Vendée Guide – living by the sea in Pays de Saint Jean de Monts
Let summer begin in Vendée ! We are heading over to the Saint Jean de Monts area where we meet Catherine Cadogan who decided to make Notre Dame de Monts her permanent hometown after many years of family holidays ! Catherine invites us to follow her and discover some of her favourite places: from a beautiful hike between dunes and forest, a delicious lunch and a unique local museum visit, we definitely understand why she fell in love with this place.
Now, let’s dive into the heart of the Vendean Coast !
HIKING ON THE HEIGHTS OF NOTRE DAME DE MONTS
After a short presentation of her history, Catherine takes us for a really nice hike where she loves to go and which leads us up to Le Belvédere, where the view is breathtaking. The Sentier d’Eole pathway is so peaceful and is accessible at any time of the year. From the viewing point, Catherine shows us two different vendean landscapes at the same time : the marshes and the ocean at Saint Jean de Monts.
A TASTY BEACH-SIDE LUNCH
On the beach at Notre Dame, there is a little restaurant called « Bistrot Plage ». Catherine really loves this place and takes us to discover her « second home in the summer ». This lovely restaurant has been here for 13 years and you can enjoy fresh mussels from Noirmoutier and sardines from Saint Gilles Croix de Vie. The products are local and of good quality. To be honest, it’s a fabulous location - just in front of the sea, you can go for a swim in the ocean, eat at the restaurant and then just relax on the beach.
IN THE HEART OF THE VENDEAN BRETON MARSHES
Have you already heard about Le Daviaud ? It’s an amazing living museum out on the marshes. We immerse ourselves in the life of old farmers: there is an old peasant cottage with different daily objects and there are also several animals. It’s a really interesting place to find out more about the traditions in Vendée. Between culture and heritage, this out of time space is a unique source of knowledge.
THE GATEWAY TO THE ISLANDS
From Fromentine at the north of the Pays de Saint Jean de Monts, you can catch the ferry to visit the Ile d’Yeu. There are two different companies that operate the crossing to the island : Yeu Continent and La Compagnie Vendéenne. At the ferry port, Catherine shows us the bridge that you can cross to reach Noirmoutier. The Pays de Saint Jean de Monts is definitely a place full of surprises !