IS Vendee 'boring, flat, pine forests and sand dunes'?!(17 Posts)
A couple of people I know, when I told them we were thinking about our first French trip with DSs, 6 and 8, said this to me. Is it true? I must say the brochures (usual suspects: Canvas, Siblu, Keycamp etc) all show VAST beaches as a selling point, but I'm really a sand and rocky cove type person-I lived near a 20 mile long Australian beach and really to me that means big waves, no chance of shade, stinging sand blows and- well, a bit boring once you've dug your 10th sand castle! Should we look inland a bit to one of those 'chateau' based sites half an hour's drive to the beach? Really, I'd be happy with our south coast again BUT after last year's mediocre camping experience in August, we're hoping to 'buy' better weather hence maybe not Brittany but can't face the journey to the south of France! Any ideas/opinions pls?
Miljee, we won a Siblu holiday thanks to Mn and are also not big wide beach fans. You might want to look at the sites in the Charente Maritime, which is where we are going. Inland you have Saintes (wonderful Roman ruins and just a very pleasant provincial city with river trips etc), up the coast you have La Rochelle, one of France's nicest seaside towns IMO, there is a very good zoo at La Palmyre, and if wet/dreary there is Futuroscope up in Poitiers.
Plus cycling around the (flat, duney, OK) islands of Oleron and Re. There are rocky cove bits of that coast if you look carefully!
Marina - you won!! Wonderful. I love the Vendee and I will be your very best friend if we can come too.
It's only a two bed caravan, steady there KBear! I'll let you see the photos though
Well done was wondering who won. Wanted it to be m .
The vendde is flat and piney, but lots to do, and a lovley climate.
There are some inland lakes if you don't like the beaches.
The book to get, to help to plan what to do is Angela Bird's Holiday guide to the Vendee
A friend of mine has a holiday home there and they love it. I'm not so impressed. It was a bit too tourist centric for me. Great crepes though. La Rochelle was lovely.
Bit late to thread, but I have only just joined Mumsnet as I became a mum 12 days ago!
Anyway, for many years as a kid / teenager in the 80s and 90s, I went to a campsite in St Julien des Landes in the Vendee - not sure what the actual name of the site is, but we went with Canvas so I'm sure you could find it through their website. It is in the grounds of a chateau, very child-friendly (pool, games room, Hoopi Club etc) plus a bar and disco and it certainly used to have an on-site creperie. I absolutely loved this site as a youngster and hope one day to take DS there. (Caveat - it was 1993 when I last went, so may have changed since then - so please check out more recent reviews if you can find them!) It's not too far a drive from the beach, plus Les Sables d'Olonne is within easy reach. Hope that helps...
la ganangoire is the name of the site near st julien. Its supposed to be v good, we are going there this year so fingers crossed
Welcome, Meg, and thanks everyone for the advice and recommendations- Vendee is still on the cards but I know I have to get my skates on and BOOK!
I wish we'd done some Europe trips as a kid- my parents were wary of France and the French (both war children, b. 1933!) but were converted late in life when they went to Normandy with my Australian neighbours!
there are some fab places in the Vendee and you must make sure you go the le Puy de fou - le grand parc. think it's www.lepuydefou.com or google it, it is out of this world and a fantastic day out. There is also a park called 'les dunes' south of St Jean de monts - can't remember name of resort! - which is amazing - excellent fun with large inflatables, water slides, non mechanised rides (IE dad pushes!!), trampolines , crazy golf, bob sleighs etc and really cheap! Lovely safari park in nantes (la planete sauvage). We do tend to go to brittany but have been to the vendee twicea nd have had excellent holidays. St Jean de Monts can be a bit touristy but has lovely beaches, is handy for travelling and has lovely cycle paths and forests to explore. Near St gilles croix de Vie which is a lovely old town (with lots of good hypermarkets!)
Your kids will love the campsites and if you like wine and BBQs you're sorted!
Went to Vendee last summer during heatwave - totally unbearable! Lovely accommdation - Pierre& Vacances through French Life. Returning to Southern Brittany this year, much quieter, more beautiful. Got much cheaper deal booking through a french company:Sunelia. Also better accommodation offered and better availability, compared to Eurocamp and KeyCamp. We're staying at L'Atlantique.
la foret is also at St Julien des Landes and a friend also went there in the 90s and remembers the fab time there. That site and La Garangeoire on paper look very similar but you might want to compare the two. I suspect overall I will prefer Brittany but thought we would do the sites of the Vendee this year.
We went to the Vendee last year and absolutely loved it - even my husband, who is not a beach person! We had a hire car and travelled about, exploring the little fishing villages, which were gorgeous. The places we went weren't touristy at all. The kids (2 & 5) had a fantastic time too, plenty for them to do, and we only went to beach once.
garangeoire is one of best sites we have been to - visited about 10 in france. we also prefer brittany. towns/countryside/beaches are prettier and more rural.
Only thing with going to Brittany is that you can't really guarantee the weather. We went to Lake Geneva one year, that's completely different from the Vendee. You can swim in the lake and it's more safe for the DC as the sea on the Vendee can be quite fierce. Weather better at Lake Geneva than Vendee. From there we went on a long day trip to Chamonix and up Mont Blanc. DC count that as the best ever holiday trip.
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