Would you like a little 100% made in Vendée alpaca wool jumper as a souvenir? We bet you won't be able to resist.

Discover Le Gîte alpagas de la Montagne

2. L’Ecolodge Terra Gora in Les Épesses

Gîte nature

The Terra Gora Ecolodge in Les Épesses is just 5 minutes from the Puy du Fou! Have you ever imagined spending a night with your other half in a green setting, where the architecture is made from wood and recyclable materials, and is completely environmentally friendly? That's what the Terra Gora hotel complex is all about. You'll have butterflies in your stomach as you spend a night in the Chrysalide Lodge. The 2-storey lodge is decked out in wood and zinc. On-site, you can sample some delicious local dishes. The Vendée bocage is a great place to relax. Nature is beautiful and full of surprises!

Discover Terra Gora

3. Au Bout du Marais - River Tourism in the Marais Poitevin 

Au bout du Marais en Vendée

A new year also means new tourist attractions! After almost 10 years of work, the Sèvre Niortaise is now open to navigation. Board a comfortable houseboat in the Marais Poitevin and set off on an adventure on this beautiful river in the south of the Vendée. Discover the Marais Poitevin aboard your electric boat. No noise, so you won't disturb the animals that live here. You'll be able to see some rare species. The "houseboats" have 6 berths (2 bedrooms, and a salon that can be converted into 2 berths). So off you go! The Marais Poitevin is waiting for you and your group of friends.

To sail aboard the houseboats on the Sèvre Niortaise, you don't need a licence - we'll train you before you get on board. There are three stops in the Vendée: Maillé, Courdault and Damvix.

discover au bout du marais

4. Donkey trekking – Pieds d’Aventure at the Château Guibert, exploring the inland coastal area 

randonnée à dos d'ane en vendée

In 2023, we live in an age where digital technology is everywhere. Things need to move quickly, just as if we were running out of time. At Château Guibert, Éric Viaud has realised this, and is determined to change it! At Pieds d'Aventure, you'll learn to slow down, to savour every moment, to 'live again'. As well as offering activities such as bivouacking, canoeing and mountain biking, but it's the donkey treks that really appealed to us. Surrounded by your little tribe, you can set off to discover the Vendée's 'retro-littoral' (inland coastal area) countryside. With or without a guide and accompanied by your big-eared companion, you can walk for miles in the great outdoors. As Éric Viaud says, those who have discovered this experience have taken a step back from their hectic daily lives. An instant digital detox.

A little bonus for the children: walking is great, but when it starts getting too long, the kids can get a bit grumpy. Well, don't worry: the donkeys can carry the little walkers back!

Discover Pieds d'Aventure

5. Le Potager Extraordinaire in La Roche sur Yon 

potager extraodinaire en Vendée

Botany lovers will already be familiar with the name. Yes, the Potager Extraordinaire has had a former life! Created in 1995 in La Mothe Achard, this project run by gardening enthusiasts has now closed and been re-located in La Roche sur Yon. Open since June 2023, everyone is very welcome. Young and old alike will be able to enjoy a wide range of activities. Are your children budding gardeners? There's something for them: a market gardening area, a mini farm, a "bizarretum" with giant plants, an experimental vegetable garden, a vegetable library, an exotic garden and a squash and tomato tunnel.

What's more, you'll be able to enjoy recipes prepared by recently Michelin-starred chef Nathan Cretney from his restaurant Les Reflets. Using produce from our kitchen garden, he'll be cooking up some of his usual exceptional dishes. What a programme!

Discover le potager extraordinaire

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