Family friendly holidays in the Vendée

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Maison Lairoux Blog Posts

We have lived in this beautiful part of France since 2006 and we have visited so many parts of this varied area - the flat plains along the coast, the rolling hills of the Vendée Bocage and everything in-between!

We thought it was about time that we shared some of our Vendée secrets with you, so here is the start of our Vendée Blog! We may also include some blogs about areas that are not in the Vendée, but are close enough that you can visit when on holiday.

The area is perfect for family holidays, with lots of activities for toddlers, young children and teenagers, so we will spotlight some of the main attractions in our up and coming blogs.

To get you in the mood for a holiday to the Vendée, here are our first couple of blogs about our favourite beaches here in the Southern Vendée and what to do if travelling to France with your Dog.

Our Favourite Beaches in the Vendée

Our Favourite Beaches in the Vendée

The Vendée is famous for its long sandy beaches, windswept sand dunes and amazing surfing conditions. We are so lucky to be living at Maison Lairoux Holiday Cottages - only a 15 minute drive to some of these beaches. I just had to share our favourite ones with you in this ‘Vendée Beach blog’.
I hope that you will come to love them as much as we do!

Our closest beach - La Faute sur Mer

Only 15km away from Maison Lairoux Holiday Cottages, La Grande Plage at La Faute sur Mer is a perfect place to take the kids for a picnic, to watch the sand kart racers whizzing by in Spring or to just relax and listen to the waves.  The beach stretches for miles in two directions – south to the Point d’Arcy (a lovely stretch of sand that is a birdwatchers paradise) and north to La Tranche sur Mer (passing the Belle Henriette nature reserve en route.)

You can park for free at the casino car park – this leads directly onto the beach, with just a short walk through the sand dunes. Recently, the town has placed groups of trendy pallet furniture along the length of the beach – big armchairs – where you can sit and eat your lunch or read a book. 

Waves at La Faute sur Mer
Kite Festival at La Faute sur Mer

If you have brought your dog on holiday with you (Remember - Maison Lairoux is very #Dogfriendly!), you will be able to take your four-legged friends to this beach too. Out of the main summer season they can run freely along the full length of the beach – but will need to be on a lead in summer. See our new blog about Travelling to France with your Dog.

The town of La Faute sur Mer is only a short walk from the main beach entrance – great for when you need an ice cream or lunch! We love to visit the Creperie la Paysanne on the Avenue de la Plage – in winter they have a roaring open fire in the restaurant – just what you need after a brisk walk on the beach. If you love seafood, you will be spoilt for choice with a selection of restaurants in La Faute.

Have a picnic on the beach at La Faute sur Mer
Sand Karting at La Faute sur Mer

Bustling seaside town - La Tranche sur Mer

Head to La Tranche sur Mer if you like watersports! You can learn to surf, sail, body board and Stand Up Paddle with one of the many little ‘summer schools’ dotted around the Centre Nautique. Book your kids in for morning surf lessons during their holidays and then head off for more practice in the afternoons.
If you enjoy a spot of sea fishing then you can hang out on the pier, having a natter with some of the others hoping to get their ‘catch of the day’ for dinner.

Sand Castles at La Tranche sur Mer
Sea Fishing on the Pier at La Tranche sur Mer
Handmade Ice Lollies at La Tranche sur Mer

In the summer months the main beach is buzzing with activities – beach volleyball, beach football for kids – and on some of the evenings, there are fireworks and musical concerts.
Advice for summer: Arrive early if you want to park your car in the main 500 place central car park – it can get very busy! It is also paid parking. An alternative is to use the Park & Ride facility located on the way in to La Tranche – leave the car and get the bus in to the centre.

Good for Surfing/bodyboarding - La Terrière and Les Conches

For budding surfers – visit the beaches at Les Conches or La Terrière. You will see lots of surfers hanging out here as the waves are so good – big and clean in all seasons! In the summer you can book lessons at the Koa Surf School at La Terrière – book early as places are limited!
Les Conches has a selection of beach side café kiosks open in the summer months, so you won’t have to walk far to get an ice cream or snack during the day.

Sunset on the beach at Les Conches

Rock pools - St Vincent-sur-Jard & Jard-sur-Mer

To keep the kids amused, visit the rocky beaches at St Vincent or Jard, where you will discover a landscape of rock pools and limestone paths leading out into the sea. At low tide you can find crabs, shrimp, starfish and anemones. Remember to release them back into the water when you leave!
The area is also known as a Jurassic Coastline – with many fossils found in the rocks, so keep your eyes peeled and you never know what you might find!

Rock Pools at St Vincent sur Jard

Long & Sandy beach at Les Sables d'Olonne

A visit to the beach at Les Sables d’Olonne is a must for a trip to the Vendée!
The beach is long, flat and sandy and stretches for around 5km – so plenty of space for everyone – even on a busy summer’s day. I would advise to park up in the zoo area, before you get to the main town centre – parking is easier, there is a lovely park to walk through and the beach is less crowded. Perhaps drive in to the centre for a late afternoon stroll along the promenade, or sit in one of the many beach side cafés and people-watch!

The Long beach at les Sables d Olonne

In summer there are many events and activities on the beach – with International Surfing Competitions, Dragon Boat Racing, Open Air Concerts and Volley Ball. Check out the local Tourism Office website to see what is on during your visit.

Veillon Plage near to Port Bourgenay - River Estuary & Coastal Walks

My absolute favourite beach in the Vendée is the Plage du Veillon near to Port Bourgenay.
I love to visit this beach in the late afternoon to watch the sun set on the golden sand and see the reflections in the water of the meandering estuary of the River Payré that flows into the sea to the south side of the beach.
This beach has everything! Shape-shifting sand dunes behind the beach, rock pools at low tide, perfect sand for making sand castles and chilled out cafés at the entrance – playing soft music into the evening. What more could you want?

Relax in a beachside cafe at Veillon Plage
Take to the waves at Veillon Plage
Explore the beach at Veillon Plage

If you fancy a scenic walk, then head north from the beach and you can wander along the coastal path that leads to Port Bourgenay. Lovely views and stunning coastline.
If you visit the beach at Veillon, my advice would be to get there early! The main reason for this is that the car park is not so big and the roadside parking stretches back for a couple of kilometres – so you could end up having to walk a long way to the beach! Mid-afternoon is usually manic in summer, as French tourists love to visit the beach at that time!

Man-made beach - L'Aiguillon sur Mer

A new find for us has been the man-made beach at L’Aiguillon sur Mer. In an area with over 140km of natural beaches, you may wonder why this one has made it to my ‘Favourite Beach’ list?
Well, let me explain…..
Aiguillon sur Mer sits on the land-side of the wide river estuary of the Lay as it flows out into the sea. It has its own little fleet of fishing boats all moored up along the estuary banks – very pretty at sunset. Next to this estuary is a lock-controlled ‘plan d’eau’ that is filled with water from Spring until late Autumn. On two sides of the water basin, a man made beach has been created – with lovely golden sand.
In one corner, there is a children’s play area – with helter-skelter and small play equipment. This is great for young children as they are securely fenced-in and the equipment is fixed into the sand.
The Bar O’Quai is close to this playground and I love sitting on the outside terrace with a glass of rosé wine and a plate of French cheese & charcuterie! You can have your feet in the sand whilst sipping on a cocktail!
Your toddlers and young children will love playing on the beach as there are no waves in the water and it remains quite shallow. The sand is good for making sand castles.

TYoddlers playground at l Aigullon sur Mer
Warrior Game at L Aiguillon sur Mer
Splash Game at L Aiguillon sur Mer

At the far end of the basin are a couple of new water activities – Splash Game and Warrior Game HydroClimb. The Splash Game is great fun – with a series of giant inflatables floating on the water – lots of jumping around and getting wet! The Warrior Game is for older children and adults and is a more challenging set of climbing frames set over the water.
If you carry on walking for a couple more minutes you will reach the Atlantic Wake Park – if you like water skiing or skateboarding, then this may be for you – water skiing around a circuit with jumps and obstacles!

If I have whetted your appetite for a visit to the Vendée, then please have a look at the rest of our Maison Lairoux website to book your next visit to France.

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Annette & Jason Khan
Annette Khan (Entreprise Individuelle)
Maison Lairoux Holiday Cottages
3 rue de la Motte, 85400 Lairoux, France

Maison Lairoux Holiday Homes

Tel: 00 33 (0)2 51 28 43 98
Mobile: 00 33 (0)6 43 37 87 74
WhatsApp: 00 33 (0)6 43 37 87 74
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