Castles to visit in Vendée

L'Île-d'Yeu
Castles to visit in V ...

You are in love with old stones and you want to know what the Vendée lands have in store for you. The region has a turbulent past which has left many vestiges. The Vendée promises you beautiful visits to castles, fortresses, palaces and beautiful residences ...

In the Middle Ages, the marshes were developed to develop agriculture, fishing and salt harvesting. The region's economic development attracts envy. The quarrels of territory between the local lords will lead to a fortification of the region, which is amplified during the Hundred Years War. Beautiful castles are therefore built there. In the 16th century, the Renaissance that brings elegance and comfort to ancient fortresses, transforming them into a palace. Unfortunately, the region also suffered heavy destruction during the Wars of Religion and the Vendée War. We take you in the footsteps of the history of the Vendée, through its castles.


Photos of the article © Guide de la Vendée unless otherwise stated


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Tiffauges castle

The Château de Tiffauges is emblematic of the Vendée. The site was fortified during the barbarian invasions and the castle was built in the twelfth century by the lords of Thouars. It will house Gilles de Rais, Joan of Arc's companion in arms and will see the end of the Hundred Years War. But Gilles de Rais is a legendary and mysterious character, we call him “ Bluebeard ”… Attacked, assailed and set on fire during the Wars of Religion and the Vendée War, he has spanned the entire history of the Vendée!

Today, Tiffauges Castle tells you about its past and its legends during shows and reenactments. These animations provide a better understanding of life in the Middle Ages, siege strategies and combat training. They are very playful and appreciated by children. The ruins of this medieval fortress house the largest conservatory of war machines in Europe and you can see them in operation!


Château de Tiffauge © Departmental Council of Vendée

Château de Tiffauge © Departmental Council of Vendée

Talmont castle

The Château de Talmont is almost 1000 years old. It hosted many lords and probably Richard the Lionheart. The Talmondais was a region dear to the heart of this king who was more Aquitaine than English! The castle is accessible all year round, but it comes alive during the summer. Workshops, puzzle games, escape game, murder party await you. You can also see the epic Richard the Lionheart, a nighttime show. All information is on their website.


Chateau de Talmont

Talmont Castle

Castle of Essarts

Its Roman origins and 2000 years of history give Château des Essarts a soul, which inspires the company " La Comédie des Rêves ". In this beautiful park and in the heart of its ruins, you will experience days of adventure, on different themed routes, you will participate in educational activities on horse shows, before the " mess " invites itself to the castle. In the evening, nocturnal and storytelling walks, concerts and shows are offered. Check out their entertainment and activity program (fr).


Chateau Les Essarts @Matthieu Thabault

Chateau Les Essarts @Matthieu Thabault
Chateau Les Essarts @ Matthieu Thabault

The castle of Commequiers

Come and admire this magnificent feudal castle, placed on the water with its enclosure set with 8 stone towers is very astonishing. You can't go inside or visit it, but its sight alone is worth the trip, right? If you are around on July 14 and August 15, a beautiful medieval show takes place at the castle which is exceptionally open! Nearby there is a playground for the children to have fun, it is a perfect sport for a picnic.

Commequiers castle
The castle of Commequiers

Mélusine Tower

Melusine Tower is a tower of the 13th century, the only remnant of the old castle of Lusignan. This family is strongly linked to the legend of the fairy Mélusine, hence its name. It is part of the medieval village of Vouvant which has preserved charming old streets and the remains of its ramparts. At the top of the tower, the panorama over the Vendée bocages is just sublime!

The tower of Mélusine   The Tower of Mélusine

The Mélusine Tower

The Chateau d'Apremont

The Château d'Apremont is located at the top of the town, which it overlooks. First a stronghold in the 11th century, it was then a castle in the 16th century, under the leadership of Philippe Chabot de Brion. In the 18th century, however, it was severely damaged and today we can only admire the ramparts and towers. Meet on the castle terrace to enjoy the most beautiful view of the surroundings. Exhibitions and events take place at the castle, consult the website of the town, which manages the castle (fr).


Chateau Apremont
The Chateau d'Apremont

Old castle of Ile d'Yeu

The Vieux Château de l'île d'Yeu sits on a rocky outcrop, at the end of a steep cliff on the island. Accessible by a bridge perched above the rocks, beaten by winds and waves, it exudes a dramatic atmosphere. The guided tour is also very oriented on medieval defensive techniques.


Old Castle of Ile d'Yeu

The Old Castle of Ile d'Yeu

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Sigournais Castle

The Château de Sigournais is a fortress of more than 1000 years, significant of medieval architecture and very well preserved. The guides will show you the specificities of the military constructions of the time. You will also find a magnificent collection of coats of arms.

Logis de la Chabotterie

The Logis de la Chabotterie played an important role during the Vendée War. The route in this furnished residence and scripted leads you from room to room to enjoy life in the eighteenth century. You can also stroll in its magnificent French gardens.


Logis de la Chabotterie

The Logis de la Chabotterie Photo © Benoit Gendron

Newfoundland Castle

The Chateau de Terre-Neuve is a magnificent Renaissance residence. A museum explains the history of the place and its illustrious owners. Then the artistic details and the alchemical mysteries of the castle will be revealed to you, in particular its astonishing fireplace. The exteriors allow you to walk around this majestic facade.


The keep of Bazoges-en-Pareds

Immerse yourself in the Middle Ages! Discover a beautiful medieval ensemble with a garden (labeled remarkable garden) and a dovecote. A visit with guides who will be able to interest the whole family through activities.


Dungeon of Bazoges
The keep of Bazoges

Mortagne Castle

At the Château de Mortagne, it is the owners who guide you during this authentic visit. You walk the medieval walls, climb the towers and you will see the mansion of the 20th century.


Saint-Mesmin castle

The Castle of Saint-Mesmin is built in the fourteenth century. It is located in Deux-Sèvres, but it is attached to the eponymous town a few kilometers further. To protect it, a huge tower was built in the fifteenth century. Despite its fortification, it was designed as a family home. Several great families of the nobility will also reside there! He will wait for the Vendée War, which sees the royalists and the revolutionaries clash, to play a defensive role.

If it is no longer inhabited, it is still very much alive and still echoes the laughter of children. From April to November, the Château de Saint-Mesmin (fr) becomes the kingdom of children. Tales, games, learning and training are on the program for these little princesses and young knights.


© Château de Saint-Mesmin
© Château de Saint-Mesmin

Other remarkable sites

The Château de Montaigu is an ancient fortified city of the 12th century. It is a walk very popular with families. The site is punctuated by educational information panels. The tourist office organizes guided tours and treasure hunts there during the season.

The Château d'Ardelay is located in Les Herbiers, it was renovated in the 1980s and its moats can still be seen there. The lodge is open year round and hosts exhibitions. A few days a year, the rest of the castle can also be visited.

The Château de Boistissandeau is located in Les Herbiers. You can go admire it and sometimes enter its French gardens. It belongs to the department.

The Château de Pouzauges is an impressive keep. Its wooded park offers a beautiful view of the groves. In summer you can take a night torchlight walk.

The Château de Noirmoutier is a Romanesque keep. It houses a museum about the history of the island from prehistory to the 20th century.

In Fontenay-le-Compte, unusual: Observe (not open to visit) the 8-storey, octagonal Rivalland Tower, a Freemason construction that will arouse your curiosity...

In Les Sables-d'Olonne, inside the Château de Saint-Clair is the Museum of the Sea. From its Tower of Arundel, you have a beautiful panorama of the seaside resort, the bay and the marshes of Olonne.

The Refuge de Grasla (fr) is certainly not a castle, but it is an essential place to understand the impact of the Revolution in Vendée. A refugee village has been reconstituted. It is crossed by an interpretive trail that guides you in this troubled time. Activities and educational workshops take place there during the season.


Pouzauge castle
The Château de Pouzauges
Noirmoutier Castle
Noirmoutier Castle

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Before your visits, we advise you to go to the Historial de la Vendée in Lucs-sur-Boulogne, to fly over the 7000 years of history of the Vendée.

Historial de la Vendée @ Pascal Baudry

The Historial de la Vendée @ Pascal Baudry


Here is our tour of the castles to visit in Vendée which ends. You just have to start your own to discover the fabulous history of this region.


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