Top 5 Outdoor Activities To Do in Vendée this Summer 



Top 5 Outdoor Activities To Do in Vendée this Summer 

Nothing like a balmy sunny day to enjoy time on the water, in the shade of poplar trees or feeling the wind in your hair. Time to slow it down and breathe in deeply the fresh air of the great outdoors in lush Vendée.  

From a calming boat ride in the exceptional Poitevin marshes to adrenaline-infused zipline rides, the Vendée boasts outdoor activities galore and not just on the coastline. Here are five top options for all ages. 

1. All aboard the Vélo Rail in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie  

For just under two hours, enjoy the diverse and varied landscapes of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, with family or friends during an unusual walk! Hop on the unusual contraption – a vélo-rail – that allows you to pedal your way along a former railway line, plunging you into the lush hinterland in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie’s back country. The 10km-long track begins in the station at Commequiers and takes you across the La Vie River. 

The vélorail railway cart leaves from Commequiers © Vendée Expansion

2. Punt around the canals in the Marais Poitevin aboard a typical boat 

The Marais Poitevin would not be so unique without its thousands of kilometers of canals and its flat, traditional Marais Poitevin boats. A gentle punt aboard a traditional ‘barque’ is the best way to explore this exceptional environment which happens to have many labels: Natural Regional Park, ‘Grand Site de France’ and a European Destination of Excellence. Also known as the Green Venice, the wet marshlands were carved by the marsh farmers and are today, an amazing testimony to the harmonious relationship between man and nature. 

Enjoy a boat ride on the canals of the Poitevin marshes © Lemazeau / Vendée Expansion

3. Go birdwatching in the heart of a nature reserve   

La Pointe d’Arçay is a migratory site of international importance; it boasts a sandy bank jutting out to sea that is particularly loved by ornithologists. Take your binoculars out and observe migratory birds in their natural environment while enjoying a breathtaking setting. You may spot blue throat, black kite, little egret, gray heron, shelduck, numerous waders, geese, and wintering ducks. 

Bird-watching at the Pointe d’Arçay © Vendée Expansion

4. Fun adventures at the Parc du Grand Défi  

From tree-walking to orienteering, and its brand new aquapark, just recently opened in 2024, the Parc du Grand Défi promises a day full of adventure for young and old! 

5. Return to medieval times at Château de Tiffauges

In the heart of the bocage, a visit to the Château de Tiffauges is an opportunity to learn more about history while having fun. Set on the borders of the historic provinces of Anjou, Brittany and Poitou, Tiffauges castle makes a mark not only thanks to its impressive fortified remains but its remarkable collection of medieval war machines. Its former inhabitant was a comrade in arms of Joan of Arc and inspired the legend of Bluebeard. The site offers daily animations and entertainment, including night shows in the summer. 

Lead photo credit : Explore Vendée's lush outdoors © Vendée Expansion

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