The best alternative European beach destinations

There’s more to European beaches than the Costa del Sol.

Exploring France away from the crowds: a summer holiday in the Vendée

This French region has all the ingredients for a classic family holiday.

The best family days out in the Vendée, France

Home to Europe’s best theme park, this region of France is ideal for a family holiday.

10 of the best wetlands in the world

From Botswana to Brazil, we’ve picked our favourite wetlands from around the globe.

When to visit The Vendée

Climate The Vendée and its surroundings are gloriously sunny, particularly on the coast which experiences over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually. Temperatures in high…

La Rochelle

Steeped in maritime history, La Rochelle is a lively, compact city with off-beat museums and excellent restaurants. Less than a half-hour’s drive south of…

Puy du Fou

Puy du Fou is a remarkable assault on the senses, and the ultimate theme park. Astonishing special effects, dancing horses, castles that rotate, Viking…

Clisson

Clisson is a gorgeous riverside town, bedecked with unusual Italianate architecture. Your first impression on arriving at this delightful town on the banks of…

Île de Ré

Speckled with immaculate villages, fringed with beaches and steeped in history, this island gem welcomes its fans year after year. Once four separate islands,…

Nantes

Nantes is a reborn city, shrugging off (but not forgetting) a rich industrial heritage, while being energised by an indomitable creative spirit. Shipbuilding, biscuit…

The authors’ take

Authors’ take ‘The Vendée; oh yes, we used to camp there years ago with the children – wonderful beaches.’ That was the refrain in…

Passage du Gois

Check the tide-tables, then cross the ocean by car, bicycle or on foot on the Passage du Gois submersible causeway, to reach the holiday…

Where to visit in The Vendée

Destination highlights Where to visit in The Vendée- suggested itineraries The vast majority of summer visitors to the region will stay put for most…

Île d’ Yeu

Pedal your way gently around this island pearl, delightfully plonked in mid-ocean with a bygone ambience – and gorgeous beaches. Time seems to have…

Marais Poitevin

This southern part of the Vendée offers lush marshlands, endless canals and a chance to relax as you soak up unique scenery from a…