Aerial photo of the Anse rouge bay in Noimoutier
Passage du Gois à marée basse.
France, Vendée (85), Ile d'Yeu, Plage des Soux
France, Vendée (85), Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie
France, Vendée (85), Triaize, Marais Poitevin, canaux (vue aérienne)
Fisheries of les Champs in Bouin, France
Path in the dunes towards the beach
Pays de la Loire
Island excursions and walks between the canals
Your stay takes you to the sea and plunges you into the heart of the Marais Poitevin. After a ‘circuit en étoile’ around Saint-Jean-de-Monts, which will allow you to discover the Vendee’s Breton Marsh, as well as the islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu, you can head down to the Marais Poitevin, where you can immerse yourself in its humid and mysterious nature, complemented by a boat ride in the canals, and a walk or bike ride in the labyrinth of the region. You can also enjoy some relaxation in the ports and seaside resorts.
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Your itinerary begins with a grand tour in the Vendee Breton marshland. Walk along the Pays de Monts Forest and then go up to Époids for a walk along its Chinese port and some oyster tasting. Head on to the charming village of Bouin before returning inland. Don’t miss Chauvet Island Abbey and the medieval town of La Garnache before returning to Saint-Jean-de-Monts.
MyTripTailor advice: an elevator installed in a water tower in Notre-Dame-de-Monts offers superb panoramic views of the sea and marshes.
Head in the direction of the island of Noirmoutier. Take advantage of the low tide to take the Passage du Gois to explore the landscapes of salt marshes or wild marshes along the Jetée Jacobsen. Enjoy the atmosphere of the centre of town, its old port, its Grande rue and its imposing 12th century castle on Place d’Armes. Go on an excursion to the rest of the island to smell the mimosas of the Bois de la Chaise, walk along the creeks of the Promenade des Souzeaux or taste seafood at L’Herbaudière.
Keeping with the island theme: take the boat to Fromentine to reach the “Corsica of the Atlantic”: Île-d’Yeu. Explore its unspoilt nature, its rocky coast to the west and its sandy beaches to the east. Whether on foot or by bike, you will enjoy its small villages and mysterious megaliths, including the 4,000-year-old Dolmen of the Planche in Puare. Take an invigorating stroll along its coastal paths, taking rest breaks in the idyllic settings of Port-de-la-Meule and Port-Joinville.
Head south along the coast! Leave Saint-Jean-de-Monts once and for all with a first stop at Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Take in all the activity at the port and stroll through the lanes of the left bank around the Saint-Gilles Church, or right bank in the Maroc quarter. Then go to the famous resort of Sables-d’Olonne, for a stroll between luxurious buildings and the sea on the Promenade du Remblai, which will lead you to the salt marshes. Finish your day at the resort of Longeville-sur-Mer.
After the coast and the sea, wild nature. Head to the marais desséché (‘dry marsh’). Protected by dikes, its ‘terre noire de Brie’ offers a rare spectacle. Make a first stop at Angles, the link between the plains and the marsh, then to Luçon to explore its cathedral, romantic garden and surprising water tower in reinforced concrete. Next, head to Chaillé-les-Marais to admire its wide-open landscapes where trees are scarce. End your route in the charming little village of Vix.
Enjoy your last day roaming the “Green Venice”, a name given by a local writer to the wet marshland. This marshy area offers a unique shades of green in the world. Drive to Damvix and take a boat ride along its canals to fully enjoy its beauty and mystery. Move on to Arçais (where small boats can also be hired) and lose yourself in the labyrinth of moats, conches, waterways and canals that surround the village. Finally, return to Vix for a last night in the Marais Poitevin.
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