Summer in France never ceases to lose its appeal. The culture, the cuisine and the weather makes France an easy choice for sun starved Brits. The French too look forward to the July and August break and typically join an annual migration to the south. If you are perhaps looking for a less crowded option, the Vendée, located in the north western Atlantic coast, offers a great alternative a little closer to home. With a sunny climate to rival the Riviera, the Vendée, with hundreds of miles of beaches, beautiful river settings and a rich cultural history, offers a fascinating backdrop for your next French holiday.
Quite simply the Vendée is a beach lover’s dream. The locals are rightly proud of the vast expanses of sand and dunes which border the Atlantic at its beautiful azure best. Beach after beach carves out an exquisite seascape across the length of the region. Typically the beaches are long with gently sloping shelves and with the added attraction of the sun; this part of France is unsurprisingly a favourite with families. Arguably the most stunning and unique setting is the Plage du Veillon at Talmond-St-Hilaire. Meandering sea channels and wild dunes create a vista filled with a lagoon between the sand and the sea. There cannot be many more beautiful backdrops to while away the summer hours, whether that be basking in the sun or kite surfing across the shallows!
Whilst you may be forgiven for doing not very much on your holiday in the Vendee, those intent on a more activity based break will find a wealth of options to choose from. This part of France is famed for its good surf and its west facing coastline produces some of the best waves in France. Perhaps the most recognized surfing resort is La Tranche sur Mer which regularly hosts the world championships. However, if land based activities are more your style then the Vendée is the ideal holiday base for a cycling holiday. With over 1000km tracks throughout the area, with many following the coastline through woodland and following rivers, there cannot be many more relaxing ways to take in the beautiful countryside.
One of the great allures of a holiday in France is the anticipation of the great cuisine. The Vendée boasts a wide range of restaurants with an exciting combination of local and international dishes on offer. A notable specialty is the regional ham, with gammon and Jambon de Vendée favoured amongst the Vendeans. Like many of the north/western regions in France, the food in the Vendée is heavily influenced by the sea with mussels, langoustines and oysters also popular on local menus. Accompanied by a deliciously crisp French white wine, whilst relaxing on a long summer’s evening, suddenly all seems well with the world.
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Posted by Gareth McKillop, cottages4you.