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A holiday in France without a car - Saint Gilles Croix de Vie is just perfect

Posted the 27 October 2022
Leisure & Activities
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For a car free holiday in France , your destination is the seaside resort of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie. Getting there couldn’t be easier: the International Airport “Nantes Atlantic” is just over an hour away and Saint Gilles Croix de Vie’s train station is very central. Once you’ve arrived the alternative means of transport include cycling, electric scooters or simply on foot! So are you ready to enjoy its fine sandy beaches and rocky coastline, its cobbled stoned streets, and its authentic fishermen’s dwellings…. all car-free!


10H – A « definite stop-off » in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie: the Atelier de la Sardine

During your stay in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, you really need to visit the “Atelier de la Sardine”. Sardine fishing is one of the town’s most famous symbols.  The Atelier de la Sardine listed as a “site remarquable du Goût “ highlights its well-known expertise with the Perle des Dieux (cannery & brand) proclaimed as « orfèvre de la mer » (the“goldsmith of the sea”). This former Vendean farmhouse is now a museum, an art gallery and a shop.

Did you know? Sardine fishing in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie is listed ICH - Intangible Cultural Heritage. ICH is a representation, a practice, expression, knowledge, or skill which UNESCO considers to be part of a place’s cultural heritage.

12h30 – The ocean joins us for a romantic picnic

It’s an Indian summer and the time has come to take advantage of the fine weather. Let’s set the scene for you : a pleasant, gentle breeze, a pretty tablecloth spread out on the sand, a good bottle of Brem sur mer wine and two glasses waiting to be filled…. are you there yet? Enjoy a lovely picnic on the beach of Boisvinet, with fresh local products that you picked up at the Croix de Vie market. A cocktail of fresh sea air, a drop serenity, and a touch of romance - a meal you will never forget!

2PM - Take a stroll along the Corniche and admire the charming houses of Boisvinet

You will succumb to the charm of the bourgeois villas in the Boisvinet area. Built during the “Belle Époque “(late 19th century until the outbreak of the First World War), these elegant houses face the beach that you discovered earlier. They create an attractive backdrop, that you can enjoy as you continue your walk along the Corniche Vendéenne. The distinctive architecture of each house will leave you speechless.

5PM – Stop for Gourmet break on the Grande Plage at For di Latte

Whilst on holiday, it’s important to treat yourself! So how about a 100% homemade pancake or waffle? For di Latte is situated on the promenade of the “Grande Plage”, where Samantha and Marco know how to please even the most gourmand amongst you. Be it salted butter caramel or chocolate, there is something for everyone.  To be enjoyed on the terrace or overlooking the sea, but above all, with no limits!


11h30 – Brunch at the Au Bout du Monde bar-bistrot 

After a well-deserved lie-in, why not enjoy brunch with a view overlooking the harbour the Au Bout du Monde. In this trendy bar-bistro you’ll find lots of food to tempt your taste buds. On the menu: scrambled eggs, gourmet toast, muesli, and other pastries, served with hot drinks and fruit juice…. A real treat. “Au Bout du Monde” is among our selection of the best brunches in the Vendée.

2pm – A romantic boat trip

The call of the sea! In Saint Gilles Croix de Vie you can take a boat trip with Les Balades de la Vie. Setting out along the « Vie » estuary you will discover its history as well as the local wildlife and plants, thanks to an experienced guide. This trip promises to be both relaxing and interesting.

5pm –  A pleasant stroll along the marina in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie 

What better way to end the afternoon than with a leisurely stroll along the harbour? Saint Gilles Croix de Vie’s marina provides a delightful setting: the masts of the yachts moored there, the verdure hinting that the beach is just around the corner, the sound of the waves lapping against the pontoons…so captivating!

Saint Gilles Croix de Vie et son port de plaisance en images

And if you still have some time left, we have another restaurant you may like to try before you leave…

7.30pm – Dining at Mahi Mahi and travel just a little further

When travelling in the Vendée , you will be fascinated by the local gastronomy: seafood, fish, brioche, and other delicacies... But in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, you will find all sorts of restaurants! To help you travel even further, we have chosen the “Mahi Mahi”, a neo-bistro specialising in international flavours. As the seasons go by, the chef Marc changes his menu to feature different products, each of which is even tastier than the last. 

Discover the Mahi Mahi

Your accommodation in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie  

From now on, you will be able to find your holiday accommodation in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie! There are campsites, hotels, guest houses, residential holiday villages and apartments available in the town and its surrounding area.

Vendée accommodations

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