There is an aquatic centre and a theatre/cinema in town, plenty of marked walks and cycle routes and a nearby equestrian centre. The town also boasts a 12th century chateau and a Roman church complete with frescos. The 14th century Chateau de Saint Mesmin is also nearby. The Vendee itself is famous for its wars and there are numerous historical sites to visit.
Once on to the freeflowing network of roads, where congestion is practically unknown, you are within easy distance of a number of attractions:
- Puy du Fou (15km) – to call this highly praised and extraordinary attraction a theme park would be a huge understatement. It is a collection of spectacular historical re-enactments, mostly in the open air, such as musketeers, gladiators and Vikings, together with a breathtaking ballet of birds of prey. You can immerse yourself in a medieval village or sit and enjoy a drink or meal in a reconstructed 1900 French town. You will struggle to see it all in a day, and recognising this the organisers provide good value packages that will enable you to return another day at no additional cost. In the evenings from June to September you can extend your visit into the evening with the Cinescenie – “the biggest stage in the world, extravagant technical effects, 1100 actors and star participation…”. Puy Du Fou Website
- Steam train.
- Futuroscope (2 hours). Futuroscope Website
- La Maison de la Vie Rurale Maison vie Rurale website
- Vineyard route – like most of France, the Vendee is proud of its wine, and its vineyard owners will welcome you with open arms. The well mapped route will introduce you to the large professional vineyards and the smaller family-run operations, where you will be able to taste their wines and buy some to take home (or to drink during your stay!). And if wine is not your tipple ……..
- Cider country is within an hour’s drive east.
- The Coast – the lovely coastal town of Les Sables d’Olonne is just over an hour’s drive away, and every 3 years is the proud host of the Vendee Globe single-handed round the world yacht race – you can walk round the marina and see all the yachts before they hit the high seas. There are many other beautiful coastal towns to enjoy as well, including La Rochelle.
Bird-watchers will be fascinated by the large numbers of buzzards, falcons and other birds of prey often seen at close range.
Shopping for clothes and those gifts to take home is always a pleasure – as well as the various local markets, there are small uncrowded retail outlets dotted around the countryside – there are never any parking problems and no pressure to buy as you take your pick of the chic and more casual French fashions and other items, with many bargains to be had.
And last but not least, there is a wealth of places to eat out. These range from the cheap and cheerful to haut cuisine, and at all levels you will find quality is guaranteed.