The seaside resorts of the Vendée

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie
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The Vendée coast offers a magnificent frontage on the Atlantic. Between its ports and its long beaches, beautiful seaside resorts line the 250 km of the Vendée coast.  

The seaside resorts were built to facilitate access to sea bathing. The quality of their water must be irreproachable. The services are there to offer you maximum comfort. Nautical activities flourish there to entertain you. They are the perfect places to enjoy the benefits of the ocean and have fun with your family! The Vendée Guide has toured the resorts to reveal their main assets to welcome you. We will descend from north to south and we will take you on a very marine ride, along the famous Côte de Lumière.


Photos of the article: © Guide de la Vendée


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Saint-Jean-de-Monts

On the northern coast of Vendée, Saint-Jean-de-Monts is the leading seaside resort in Vendée. It borders the commune of Notre-Dame-de-Monts, to the north, which is less urbanized, with large beaches on the edge of the forest. To the south, the small seaside resort of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez has a beautiful ledge, set between the beach of Demoiselles and its large beach.

It is a paradise for families. It has 6 gently sloping beaches, therefore safer for children:  

  • The beach of the Tonnelle
  • Parée du Jonc beach
  • Davière beach
  • The large beach of Saint-Jean-de-Monts
  • Golf beach
  • The beach of the Bather

You can also try shore fishing, a typical Vendée activity. We recommend the Davière beach.

Find out more: Read our article “To find out all about shore fishing in the Vendée”.

Demoiselles beach is also a good surf spot, with an ideal beach break for beginners. The Ocean Surf Club offers initiations and advanced courses.

A walk on the Saint-Jean-de-Monts pier offers you a beautiful panorama of the ocean, the island of Yeu, the golf course and the beach of the Demoiselles de Saint-Hilaire de Riez. The town is also surrounded by the Pays de Monts Forest, where there are many hiking trails.

At the foot of the pier, the nautical base, allows you to rent sand yachts and practice many other water sports.

Find out more: Read our article on " Surf spots in the Vendée ".

But it's not all about water recreation, you can also enjoy a casino, a Ferris wheel and even a golf course.


The Saint-Jean-de-Monts boom The Saint-Jean-de-Monts boom

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is a very friendly and authentic seaside resort. It is above all a large fishing port, where you can taste the famous sardines of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Moreover, you are in the right place to learn about sport fishing at sea. Here is our selection of providers. If you are interested in shore fishing, you will find what you are looking for on the Grande Plage.

Find out more : Read our article on "The good local products of the Vendée".

For swimming in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, we recommend:

  • The intimate and quiet Boisvinet beach
  • La Grande Plage for its comfort and services: beach surveillance, children's club and activities for older children, shops and restaurants.  

On its Grande Plage, you have access to many water activities. Here are our providers by category:  

The walk on the corniche is one of the essentials, for its views of the Boisvinet lighthouse, the Garenne jetty, the Rêverie benches and the Port de la Vie.


The Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie embankment Take a walk on the Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie embankment

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Bretignolles-sur-Mer

At Bretignolles-sur-Mer, you reach a more rocky area of the coast. The coastline is therefore fairly preserved. To find out, take the coastal path, accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. Take the opportunity to reach the Rocher Sainte-Véronique, perched 7 m above the sea.

Despite a fairly mineral setting, you can access 6 fine sandy beaches, nestled in the rocks and on the outskirts of the resort:  

  • Normandelière beach
  • Sauzaie beach
  • Parée beach
  • Marais Girard beach
  • Dunes beach
  • And if you are a naturist lover, there is the Petit Pont beach

Beginner surfers will appreciate the Dunes beach, which is a fairly easy spot.


Bretignolles-sur-Mer Bretignolles beach is perfect for surfing!  

Les Sables d'Olonne

The seaside resort of Sables d'Olonne is the best known of the Vendée resorts. It is very popular and very lively. The “ Vendée Globe ” is a very popular solo sailing race that starts from the port of the city. Emblematic of seaside towns, it hosts a casino! To take advantage of the benefits of the ocean, this is the opportunity to treat yourself to marine notes in one of the many wellness centers.

This community of municipalities has a long frontage on the Atlantic and is home to 8 beaches:  

  • Granges beach
  • Sauveterre beach
  • Pierres Noires beach
  • Tanchet beach
  • Sables d'Olonne beach
  • The beach of the Presidents
  • Bassin Dombret beach
  • La Paracoua beach

On the Grande Plage des Sables d'Olonne, the decor is traditional from the Belle Epoque seaside resorts, with its beach cabins. You benefit from all the advantages of the resort: rental of sun loungers, bars and restaurants, small shops, etc. For those who prefer the swimming pool to the ocean, go to the Remblai swimming pool, with a view of the sea. the Base Nautique Sablais, you can do all kinds of activities. The beaches of Les Sables d'Olonne are also famous for their surf schools: here is our directory of service providers.


The good idea On the Auzance Canoe Base, take a sea kayak trip.



South of the resort, after a series of long beaches, the coast becomes steeper. While taking a walk along its Corniche du Nouch, you will admire the view of its Dombret basin and its “Petite Jetée”. It is a parade of handles, of points, to its Well of Hell. The path is very exotic. If you extend your walk to Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, you can go fishing on foot on the Plage du Veillon.

Several lighthouses mark out this dangerous coast for sailors: the Armandèche Lighthouse, the Chaume Lighthouse, the Barges Lighthouse, the Sables d'Olonne Green Lighthouse. Some can be visited, others can be seen from afar...


The good idea Consult our article on the “ Lighthouses of the Vendée ”, an unusual heritage.



Sables d'Olonne Beach The beautiful beach of Sables d'Olonne!  

La Tranche-sur-Mer

La Tranche-sur-Mer is nicknamed “little California Vendée”. It must be said that no less than 13 km of beaches are at your disposal... and that of surfers. Here are the 10 beaches of Vendée. It is the last seaside resort in the Vendée. It also offers you a beautiful point of view on the island of Ré.


The atmosphere is young, dynamic and festive. All board sports are in the spotlight. You just have to choose the place and your atmosphere:

To entertain children of all ages, there is also a skate park, a pirate island for the little ones and the Maupas lake to try out swimming in fresh water before diving into the waves.


Beach of the Tranche-sur-Mer The beach of La Tranche sur Mer

We went down the entire Vendée coast. You just have to choose where you will put your suitcases to indulge yourself by the ocean!


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