About this book
This new title from Bradt is the only English-language guide to focus on Pays de la Loire: The Vendée and surrounding area including Pornic, La Rochelle, Île de Ré and Nantes, an increasingly popular part of France. Written by award-winning travel writer Murray Stewart and Angela Bird, who for almost 50 years has owned a home in the region, it offers comprehensive coverage of this beguiling area, with details on everything from family holidays to walks, cycling, local cuisine and history. Thanks to the authors’ long history with the area, the guide also reveals the quirks and themes which give the Vendée its own distinct character, as well as straying just beyond the area’s boundaries to incorporate La Rochelle and Nantes, both entry points for those arriving by air and both offering urban distractions for the occasional rainy day.
The Vendée offers all the benefits of a well-established destination, both with French and British visitors, with easy access times from the UK by ferry adding to its appeal. Popular with campers and self-caterers, its sunny climate and 140km of sandy beaches, combined with tree-lined canals and open marshland, make for a diverse outdoor playground. Bradt’s The Vendée and surrounding area includes information on suggested walks and cycleways and also summarises the best places for bird-watching. The region has no true cities, or even large towns, but the guide includes details of the many local museums which provide easily accessible insight into the bloody history of an area which has, at times, been central to the evolution of modern-day France.
About the author
Angela Bird has studied and worked in France, and has owned a home in the Vendée for almost 50 years. She wrote her first guidebook to the area in 1995. In the UK she has worked for The Illustrated London News and Country Living magazines, and was for four years Vendée correspondent for the French publication Côté Ouest.
Murray Stewart is an experienced guidebook author, having updated several titles for Bradt and written Bradt’s The Basque Country and Navarre: France and Spain, which won the British Guild of Travel Writers' Best Guidebook award in 2016. He spends part of the year living in the Minervois in southern France and is a near-fluent French speaker. He is a keen long-distance walker and has a passion for wildlife and the outdoors in general. His fondness for cycling in France first took him to the Vendée when his legs were considerably younger.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMAT ION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Fauna and flora of the Vendée region, History, Architecture, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture, Sport
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights and itineraries, Tourist Information, Maps, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Senior travellers, Travellers with
disabilities, Ethnic minority travellers, Gay and lesbian travellers, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays (Jours Fériés), Shopping, Sightseeing and entertainment, Sports and other activities, Media and communications, Buying property
PART TWO THE VENDEE
Chapter 3 Northwest Vendée and the Islands
Bouin, Beauvoir-sur-Mer, Île de Noirmoutier, La Barre-de-Monts and Fromentine, Bois-de-Céné, La Garnache, Challans, Sallertaine, Notre-Dame-de-Monts, St-Jean-de-Monts, Soullans, Commequiers, St-Hilaire-de-Riez, St-Gilles-Croixde-Vie, Île d’Yeu
Chapter 4 L es Sables-d’Olonne, La Roche-sur-Yon and the Bas-Bocage
La Roche-sur-Yon, Nesmy, Chaillé-sous-les-Ormeaux, Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits, Le Poiré-sur-Vie, Aizenay, St-Étienne-du-Bois, Beaulieu-sous-la-Roche, La Mothe-Achard, Apremont, Coëx, St-Révérend, Brétignolles-sur-Mer, Brem-sur-Mer, Olonne-sur-Mer, Les Sables-d’Olonne, Les Sables (La Chaume), Jard-sur-Mer, Talmont-St-Hilaire, Avrillé
Chapter 5 Southern Vendée: The Marais Poitevin
The southern coast, Inland: Luçon and the dry marshes, La Venise Verte: ‘Green Venice’, The
Marais Poitevin beyond the Vendée
Chapter 6 Fontenay-le-Comte, Pouzauges and the Haut-Bocage
St-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Pouzauges, St-Prouant, Mouilleron-en-Pareds, Bazoges-en-Pareds,
Chantonnay, La Châtaigneraie, Vouvant, Mervent, Faymoreau, Fontenay-le-Comte, Nieul-sur-l’Autise
Chapter 7 L es Herbiers, Clisson and the Vendée Wars
Clisson (Loire-Atlantique), Tiffauges, Mortagnesur-Sèvre, St-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, Montaigu, Rocheservière, La Gaubretière, Mallièvre, Les Brouzils, Chavagnes-en-Paillers, Les Herbiers, Les Épesses, Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Les Essarts, Mouchamps
PART THREE NORT H AND SOUTH OF THE VENDÉE
Chapter 8 L a Rochelle and the Île de Ré
La Rochelle, Île de Ré
Chapter 9 Nantes, Pays de Retz and the Loire Estuary
Nantes, The Pays de Retz, Northwards across the estuary, From the ocean back to Nantes: the Loire's south bank
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further Information
"Provides comprehensive coverage of this popular destination." France magazine