Vendée is an especially popular holiday destination as it is easily accessible from the UK, being less than three hours’ drive away from the ferry port of St. Malo. Hiring holiday villas in Vendée means that you can simply take a short relaxing voyage on board a ferry where you can enjoy hot meals and drinks in comfort. This region of France takes its name from the Vendée River that flows towards the south-east. From its 140 kilometres of glorious beaches and charming fishing villages to its tranquil countryside littered with historical buildings, hiring holiday villas in Vendée gives holidaymakers plenty of places to visit.
Many visitors come to Vendée for its fantastic coastline. The resort of Saint Jean-de-Monts in particular is ideal for families renting holiday villas in Vendée. With a spacious three kilometre long beach, kiddies clubs and play areas, adults are able to relax in the sun while children are kept entertained all day. The resort also has a fantastic golf course, health spa and twice weekly market, and at night the town comes to life with restaurants, bars and a beach-front casino.
Couples hiring holiday villas in Vendée may wish to explore the quieter areas along the coastline. The laid-back town of Saint Gilles Croix-de-Vie is the oldest fishing port in Vendée and is home to another spacious stretch of golden sand. Renowned for its sardine fishing, the town has a number of seafood restaurants, pizzerias and crêperies for those with a sweet tooth. Being situated on the Atlantic coast, visitors renting holiday villas in Vendée may also want to take advantage of the excellent range of water sports available. Sizeable waves make the Vendée coast ideal for surfing and a regular breeze provides perfect conditions for sailing and windsurfing.
Inland there are plenty of interesting places to visit and by hiring a holiday villa in Vendée you will have complete freedom to come and go as you please. Numerous marked footpaths and cycle routes will suit more active holidaymakers and for those wanting to experience a bit of the region’s culture, the area is filled with churches, castles, abbeys and museums. Particularly worth a visit are the 14th century St. Mesmin Castle at Saint-André-sur-Sèvre and the Abbey of Nieul sur l’Autise, which despite being founded in 1068 remains remarkably intact.
One of the main attractions for those renting holiday villas in Vendée are the Poitevin Marshes. Nicknamed ‘the Green Venice’, a vast maze of canals is surrounded by forests and wildlife and nature lovers will enjoy taking a boat ride through these tranquil waterways. For an exciting day trip many visitors take a boat to the Île d'Yeu, a small island located just off the coast of Vendée. Following a relaxing hour-long boat trip you are greeted by long, sandy beaches backed by dunes and woodland which are perfect for soaking up the sunshine. You may also wish to hire a bicycle from the main town of Port-Joinville or sample some of the delicious freshly-caught seafood in the restaurants.
When you stay in holiday villas in Vendée, you will find that seafood is eminent in most restaurants due to the region’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Shellfish such as oysters and mussels are available in abundance and sea bass, monk fish, hake and sole are often found on the menu. Dry, zesty Muscadet and Gros Plant wines produced locally are the perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes and the region is also renowned for producing brioche, a deliciously tasty sweet bread. Being predominantly self-catering, hiring holiday villas in Vendée gives you the freedom to eat out when you choose or prepare your own meals using delicious local produce. The market town of Challans is the second largest town in Vendée and is a particularly delightful place to shop for supplies. Popular with both locals and tourists, a market is held in the town centre twice a week selling tasty local delicacies, gifts and trinkets, and on the outskirts of the town there are also two hypermarkets.