The Vendée

There are lots of things to do and places to visit in the Vendée.  The best guide book is The Vendée written by Angela Bird, who lives in the area.  You can visit her extensive web site at  You can also visit the web site of the Vendée Tourist Board.  There are plenty of walks and cycle rides around La Boucherie, Beaulieu sous La Roche and Aizenay, so you don't have to go far.  You might want to try the cycle way on the old railway line from La Roche to Coex, which passes through Aizenay.


La Grande Plage at St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, to the south of the town, is the nearest beach to La Boucherie.  It is only 30 minutes drive from La Boucherie.  The water is very shallow and is ideal for children and good for surfing.

Other beaches within easy reach include:

  • Sion, to the north of St Gilles, Sion is a large beach with a small funfair.
  • Sauveterre, which is accessed through I'lle d'Olonne, is a good beach for surfing with lots of rock pools.
  • Apremont is only 15 minutes drive and there is a man-made beach at the lake, with a safe supervised bathing area and play equipment.
  • Bretignolles and Brem sur Mer have a good beaches with lots of surf and supervised bathing.
  • The larger resorts of Les Sables-d'Olonne and St. Jean-de-Monts, both about 40 minutes drive, have large beaches as well as shopping.


Nearby Trips

There are plenty of things to do nearby, especially in the peak tourist season.

Possible trips include:

  • Nearby St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie has a pedestrian shopping area in the town, with a fun-fair and a good choice of restaurants.
  • The chateau at Apremont is well worth a visit. There is a nice short walk along the bottom of the chateau walls
  • Talmont has an old chateau built by Richard the Lionheart, with the staff dressing in period costume in season.
  • Commequiers has a ruined medieval chateau that is worth calling a visit. There is also a rail bicycle which is good fun.
  • At La Chabotterie there is an old chateau with a museum of the Vendeen wars and an ornamental garden.


On Foot or Bike

There are walks from the house along green lanes and plenty of opportunities for bike rides. There are 3 adult bikes at the house. A short drive opens up opportunities for a variety of walks.

Possible activities include:

  • Circular walks around La Boucherie takes you past farmland and some ruined windmills.
  • You can cycle along the quiet country lanes, and there is easy access to a cycle-way that runs from La Roche sur Yon to Coex.
  • Explore the nearby town of Beaulieu sous La Roche with walks by the river.
  • Visit the tourist information at nearby Aizenay and pick up leaflets of walks around the town and the forest.
  • Lac de Jauney is close by and has nice walks with lots of bird life. La Baudriere is a good place park and to start. It is also possible to cycle round the lake if you have a good mountain bike and plenty of energy.

Longer Trips

The Puy du Fou is a great day out. This is a historic theme park which is about 1¼ hours away.  This consists of Le Grand Parcours, which is a large park, and La Cinescenie, a spectacular night-time illuminated reconstruction of the Vendeen wars.

You may also want to visit:

  • The Ile de Nourmoutier is a good day out and can be reached by road. The town and beaches are very pleasant, and there are some good seafood restaurants.
  • The Ile d'Yeu is a beautiful small island that can be reached by ferry from St Gilles.  When you arrive, it is best to hire bikes or a car to explore the island.
  • La Rochelle is a major regional centre.  A fashionable and popular resort with old town walls, it is a long way (two and a half hours) but worth a visit.