Camping, mobile home holidays in the Vendee, Pays de la Loire, western France
The Vendee region of western France has long been a favourite haunt of British holiday makers taking their camping holidays where the sun shines more often than not, and where it is also quite near to home.
The best ferry ports to access the west coast are Caen, Cherbourg and St Malo, though if you book a holiday through a tour operator you will most likely be "given" a Dover/Calais crossing in with the holiday cost, but in many cases it is worth paying the extra to use one of the ports we mention here. For instance, the distance from St Malo to St Jean de Monts in the Vendee is 170 miles, but a 425 mile drive from Calais, so when you take the cost of fuel into account x 2 there can't be much in it.
For holiday purposes most of the Vendee camping holiday resorts start at St J de monts in the north and follow the coast southwards, though there are some on the Ile de Noirmoutier which is north of St Jean and must count as being in the Vendee.
The main industries here are Tourism and farming, and so far as tourism is concerned the accent is on the hundreds of camping sites which offer anything from pitches for your own tent to hire tents to mobile homes, cottages and pitches for motorhomes and campervans.
This region does get busy in season, and that is why we tend to go there in mid to late June when things are just kicking off but there aren't the same crowds as there are for the rest of the season.
The main Vendee resorts are without doubt St Jean de Monts & St Jean Plage with their superb beaches, St Hilaire-de-Riez & St Gilles Croix-de-Vie on the Corniche Vendeenne, and again the beaches at St Hilaire are wonderful.
A little further south is the tiny inland resort of Givrand, and back on the coast again is Bretignolles-sur-Mer & then Brem-sur-Mer, and yet further south still is the much larger town of les Sables d'Olonne with superb beaches on la Corniche. Les Sables offers great shopping too - a wonderful opportunity to exercise your plastic!
The village/hamlet of Port Bourgenay is next on the list and then next to each other come Jard-sur-Mer and St Vincent-sur-Jard, both of which are small, peaceful and scenic.
In the south of the Vendee comes la Tranche-sur-Mer which is a lovely town but the beaches are not the best to be found in this department.
Please note that there are other small resorts in between the ones we have mentioned, but they are not particularly significant for a mention here.
What does need to be stressed for the first time visitor are the wonderful dunes which follow the coastline all the way down, and also the walking, cycling and wildlife spotting opportunities which are so wonderful because of the forests and wooded areas around St J de Monts, to the north of les Sables and to the north of la Tranche.
As the editor of this website I can say that we have always had wonderful camping and mobile home holidays in the Vendee.