France: The Vendée

with Nantes & Pornic, plus La Rochelle & the Île de Ré


Publication Date:  06th Sep 2024


£16.99

The Vendée travel guide. Also covers Nantes, Pornic, La Rochelle, Île de Ré. Travel information and holiday advice for this part of Pays de la Loire includes hotels, restaurants, camping and self-catering. Also covered are family holidays, beaches, history, cuisine, wine, walking, cycling (including La Vélodysée route), birdwatching and museums.

About this book

New from Bradt is the thoroughly updated second edition of The Vendée, the only English-language guidebook to focus on this part of Pays de la Loire. Also covered in this guide to an increasingly popular French region are Nantes, Pornic, La Rochelle and the Île de Ré. Written by Angela Bird, who for almost 50 years has owned a home in the region, and award-winning travel writer Murray Stewart, and updated by adventurer Ed Cooper, Bradt’s guidebook offers comprehensive coverage of a beguiling area, detailing everything from family holidays to walks, cycling, local cuisine and history.

The Vendée offers all the benefits of a destination that is well established with both French and British visitors, with easy access and short drive times via UK ferries adding to its appeal. Popular with campers and self-caterers, the Vendée’s sunny climate and 140 km of sandy beaches, plus its tree-lined canals and open marshland, make for a diverse outdoor playground. Bradt’s The Vendée includes suggestions for walks and the best places for birdwatching. This goes hand in hand with a new regional policy of promoting recreation premised on nature and wellbeing.

Thanks to the authors’ rich personal 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. Although the region has no true cities, or even large towns, the guide includes details of the many local museums which provide easily accessible insights into the bloody history of an area which has, at times, been central to the evolution of modern-day France.

New elements in this edition of Bradt’s The Vendée include expanded coverage of architecture, the Vendée sections of a 1,300-km Atlantic cycle route (La Vélodysée), France’s most dazzling son-et-lumière show and new restaurant listings that reflect the region’s growing reputation for wine, collection of Michelin-starred eateries and long history as a paradise for seafood-lovers.

About the Author

During a camping holiday in France in 1970, Angela Bird idly scanned an estate agent’s window (as you do) and noticed a whole house on sale for £1,200. She and her husband jettisoned their aged tent, equipped themselves with a hefty DIY book, and began a 50-year love affair with the Vendée. Although her children longed to holiday on Vendée beaches, Bird couldn’t sit still for long so would drag them to markets, menhirs, castles and windmills. (Her kids learned to dread the words: ‘While we’re here, why don’t we just visit.?’) In 1995 Bird wrote her first guidebook to the area, the bestselling English Family Guide to the Vendée, which ran to four editions before transferring to the Bradt stable. For four years she was also Vendée correspondent for the French publication Côté Ouest. In the UK, she has worked for The Illustrated London News and Country Living magazines.

Murray Stewart spent two months living and travelling around the Vendée and its borders, researching and writing the first edition of Bradt’s guidebook to the area. When his legs were significantly younger, he enjoyed cycling holidays on the flat coastal terrain along the Vendean Atlantic coast. Murray wrote Bradt’s Basque Country and Navarre: France and Spain, which won the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Best Travel Guidebook of 2016. He is an experienced guidebook author, having also written Bradt’s Basque Country and Navarre: France and Spain (which won the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Best Travel Guidebook of 2016) and updated Bradt guidebooks to North Cyprus, Cape Verde and the Azores. He has written for national travel magazines and online publications, and produced copy for French tourist boards and hotels. A near-fluent French speaker, he spends part of the year living in the Minervois in southern France.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Chapter 2 Practical Information

PART TWO THE VENDEE
Chapter 3 Northwest Vendée and the Islands
Chapter 4 Les Sables-d’Olonne, La Roche-sur-Yon and the Bas-Bocage
Chapter 5 Southern Vendée: The Marais Poitevin
Chapter 6 Fontenay-le-Comte, Pouzauges and the Haut-Bocage
Chapter 7 L es Herbiers, Clisson and the Vendée Wars

PART THREE NORTH AND SOUTH OF THE VENDÉE
Chapter 8 La Rochelle and the Île de Ré
Chapter 9 Nantes, Pays de Retz and the Loire Estuary

Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further Information
Index