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North coast and Marais Breton

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The Vendée coast, nicknamed the Côte de Lumière, is a true marvel. With more than 140km of beaches in this department between land and sea, it is a popular vacation spot, along its 18 seaside resorts. The northern and southern flanks of the Vendée coastline are contiguous to the Marshes, another strong identity characteristic of this territory. To the south, it is the Marais Poitevin which we will talk about later, to the north, the Marais Breton Vendéen, a coastal wetland of 45,000 ha, with submerged meadows where thousands of species of birds and other types of fauna characteristics should be observed for patient enthusiasts. Straddling the Loire-Atlantique department, its first economic use was the saltworks: The Marais Breton Vendéen was the most important producer of salt in France from the 15th to the 18th century. Nowadays, agriculture is practiced on these lands, thanks to arrangements to avoid the entry of sea water at high tide and to conserve fresh water to develop crops and pastures. By the ocean, oyster farming is the main economic activity in this area, which continues on Noirmoutier Island. Today, the Marais Breton Vendéen enjoys significant tourist interest as an eco-responsible area, conducive to the observation of nature and the rare and unique species of fauna and flora that it hosts.

Carte du Littoral Nord et du Marais Breton Vendéen

Location map, north-west of the Vendée department

The Breton Vendéen Marsh in Sallertaine
The Breton Vendéen Marsh in Sallertaine
Fishing for plaice at Barre de Monts
Net fishing at Barre-de-Monts

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Noirmoutier Island

Let's start exploring the Vendée with the beautiful island of Noirmoutier, nicknamed Île aux Mimosas because of its mild and almost Mediterranean microclimate. The first curiosity that will appeal to visitors on their way to Noirmoutier is the passage du Gois. A submerged causeway at high tide, unique in the world with a distance of 4.5 km, which allows pedestrians to cross from the mainland to the island of Noirmoutier (once an integral part of it of course!). Noirmoutier is not very large, with an area of 49km2, it is a place where the landscapes are extremely diverse, the fine sandy beaches are nestled between the dunes linked by superb walks. Small wild coves bordered by pine trees are ideal for swimming in calm and limpid waters... Noirmoutier is the stronghold of bicycle lovers, cycle paths are set up all around the island, forget the car and do your best. shopping, your beach trips and your two-wheeled rides! It is also the paradise of gourmet lovers of local products. Here, we taste succulent oysters with fine flesh and a very pronounced salt taste, a real invigorating iodine cure in perspective! Surprisingly, taste the Noirmoutier potato, which we appreciate early (just harvested, barely matured 90 days after planting!). No fuss, it is eaten whole with the skin on, of different varieties, it is small and tasty. Enjoy steamed or sautéed with a knob of butter, roasted in the oven with rosemary and always sprinkled with Noirmoutier salt of course and why not a few flakes of seaweed?

What to do in Noirmoutier? Go to the beach! Discover the 4 pretty villages dotted around the island, take a bike ride and stop for a stroll in the Bois de la Chaise... Go fishing on foot, all you need is a bucket and a small rake to taste the wonderful seashells that the low tide reveals. There are a few museums to visit, an aquarium and a castle and of course, fantastic restaurants where you can feast on seafood and local cuisine.

Cycling on Jacobsen Pier
Cycling on Jacobsen Pier

To the north of the island is its capital, let's say its vibrant center, Noirmoutier-en-île! Stroll through the charming alleys of the city center which is pedestrianized. Enter the art galleries, discover the local crafts… Take the time to live while appreciating the sweetness of this large village which comes alive with 1000 opportunities to marvel in the summer season. Is this the place to go for shopping in cute little boutiques, meet up with friends and have an aperitif at sunset, or an afternoon ice cream with the children? Stroll with curiosity and inhale the intoxicating and salty smell which emanates from the restaurants at the approach of lunch or dinner, an invitation to gluttony… Appreciate the architecture, a mixture of buildings typical of the coast, with merchant houses at the large storefront, plush mansions like the Jacobsen hotel. The church of Saint-Philbert which dates from the 11th century is interesting to discover, as well as its crypt. A little further at the end of the quays, it is the heritage port of Noirmoutier with the Jacobsen pier. From here you can see part of the Müllembourg Nature Reserve (fr), 48 hectares of marshes which coexist with the adjacent salt production activities. You can walk there in peace to watch the birds with a pair of binoculars. It is at dawn and dusk that the show is grand, when the atmosphere takes on its special atmosphere between dog and wolf and the sun is revealed or bows out, abrading the sky with golden gleams!

  • Visit one of the remains of the Middle Ages, the Château de Noirmoutier, which overlooks the town, flanked by its medieval keep.

  • On rainy days, head to the Noirmoutier Aquarium, Sealand, to meet 200 species of fish and marine animals. You can book your tickets online.

The main port of Noirmoutier
The main port of Noirmoutier
Noirmoutier on the island

    Discover the Bois de la Chaise, a magical place where the maritime forest touches the ocean. You will understand the happy consequences of the island's special climate, through its vegetation typical of more southern areas, such as arbutus, maritime pines and the famous mimosas, which dot the forest with small bright yellow spots in winter... The rocky coast offers very nice walks, jetties and of course 2km of beaches. The Ladies' beach and its photogenic little seaside cabins, vestiges of the modest period of sea bathing, were used to put on the swimsuit, because there was no question of undressing on the beach to do so. There are also cabins on the beach of Anse Rouge and its plant tower, a private house which is reminiscent of a lighthouse but which is not one! It is a very protected beach which cannot be accessed by car...

    • In summer, you will attend the Bois de la Chaise Regatta, a multitude of small boats set off to storm Bourgneuf Bay, between Noirmoutier Island and the mainland.

    Ladies Beach Berth
    Ladies' beach boom
    The Ladies' Beach   Bois de la Chaise Beach
    Ladies' Beach and Bois de la Chaise Beach

    A little further north, the Village du Vieil is peaceful, with its white houses with colorful shutters and brick fireplaces. It can be discovered on foot or by bike, to feel the spray of the nearby ocean and touch the hollyhocks basking in the sun. The fishermen's houses give the whole a harmonious holiday melody.

    To taste good fish, go to the fishing and marina port of L'Herbaudière, a maritime cove in use since the 17th century. It is initially a port where sardine fishing is going well, it is supplemented by the presence of canneries around the port, which transforms the contributions of the sailors, a flourishing economic activity. The canneries have unfortunately been closed since 1965, but the port of l'Herbaudière survives thanks to a marina activity which has taken over. In deep water, it accommodates many boats and fishing continues. At the auction, you will find sole, fresh sea bass, lobsters, cuttlefish, monkfish, sea bream… and of course shellfish! It is the ideal place to stock up for the holidays. Stroll in the port, vibrate in this atmosphere between work and relaxation, so special. Have lunch or a drink at the table in one of the restaurants, admiring the boats.

    Hameau du Vieil Beach
    Hameau du Vieil Beach
    The Port of l'Herbaudière
    The Port of l'Herbaudière

    Going down to the south, the Pointe du Devin brings us closer to Epine, another town on the island of Noirmoutier. It is a good place for shore fishing. L'Epine is located on the west coast of Noirmoutier Island. L'Epine is first and foremost a marina and fishing port: the Morin port which dates from the end of the 20th century, where you can practice nautical activities, fishing, sailing and sea trips in particular. The port is lined with restaurants, it's friendly and joyful! Luzéronde Beach is the only one on the island where it is possible to practice naturism (to the south after the blockhouse), advice to those interested. It is an environment bordered by wild dunes, wide and quite confidential, the north of the beach is perfect for families, because the access to the water is soft. At l'Epine there is also the Eloux wood, which is worth a visit for a small picnic in the pine forest.

    • Come discover your family the joys of sailing (optimist) to two small ponds Pearl. You can cycle there, admire the landscape, observe the birds at the edge of these two ponds which were formed on the bottom of old quarries.

    • Visit the Salt Marshes of Angibauds, which can be discovered on a guided tour during the summer and by appointment out of season. You will learn the traditional techniques of salt workers, who work in the areas with their specific tools to extract the coarse salt and the crunchy and fine flower. The other Salt Marshes to visit.

    • As soon as the sunny days return, from April to September, come and visit Butterfly Island, an original site in a greenhouse to meet majestic winged insects from all over the planet. Rich in colors and emotions.

    • Take a walk in Mini Ville, a fun little museum where typical French houses are reproduced, in small models, by a passionate and very patient craftsman! A journey into a miniature world.

    • After registering on the Blockhaus R627 website (fr), visit one of the remains of the Atlantic Wall, to understand the strategic positioning of this military structure and the history of these places.

    The salt marshes of Noirmoutier island

    The salt marshes of Noirmoutier island

    Admire the work of the Noirmoutier salt workers
    Admire the work of the Noirmoutier salt workers

    La Guérinière is an oyster-farming town, it is the narrowest strip of land in the middle of the island. You have access to the north side on Bourgneuf bay and the south side to the ocean, it's practical! Take advantage of the 8 km of sand and at low tide, you can even go fishing on foot and reach the mainland. It is at La Guérinière that the production of the potato from Noirmoutier Island, la Bonnotte, takes place. Small and delicious, you absolutely have to try it when it's in season! Take a stroll at the Bonhomme oyster port to taste shellfish, hummm directly in the cabins ! The landscape here is completely different at low tide and high tide, when the sea recedes, we see the oyster farms outcropping.

    • Discover the Museum of traditions of the island of Noirmoutier, nine rooms to understand the know-how of the way of life and the crafts of the region. An interesting journey into the past, which will complete your heritage and architectural tour of the island.

    Fishing on foot in Noirmoutier

    Fishing on foot in Noirmoutier   Fishing on foot in Noirmoutier

    Shore fishing in Noirmoutier

      We arrive in the south of the island, in the town of Barbâtre, this is where the causeway of the Passage du Gois arrives to cross on foot (and by car) at low tide, from Beauvoir-sur-Mer. Place in the nature, here is the Regional Nature Reserve of the Polder of Sebastopol. What is a polder? A Dutch word to designate a technique of the same origin, to gain space on the sea, by building dikes which silt up and retain seawater. This makes the space suitable for cultivation. It was in 1856 that the Sebastopol Polder was born, then after a lack of maintenance, the sea resumed its rights in 1978. It was the Community of Communes of the island which put it back into service for 20 years. and transformed this agricultural space into a Reserve conducive to the life of local and wild flora and fauna. Take your binoculars and take the 3km discovery trail that circles the Polder.

      Spending a holiday on Noirmoutier Island is also an opportunity to discover a multitude of water activities. There is something for all tastes, all ages and levels, all types of sails and boats. You can be a spectator by getting on a boat (fishing or pleasure) for a walk, or learn to become a navigator by taking sailing lessons for example. Bring your kitesurf, windsurf, discover sand yachting… You can also rent a kayak, a canoe and go paddling alone or with family, with friends… Do you like swimming? You can scuba dive, explore the depths with just a mask and snorkel! There is also water skiing, jet ski rental... In short, a whole range of activities to enjoy the sea. But you also have the right to just sit and enjoy the beach!

      Passage du Gois
      The passage of Gois at high tide! Take a good look at the timetables before you start!
      Potatoes from Noirmoutier Island
      The famous potatoes of the island of Noirmoutier, to taste absolutely!

      If you are greedy and fond of local products, read our page dedicated to local products from Vendée, but also our page devoted to Vendée specialties and delicious recipes that you will find in shops and restaurants!

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      Here we are at the foot of the Passage du Gois, this submersible road that runs to Noirmoutier and that we take at low tide. It is an important tourist point for Beauvoir-sur-Mer, but it is not its only asset! Take a walk in this small coastal town, take a tour of the Saint Philibert church, there is also a small oyster port: the port of Bec and not far away, the Salt Marshes. Children will love La Maison de l'Ane, to get to know its endearing animals.

      La Barre-de-Monts-Fromentine

      The town is located just in front of Noirmoutier, where the island is closest to the mainland, but it is also a privileged starting point for the Ile d'Yeu. It is a pretty, dynamic and attractive maritime village. Starting with its large beaches, which stretch as far as the eye can see and which are preserved by a large pine forest: the forest of the Pays de Monts. The village is not right next to the beaches and they face the Bay of Bourgneuf on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Many nautical and leisure activities are available on the seafront. Take a stroll in Fromentine, that is to say on the coast of the town, there is a small oyster port, the port of Pont Neuf. Nice viewpoints on the coast, with the islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu in the distance, the oyster farms… A good idea for a walk while waiting for the boat! In Fromentine, do not miss the esplanade with the beautiful villas that border it and at the end, the lighthouse.

      • Climb the steps of Pey de la Blet for a panoramic point of view… between the trees!

      • Ecomuseum of the Marais Vendéen, le Daviaud (near Fromentine): Here is a place to learn more about the unique environment of the Marais. Expo, outdoor course, to learn all about the heritage and local culture, from the mouths of those who have always lived there. In season, there are cool and original workshops to learn how to make local specialties and learn more about traditional know-how (salt, butter, rope making, housing, etc.).

      • Gourmets will enjoy going to the Biscuiterie de La Barre-des-Monts, to taste caramels, cookies made right in front of your eyes. Possibility of visit, if you call upstream!

      Barre des Monts Beach

      Bourgneuf Bay   The forest of the Pays de Monts
      The Barre-de-Monts Beach, Bourgneuf Bay and the Forêt de Monts


      Seaside town with 8 beautiful white sand beaches, it is a popular holiday destination because it is dynamic and diverse. Art deco, neo-basque, modern, villas and chalets, you can find all architectural styles in this resort really turned towards tourism since the 1920s. Stroll through the waterfront district and also in the old town and more particularly the avenue de l'Abbé Thibaud which offers beautiful glimpses of the different styles. City crowned with 4 flowers, with the label cities and villages in bloom of France, the stroll is only more pleasant! The Pays de Monts national forest will offer you beautiful walks on marked trails: go to the arboretum of Parée Farfadets, passing by the Maison de la Dune (Biotopia, a local nature museum). In Notre-Dame-de-Monts, there are many cycle paths (over 60km), don't forget your bike or rent one to enjoy your vacation without cars.

      • A curiosity about the town: The Jardin des Vents is an open-air course, a cultural site near an old mill, we see beautiful sculptures that wave in the breeze and animations on the theme of the wind have held regularly.

      • Meet at the top of the Kulmino panoramic platform (fr), for a breathtaking 360-degree view! Exhibition on the water, binoculars and orientation table available.

      • If you want to take advantage of nautical activities and learn at Notre-Dame-de-Monts, go to the Pôle Nautique (fr). You can discover the catamaran, sand yachting, surfing, stand up paddle, towed buoy, sea kayaking...

        Notre Dame des Monts Sand yachting

        Our Lady of the Kulmino Mountains   Our Lady of the Mountains Garden of the Winds
        Notre-Dame-des-Monts: sand yachting, visit the Kulmino water tower or the Jardin des Vents


        Labeled Ville et Métier d'Art, Sallertaine is in a place punctuated by the Salt Marshes (hence its name?) A few kilometers from the coast (on the retro-littoral), where it is good to live and walk. It is a pleasant little village to discover, rich in crafts and heritage. Discover this " island of artisans " (fr), so named by an association for the promotion of local crafts, because you will meet creators there all year round. Admire the very beautiful fortified Romanesque church from the 12th century classified as Saint-Martin. Visit the Rairé Windmill (fr), still in operation. On windy days, watch its graceful blades turn, the visit will allow you to learn more about its construction, its operation... The humorous miller is not left out to make this moment a more than necessary detour!! In Sallertaine, there is also a small heritage museum: La Bourrine à Rosalie to learn more about life in the past through Rosalie's daily life. A nice activity to do around the village: La Route du Sel. By bike or during a commented canoe trip, to discover the Marais Breton Vendéen. Finally, the children will be happy to stop at the Zanimo islet, an educational farm where we meet funny ruminants.

        Sallertaine and its windmill

        Windmill at Sallertaine

        La Bourrine in Rosalie
        La Bourrine in Rosalie


        The Cité Maraîchine, the third most important city in Vendée, well located and economically dynamic, Challans is a city on the move. With an industrial tradition, it is located on an interesting commercial crossroads and it has been developing solidly for several years. This is the place to go to party, enjoy an urban environment with restaurants, bars, shopping and regular festivities. Foodies will find good poultry there, on the surrounding farms. The market takes place on Tuesday, Saturday and Friday in Challans.

        • Not far away, in Soullans, visit the museum of the painter Charles Milcendeau, for a very small price. The house is beautiful and decorated with care by the painter.


        Challans town center


        A large seaside resort on the Vendée coast, Saint-Jean-de-Monts is popular for its 8km of magnificent fine white sand beaches… Bordered by a wide and pleasant esplanade where you can stroll until sunset! It is a lively place where you can discover a multitude of activities during the holidays: sport, relaxation, outings... Start by swimming on one of its beautiful beaches (3 are supervised), they are wide and even if the resort is one of the busiest in Vendée, there is always a corner to put down your towel, the ocean is quite calm here, for the whole family. This seaside resort is modern and yet rich in local customs. Protected by the 500 ha of the Pays de Monts Forest, a large and beautiful pine forest that touches the dunes, life settles between the Marshes and the Ocean. In the 19th century, tourism began to explode after the Second World War. We come here for relaxation, but also it seems, for the ambient lightness: we flirt, we court each other, we locally call it " market gardening "! However, we do not forget the pleasures of the table, in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, there are delicious restaurants for all tastes. Facing the ocean, it's a treat! Take the opportunity to flush out real Vendée brioches, for a gourmet breakfast...

        • Walk at the end of the day, on the Saint-Jean-de-Monts pier, 400m on stilts, built in the 1960s (damaged and rebuilt identically), you will see a very beautiful panorama, on one side towards the ocean and the other on the city, the golf course, the illuminations at nightfall are worthy of a postcard.

        • The nautical base is located at the foot of the pier, it is there that you can choose which sport will be done your next day... Board or paddle in hand, you will have fun! Do you prefer cycling? 25 km of cycle paths will stretch your legs.

        • And if you did a ride in spa? A spa to relax in all seasons, facing the ocean and a stone's throw from the dunes... With the mud from Bourgneuf bay to come out with splendid and regenerated skin!

        • Take a family trip to Explora Parc, a multitude of unusual and sporting things to do await you there, in the shade of maritime pines.

        • The golf course of Saint-Jean-de-Monts is an 18-hole course, punctuated by the ocean and the forest, it is one of the most beautiful in France! We can see the island of Yeu, the time of a swing. For the youngest, there is also a mini-golf course in Saint-Jean-de-Mont.

        • There is also a casino in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, if you want to try your luck at the games.

        • Get on the Ferris wheel to enjoy a breathtaking view of the surroundings, you can see the salt marshes, the forest, the dunes, the ocean, the islands in the distance… Don't forget the camera!

        • Try pine nut fishing, small oblong shells that you find (like the others) at low tide, scratching in the sand. They are smaller than traditional clams, they are also called sea beans.

          Ferris wheel of saint jean de monts

          Berth of Saint Jean de Monts   Fitness on the beach in Saint-Jean-de-Monts
          Saint-Jean-de-Monts, a pleasant seaside town all year round


          Further south and really opposite the Ile d'Yeu, Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. 13 km of coastline with 3 nautical bases to test sports and leisure activities with the Pays de Monts forest as a setting, which runs alongside the dune. Get on a bike, because many cycle paths are arranged, it is very practical to go to the market or to go shopping in the pretty shopping streets of the center. The coast offers magnificent walks, pleasant in all seasons, to let you be carried away by the light and the elements! The Corniche Vendéenne can be traveled on foot or by bike, it is a coastal path that leads to the Feu (the lighthouse) of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. There are small coves where to stop to admire the scenery, it is a place worth seeing at sunset. On the way we will see the breathtaking Trou du Diable (rock eroded by water) and the geological formations of the 5 Pineaux (5 huge rocks aligned in the ocean). Push to the Pointe de la Grosse Terre to discover the Villa de la Grosse Terre and its gardens. Like the rest of the coast, the town has Salt Marshes, to learn more about this unique ecosystem, work in the Marshes, you can visit Les Marais Salants de la Vie, a guide will accompany you to discover the salt flats of Vendée.

          Botanical enthusiasts will visit the Jardin des Rigonneries (from the end of May to the end of August, also available for weddings), run by passionate owners. It is a pleasure garden with many beds where you can stroll

          Here too there are Bourrines, these traditional houses made of mud walls and with a reed thatched roof. You can visit the Bourrine du Bois Juquaud ecomuseum, which is located on a beautiful listed natural site. An old farmhouse, transformed to welcome visitors and explain the life of the past.

          Come on, please the children and fun lovers! On the way to Dino's Park, a theme park in the forest, with games, shows, all on the theme of dinosaurs. Or the water games of the gigantic Atlantic Toboggan park? The little ones love the inflatables of Youplaland, but also the corn maze in season. Teens love the tree climbing at Feeling Forest Park. The whole family will meet at 201 Forest Avenue for a game of bowling or mini-golf at Parc de la Pège. And the must is to take a carriage ride with Vincent and his horses at the Attelage de la Vie!

          Saint-Hilaire de Riez Corniche Vendéenne

          Saint-Hilaire de Riez The Devil's Hole   Saint-Hilaire de Riez Garden of Grosse Terre

          Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, the Corniche Vendéenne, the devil's hole and the gardens of the Villa Grosse Terre


          It is a port city, dynamic and pleasant to explore during the season, but also all year round! Crossed by the river La Vie (previously, it was two towns, now joined into one), it is a high place for sardine fishing (there is even a sardine brotherhood in the town), Yum! It is the fishing activity at the port of Croix-de-Vie (one of the oldest ports in France) which was first the economic flagship of the city, before the “ pleasure ” side became complementary. around the middle of the 20th century at Port La Vie. For once, let's start exploring the city, before ending at the beach! Visit the Atelier de la Sardine, an eco-museum, in the last Vendée cannery, you will discover the “ Pearl of the Gods ”, this silver fish, very simple but so tasty and full of good things for the organism! We continue to the Maison du Pêcheur, a small interpretation center in a house with furniture and everyday objects from the 1920s.

          • Idea for a walk: to keep the children busy, try a treasure hunt! Concocted by the Tourist Office, they allow you to discover the region in a smart and fun way for children. Click! Like all seaside resorts on the Côte de Lumière, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie has a beautiful embankment where you can walk to admire the ocean and the sandy beaches. Shops and restaurants follow one another. Continue the walk to Port La Vie, the modern and pleasant marina. Continue to the Pont de la Concorde, which once linked the two towns together, on either side of the river. The Joséphine Tower (in homage to the Empress), a little further, is the lighthouse of the Tour du Vieux Môle. There is a Public Garden next to it.

          • Shopping question, if you have always dreamed of having a real bowl with your first name written on it? Meet at the Faïencerie Nistar where they have been handcrafted since 1936.

          • We are not going to deprive ourselves of the beach, 3.5km of fine sand, pretty little cabins and a nautical club with lots of activities, that's also what holidays in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie!

            Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie The embankment   Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie The Rocky Foreshore

            Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie Marina   Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie Fishing port
            Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, its embankment, its beach, its ports

            Ile d'Yeu

            Here we are again at sea, the island of Yeu whose area is approximately half that of Noirmoutier (23km2), it is a continental island, a beautiful wild place with two very distinct facades. Paced by the tides, the first thing to ask is how to reach it, from the mainland? Unlike Noirmoutier, it is completely insular, it can only be accessed by sea and this is what makes its charm and which has preserved it from the vagaries and excessive pressures of tourism. Good to know: plan your getaway on the island, by booking your boat crossing in advance in summer! 17km from the coast, it can be reached from Fromentine, from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie or from Noirmoutier (and even by helicopter for the better-off). L'île d'Yeu is part of the private association of the Ponant Islands, which brings together, for the purpose of economic, cultural and tourist development, 15 French islands on the Atlantic coast and the English Channel, inhabited year round. The east coast resumes the physiognomy of the Vendée coast, with sandy beaches (around twenty in all on the island), dunes and maritime forests. On the west coast, it's like a trip to Brittany, here we are surrounded by cliffs and granite rocks, the coast is swept by waves. The vegetation of the Ile d'Yeu is quite special and will not fail to interest lovers of botany, insects and remarkable ecosystems. 10km long and 4km wide, the island is discovered by bike (take it with you on the boat) or on foot.

            To get to the island of Yeu, consult the Yeu Continent website to organize your crossing! (in FR)

            You will arrive in Port-Joinville, which you will enjoy admiring from the waves before setting foot on land. It is a locality of around 2000 souls a year, a small marina and a charming town on a human scale. In summer, the atmosphere is cheerful with restaurants and bars offering delicacies on the terrace to tourists passing through for a few days. It is a timeless place that you will know how to appreciate also (and especially, if you like your peace) out of season! Make a cultural stop at the Museum of Fishing and Rescue at Sea, on gray days. Before going on an adventure to the rest of the island, grab some food at the market which takes place every morning, there are very few restaurants on the island.

            Ile d'Yeu Port Joinville

            Ile d'Yeu Port Joinville   Ile d'Yeu Port Joinville
            The sweetness of life in Port Joinville

            Go north, there are paths, a coastal path for hiking (the GR80 goes all around the island in 27km of walking). Go to the Pointe du But in the northwest, you will see a very pretty wild panorama and a sunset to fall backwards (for the beauty of the landscape, but also because of the wind)!

            Ile d'Yeu The Pointe du But
            The Pointe du But, on the island of Yeu

            Continue towards Pointe du Chatelet and not far from the small cove of Sabias beach. It is a very unspoiled place, wild and natural, where there is a large wooden cross, in memory of the sailors who perished at sea. The Plage des Sabias will remind you of the Breton coast. Just opposite is the Old Castle, a medieval site, an astonishing fortress with a tower, a covered way, all beaten by the waves, which can be visited with a guide or by yourself. A few minutes away, you can already see it, is the Grand Phare, which can be visited after having climbed 198 steps, the view is " pharaminous "! Along the coast, do not miss the rocky viewpoint of the Gouffre d'enfer.

            Ile d'Yeu The Old Chateau
            The Old Castle, as you will see it as you walk around the Ile d'Yeu
            Ile d'Yeu Old Chateau
            The remains of a medieval fortress

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            The Port de la Meule is the second port of the island, it looks like a postcard with its turquoise blue waters on which stand out small colorful fishermen's huts. Go for a hike among sea birds, towards the lighthouse or the chapel of La Meule (Notre Dame de la Bonne Nouvelle). The center of this little town is very cute. A little further on, have fun making The Trembling Stone move, even children will be able to rock this gigantic rock!

            The port of the old women is the third port of the island, it is really very small, surely one of the smallest in France! It is a lovely and pleasant place.

            We arrive at the last " end " of the island, Pointe des Corbeaux. Walk to the lighthouse, which is erected on the very spot where a prehistoric megalith once stood. This is the opportunity to tell you that the island is dotted with dolmen to discover, like a treasure hunt...

            Ile d'Yeu The port of the millstone
            The Port de la Meule

            We spoke from the side, it only remains for us to talk about the localities inside the island: Le Bourg de Saint-Sauveur will please you for its typical white houses with colored shutters, with small alleys sprinkled with hollyhocks during the season. You can eat a delicious specialty: prune tart, in the main street, which is friendly and lively in season. On your way back to Port-Joinville, stop at the Citadel, near the Bois de Pierre-Levée, a very large complex which required colossal efforts for its construction. Barracks, state prison, its history will surprise you and move you too...

            Ile d'Yeu Wild cove

            Ile d'Yeu Small port   Ile d'Yeu Citadel
            Take a walk, discover small ports, secluded coves and go to the Citadel!