Tag Archives: Things to do in the Vendée

Sallertaine

A sail round the the Marais Breton.

 

Mucking around in the marshes.

I often write about the beautiful region of Green Venice to the south of the Vendée, so this week I thought I’d visit a region not well known to me, namely the Marais Breton. Testament to that area’s once all important salt farming industry, this delightful labryrinth of canals and rivers in now home to diverse wild life and enchanting, historical memories.

Sallertaine

The Marais Breton is a vast area in the north east of the region and like it’s sister marsh in the south, it’s had its share or Romans, Benedictine monks, Vikings and Normans  shaping its contours over the centuries but now represents a brilliantly preserved ecology.

Two treats in Sallertaine.

1. Ile aux artisans.

More or less in the heart of the region is the pretty town of Sallertaine and this is where I ended up. Once an island, in what was a silty bay, this town is home to white washed buildings and a vibrant community of artisans who come together under the umbrella of Ile aux artisans. If arts and crafts is your thing, then this represents paradise for you with this combination or artists, jewellery makers, woodworkers, textile production and more. And throughout the summer, they host 4 spectacular night time events which combine music, street theatre, shows and an opportunity to enjoy the artisan’s work.

2. La route du sel.

La route du selAnother compelling reason to visit this charming little town is an opportunity to explore the ancient salt marshes by way of canoe. There are lots of different canoe trips (or walks) available for exploring this area from family outings to BBQ events, but the two that really caught my eye were the sunrise canoe and the night canoe. It’s hard to resist the magical tranquillity of slipping quietly through these waters as the sun slowly drives away the mist or canoeing in the dusk past the XIIth century remains of the Abbey at the Ile Chauvet and enjoying a candlelit dinner. You can find all the details of where and how to book at http://www.larroutedusel.com

There are lots of other reasons to visit this little corner of the Vendée, which include the 12th century Romanesque church at Sallertaine, the longest operating windmill in France or a trip down to the beautiful Atlantic coast, where I’d always recommend a quayside lunch in St.Gilles. I’d love to hear from anyone who has already enjoyed any of the above or perhaps you can recommend your own secret delight that you’ve discovered in the region.

This blog was brought to you by Brian Fox (http://www.foxwebcreation.com  and Lucy Pitts (www.lemoulin-frenchholidayhome.com)

 

Randonné in the Vendée

Time for a quick trip to Le Jardin de la Vendée.

I’m always on the look out for new places to explore and good days out in the Vendée so this week I thought I’d give a shout to an area that until recently I knew very little about. The cantons of Rocheserviere and St.Fulgent in the north of the Vendée, also known as the garden of the Vendée, are rich and diverse and whether you live in the area or just visiting, they have lots to offer.

Art and Culture in the Vendée.

The first thing that caught my attention about this area is that it appears to have a dynamic arts scene and is home to lots of creatives. If you love nothing better than to spend a day browsing art, then you are spoilt for choice here with dozens of studios dotted across the region. Whether it’s watercolours, landscapes, oil paintings or abstract that are your thing or perhaps you enjoy photography, jewellery design or basket weaving, there is an absolute wealth of talent to choose from. You can find out everything you need to know, as well as information about the frequent exhibitions held in the area at the local tourist office website at http://www.lejardindelavendee.fr/bouger/art-et-culture/.

local culture Vendée

Local artist Stephane Heuvelin

Walking and “Randocroquis”!

As with most of the Vendée, this area is a perfect place if you’re keen to do a bit of walking but I just love the idea of combing walking with art which is precisely the idea behind the Randocroquis trails. There are 4 trails, along the course of which you will come across regular sites for drawing or painting the landscape, with tips and assistance to boot. Part of a national scheme this is a great way to enjoy the landscape and improve and enjoy your own artistic flair.

Or if you like a bit of independence and adventure when you walk, you can rent a “visioguide/ GPS” from the local tourist office and navigate your own way round some of the regions trails. On top of which and as you’d expect in France, the area is well set up for rambling, walking, horse riding and cycling.

Again, if you do want to get out and about, you can find all the information you need at www.randocroquis.com and http://http://www.lejardindelavendee.fr/bouger/balades-et-randonnees/ 

Randonné in the Vendée

Innovative walks and GPS adventures.

Other fascinating attractions.

As with most of the Vendée, this is an area which is rich in cultural heritage and there are lots of museums and places of interest to visit, which include everything from embroidery museums, tractors exhibitions and the well known historic landmark of Chabotterie de la Logis, with its beautiful house.

museums in Vendée France

Historic days out

I am very grateful to the people of Le Jardin de la Vendée, for helping me discover this region which I might not otherwise have got around to visiting and enjoying and they’ve got a great Facebook page if you want to keep bang up to date with what’s on. If you’ve visited the area I’d love to hear your views or if you are a  creative or business in the area, why not get in touch and we’ll feature you on the blog.

 

This blog was brought to you by Brian Fox (http://www.foxwebcreation.com  and Lucy Pitts (www.lemoulin-frenchholidayhome.com)