Seeking sunny family holidays in France without the crowds, long travel trips and the cost of the southern coast? The Vendée and Charente Maritime are beautiful locations situated in West France, boasting large Atlantic Coast beaches, pretty seaside towns and a microclimate, meaning plenty of sunshine hours compared to most other regions of France.
Check out our fantastic siblu holiday parks in Charente Maritime and the Vendée. There are lots of hot places to visit closeby, with all the details here below.
Puy du Fou: Step foot here and step back in time at this eye popping historical theme park. Experience life at the medieval village, inside fancy renaissance chateaux or experience live action Viking attacks!
Futuroscope: A thrilling multimedia theme park with giant Imax cinema screens, virtual reality shows and attractions.
Le Palmyre Zoo: One of the best known zoos in France with a wide diversity of species, including rare pandas
Les Charmettes, Bonne Anse Plage, La Pignade: Palmyre Zoo, Cognac, La Rochelle, Saintes, Royan, Phare des Baleines (‘Lighthouse of the Whales’) on the Ile de Ré.
Le Bois Masson and Le Bois Dormant: Ile d’Yeu, Noirmoutier Island, Les Sables d’Olonne and its fine sandy beach, dunes, forest and lively atmosphere
April-May: Kids’ Festival - uncover cave art with exhibitions, shows and more
June-July: Les Foulées du Gois: Runners racing against the rising tide from Ile de Noirmoutier to mainland; Vendée Globe: amazing sailing action for arguably the world’s most difficult solo boating expedition; Violons sur le Sable, 23, 26, 29 July: classical musicians live at this free concert
Charente Maritime and the Vendée are prime places for beach hopping – with 150 miles of fine sandy beaches, precisely! Laid-back beach life is what the regions here stand for, especially on the beautiful islands along the Atlantic coast including the Ile de Ré, Ile d’Oléron, and Ile d’Aix. From beaches to ports, large forts, charming island lighthouses and vineyards, Charente Maritime and the Vendée offer activities that will keep the entire family entertained no matter their interests.
Royan beach transforms every year for this free open air concert featuring performances from world-class classical musicians and soloists. Arrive there early to find a good picnic spot to a skyline of spectacular fireworks.
This old town is literally heaving with heritage from the gallo-roman, medieval and classical ages. A Ville d’Art et d’Histoire, there is an ampitheatre here dating from around the 1st century, almost as large as the Roman Coliseum and the striking Arch of Germanicus is kind of a smaller version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The church of Saint Eutrope is worth a look too, as it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is on the Santiago de Compostela route. The church is decorated with intricately carved stonework, and a crypt makes it look like a subterranean church.
One of the smaller islands on the Atlantic coast opposite Rochefort, here nature reigns above all. The island is peppered with climbing roses, pine, cyprus trees, and plenty of garden life, making a cycle excursion a delight. Here there are also great views over Fort Boyard and Ile de Ré.
The Ile de Ré, or the lighthouse of the whales, is thus called because whales used to beach here from 1920. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in France, built under the directives of the famous French architect Vauban. The 150 year old lighthouse opens up to you once you get to the top of its 257 steps, offering up views over beautiful Whale Cove, Ile d’Oléron and the Atlantic Ocean.
A place worth visiting not just for the drink. The town itself is pretty, with old castles and houses along the River Charente. To experience the best, cognac chateaux are the places to hit. Chateau Coirvoisier, Remy Martin, for example, are great as tours can allow you to wander around the cognac cellar. The wafting smells of caramel is heaven!
This Atlantic coast town is a must for anyone holidaying in the Charente Maritime and Vendée region. The capital of Charente Maritime is prettified by its maritime tradition and fortifications. The harbour towers dominate the skyline in the centre of town with lovely little boats bobbing about. This is a fab place from which to sample some seafood at one of the many harbourside restaurants. Down by the beach, Les Minimes is cool for a little sunbathing and if you squint your eyes a bit, you can even see Fort Boyard out in the distance.
One of the most popular theme parks in France is also one of the most fascinating. This multimedia interactive theme park based on technology is captivating. Why? Let me count the ways: 3D and 4D experiences, virtual reality attractions, and technological dance shows featuring acrobats and dancers against a 600m squared video mapped backdrop.
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