Guest Post: Visit the beautiful Vendée – the perfect family holiday region of France
 

Eleanor of The Bristol Parent talks about the last stop on her family’s road-trip round Europe.

The Vendée region of Pays-De-La-Loire, South-West France was the last stop on our European Road trip. We’d had enough of the weather of Northern Spain by then, which was Cornish in manner, changeable and sometimes rainy. We wanted some sunshine to end our memories with, so we changed our plans for the last week and drove North, back through France, along the West Coast.

 

road trip in Europe

 

Biarritz was big and bright, very gentle on the eye, but not on the purse. Bordeaux was a great day-stop, playing in the shady park alongside all sorts of urban sun-seekers.

The Vendée is a small-ish province of France, above and not including La Rochelle (the nearest airport). It’s about a three hour, easy drive from Caen, where we caught our ferry home. It’s absolutely stunning. What I’ll always remember is the colours – shades of white, peach and cream in the buildings, the bright blue sky and the lush greens of the pine forests and grassland near the beaches.

It’s the perfect holiday for the family who like it active. Cycle tracks criss-cross the roads and coast, with groups of two-wheeled enthusiasts pedalling between beautiful villages and varied beaches.

The beaches are some of the best I've seen. I really didn’t expect this of France. We spent a lot of time in Les Sables D’Olonne, which has Le Grande Plage, an arc of delicious sand and gentle waves which is irresistible to all ages. As Tibbs and I played happily in the sand in the late afternoon sun, we were surrounded by after-school footballers, sunbathing girls, sandcastle-crafting kids and promenading pensioners.

The town itself is a working port and popular yachting stop, giving it a lovely maritime edge and some of the best seafood restaurants in the region. We loved taking a long lunch under a shady canopy on the marina, sipping ice cold rose wine and eating locally-caught fish.

 
Les Sables, France Traditional French houses with wooden shutters.
 

We also loved the buzzing ice-cream and soda cafes on the seafront, where one ice cream sundae feeds an entire crew!

I’d love to go back to the Vendée for a bigger explore, it was such a happy, varied place.

And as for the ferry home, it was nothing like I expected. Calm, sparking seas and blue skies all the way, and not a whiff of a delay. The perfect end to our road-trip.

 
Obligatory ferry selfie.
 

Clickstay has some lovely properties in the Vendée and in the Pays-de-la-Loire, why not check them out?