Touring in Charente-Maritime and Vendée
Sample the fresh sea air and acres of sandy beaches on charming Ile d’Oleron in Charente-Maritime. You may be forgiven for thinking you’re travelling back in time, such are the timeless pleasures ripe for the picking here.
Then head into the Vendée countryside to explore the woods, meadows and - gear change! - thrilling roller coasters of this surprisingly varied and enjoyable region. Oh, and did we mention the beaches? We really should mention the beaches…
Domaine d'Oléron ★★★★
Charente-Maritime | South of France
We’re smitten with the salty charms of this easy-going island. And the pace of life at Domaine d’Oléron is as quietly captivating as the beaches and fishing villages that surround it. With three pools and cycle hire to take you off on an island adventure, it’s a firm family favourite.
There’s lots to see on the île d'Oléron: Saint-Trojan-les-Bains, a seaside resort with a lovely forest; Le Grand-Village-Plage, a centuries-old centre for salt production; and the Château d'Oléron with its imposing fortress; Dolus d'Oléron.
La Garangeoire ★★★★★
Vendée | Central France
Just 15 minutes from the beautiful beaches of the coast, this parc still feels wonderfully removed from it all. That said, it’s a lively place and boredom won’t trouble you. Set in the mature, woodland grounds of an ancient chateaux, with thrills aplenty, this is country living at its most thrilling. And it's close to the always-fun Puy du Fou theme park, with its historical reenactments and futuristic rides, shows and demonstrations it’s a fantastic day out for everyone.
For a day of sightseeing the seaside town of Sables d’Olonne is ideal. There are lots of sights to take in: don’t miss the museum of the sea for all things nautical!