Days Out: Vendee (85)

Atlantic Toboggan Water Park
Water park with wave pool, 100m long river with inflatable rings, fun pool for children, fitness pool with jacuzzi, bubbles and geysers. Picnic areas and on-site catering facilities available. In St Hilaire de Riez (85).
Ecomusee le Daviaud
Lying between sea and land, the Marais Breton Vendeen - the marshes of the hinterland. This is the Eco-museum le Daviaud in La Barre des Monts (85). Situated on a 60 hectare estate the museum has tours and presentations of its eco system.
Floral & Tropical Park of La Court dAron
Real world tour of the exotic botany heritage. Located between Lucon and Les Sables dOlonne at St-Cyr-en-Talmondais (85). Open from Easter to the end of September.
Aquarium Le Septieme Continent
Tropical aquarium at Talmont St Hilare (85), with realistic seascapes. Free parking for up to 600 cars, catering, and disabled access. Annual passes available. Open almost all year. Call for entry prices and seasonal opening times.
City Zebres
Enter into the heart of African Savana, located close to the Flâneries commercial center at La Roche Sur Yon, Bar and Restaurant. Activities for all ages, Opening Hours vary check website for details. Closed Sunday
NaturZoo de Mervent
Situated in the heart of the Forest Massif of Mervent (85) in 7 hectares of wooded and green space. Animals include lions, alpacas, tigers of Bengal, monkeys, kangarooes, ostrichs and parrots.
Parc de Pierre-Brune
Fun Park on a 25 acre site full of attractions for all the family. Set in the heart of the Mervent Forest, east of Fontenay le Comte in the South Vendée (85).
LAbbaye de Nieul sur lAutise
Founded in 1068, the abbey was granted Royal Abbey status by Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France, in the 12th century. The abbeys Romanesque cloister is the only one in western France to have been preserved intact. At 1 allee du Cloitre.
Le Perrier Skiff & Kart
Enjoy a trip on a skiff, accompanied by a guide, and penetrate to the heart of the marshland. Discover its rich and colourful wildlife along the Perrier canal. From mid-June to mid-September. Trips last 45-90 minutes. Booking recommended.
Grand Parc du Puy du Fou
The Puy du Fou is a must for kids and adults alike. In the Vendee (85), at rue Georges Clemenceau, Les Epesses. A castle with medieval enactments and attractions on a grand scale. Check website for opening times, which are seasonal.
Le Moulin de Raire
16th Century operational windmill in a tranquil setting at Sallertaine (85). Produces its own organic flour and produce. Picnic area, workshop, cafe and shop. Call or see website for more details.
LAbbaye de Maillezais
Benedictine abbey, once the burial place of the dukes of Aquitaine, built in 1003. At Maillezais (85), Vendee.
LIle aux Papillons
Stroll amongst hundreds of butterflies from the four corners of the world, flying freely among tropical plants and flowers, in Frances largest butterfly house. At ZA des Mandeliers (behind Intermarche), La Gueriniere (85), Ile de Noirmoutier.
A village of 800 inhabitants located in the Southeast Vendee next to the forest of Mervent-Vouvant. An old medieval fortress with an architectural heritage.
Jardin du Vent
An unusual garden in which visitors can enjoy an artistic, entertaining and instructive stroll around the living sculptures, wind chimes, legends and things meteorological. At 29 bis rue Gilbert Cesbron, Notre Dame de Monts (85).
Zoo des Sables dOlonne
Zoological park with an endangered species breeding programme. Set in 3 ha of established land. Partner to the Doue Zoo in Maine et Loire. Open from mid-February to late October. See website for further details. Annual tickets available.
Mining Centre of Faymoreau
Journey into the depths of the coal mines of Faymoreau (85). Museum open all year, with the descent inside the roadways, the mining village and Carmelo Zagaris stained glass windows in the Miners Chapel.
Jet Explorer
Scooters hire and hikes along the Vendée coast. You navigate autonomously on your jet ski, supervised remotely by a certified instructor.
LAbbaye de lIle Chauvet
On an island in the middle of the marshes is this 12th century abbaye, founded by Benedictine monks. The former monastery has interesting architectural remains including the monks dormitory, kitchen with bread oven, and the cellars. At Bois de Cene (85
Le Chateau de Terre Neuve
Built in 1580 by Nicolas Rapin. The famous writer Georges Simenon lived here from 1940-1943. Original paintings, furniture, collections and splendid items of clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries. At Fontenay le Comte (85), Vendee.
LExpress Montois
Welcome on board the Saint-Jean-de-Monts (85) tourist trains, from April to September. Also out of season for groups.
Embarcadère la Venise Verte
Explore Venise Verte (Green Venice) by canoe / boat, in the Marais, South Vendee (85) at Port des Halles, Maillezais and Le Grand Port, Damvix.
Chateau Tiffauges de Barbe-Bleue
The Chateau is located in Tiffauges (85), medieval site with visits and tours of the chateau and the "Machine de Guerre" exhibition. Open from 1 April to 15 September various opening time see website
Indian Forest
Climb and swing through the trees at this treetop adventure land. At Le Bois Lambert, Le Bernard, Moutiers les Mauxfaits (85). See website for further information.
La Reserve Naturelle de Saint Denis du Payre
Wet grasslands nature reserve and home to 120 species of wild birds each year. Slide shows and bird-watching tower. Pathway on stilts leading to an observatory with 18 telescopes and seats. At Saint Denis du Payre (85), Vendee.
Vendee Miniature
1/10th scale model village with carts, crafts and trades, stone houses, water mill. Village centre with 3m high church and its shops. 600 small figures bring this typical Vendee bocage village to life. At 50 rue du Pregneau, Bretignolles sur Mer (85).
Le Moulin des Gourmands
The Pere Aristide Praud mill was built in 1842. Tour the mill and the bakers bakehouse with wood-fired oven. Taste galettes, crepes, pizza. Childrens facilities and donkeys. At Rue Rene Bazin, Saint Reverend (85).
Musee Automobile de Vendee
Discover the history of French motoring at this museum established in 1976. Open daily from April to October. Parking available, picnic area, souvenir shop. Disabled access. At route des Sables dOlonne in Talmont-St-Hilaire (85).
LIle dYeu
Island just off the Vendee coast. Regular ferry crossings from Fromentine. Attractions include the town of Port Joinville, Le Vieux Chateau and the Plage et Port des Vieilles.
Maison de Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau retired here in 1919 after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. He created an impressionist-style garden on the dunes. The house is as it was when he died in 1929, with his furniture and memorabilia. At Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard (85).
Le Petit Moulin de Chateauneuf
3 century old windmill which has never stopped grinding since 1703. Tours hosted by the Vrignaud family, millers here since the 18th century. At Chateauneuf (85).
La Maison de lAne
Childrens farm in the heart of the Vendee marshes. VIsit and learn about various breeds of donkeys. Trekking and carriage-driving and donkey rides. At Route du Gois, Beauvoir sur Mer (85).
Le Logis de la Chabotterie
Historic Chateau at St Sulpice le Verdon (85), with insights into medieval life, and the Vendee war. Holds regular events and has well-kept French gardens. See where General Charette was captured in 1796. Opening times and tariffs on the website.
Mervent-Vouvant Forest
Aerial assault course set in the Mervent-Vouvant Forest. Courses & games on the ground and up, 3 to 6 year old, 7 to 12 year olds and 13 and over. Childrens area 3-10 year olds with inflatable games, a turbo slide plus more
Sealand Aquarium de Noirmoutier
Aquarium open February to November. Fantastic universe of underwater flora and fauna. 500,000 litres of water, 200m circuit, 200 different species, 1000 creatures. At Le Vieux Port, Noirmoutier (85).
Oceanile - Water Park
Water park with typical attractions including water slide, waterfalls, jacuzzi, wave pool, covered swimming. In lEpine (85), on the island of Noirmoutier.
Reduced-scale models of traditional French houses. MiniVille features homes in the French countryside, region by region. These reproduction mini-houses have been made using materials from the areas represented. At LEpine (85), Ile de Noirmoutier.
Le Château des Aventuriers
Adventure park. 5 themes in a 86-hectare park.
Automobile Museum of Vendee
Automobile museum with a collection of all types of cars, with website offering a selection for sale. Route des Sables dOlonne, Talmont- St-Hilaire (85). Open from 1 April to 31 May and 1 September to 1 October.
Ecomusee du Marais Vendeen
Visit the Ecomusee du Marais Vendeen at Le Daviaud in La Barre de Monts (85). See website for full details.
Visit Bruno Bocquier Tannerie. Skins for sale, decoration, percussion instruments. Open all year round. Booking required for groups. At rue de Saint-Gilles, Commequiers (85).
Les ptits Mousses
Hire of electric boats for navigation on the river Jaunay. Avenue de la Cour Saint Laud in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (85). Open from April to September.
Le Velo Rail
Pedal along 10 km of former railway line, travelling in railcars for 2-4 persons. Cross the river Vie and pass through the former Saint Maixent sur Vie railway station. At Gare du Velo-Rail, Commequiers (85).
201 Forest Avenue
Leisure complex featuring bowling alley, Laser Games, Bar, fully equipped business centre space for meetings and seminars. Fitness club, Turkish Bath, Restaurant with panoramic views of the ocean. Free WI-Fi
Chateau de Talmont
A fun day out with historic reinactments and activities for kids of all ages. Jousting with Shetland ponies, crossbows and a world of mystery. Night time light shows. In Talmont Saint Hilaire (85).