A Weekend By the Sea in Les Sables d’Olonne



A Weekend By the Sea in Les Sables d’Olonne

Spend the perfect seaside weekend in sunny Sables d’Olonne, in Vendée. Take a deep, salty breath of fresh air, explore the fish market and the narrow streets of the centre and tuck into local seafood for an ideal short break on the French Atlantic coast.

View from of the nature park at Damona Lodges © Damona Lodges

Day 1 

Stay at Damona Lodges, in the heart of nature where silence is almost king or at the Vigie residence where you can fall asleep to the sound of the crashing waves. 

For your first day, head outdoors for a bike ride on the Vélodyssée trail. Crossing forests, marshes, it is an exploration along the wild Atlantic coast with the large expanses of golden sand in the background. 

Stop for lunch in one of the restaurants located on the route or take a picnic basket laden with local delicacies. 

Your afternoon can be dedicated to the local gastronomy. Start the afternoon right with a wine tasting at Domaine St Nicolas or des Granges. For a sweet treat, stop at world-champion chocolatier, Vincent Vallée. Don’t miss a quick visit to Comptoir la Sablaise, the last fish cannery in Les Sables d’Olonne.  

For dinner, head to the port and tuck into a delicious meal made up of the fresh catch of the day in one of the many seafood restaurants. 

A cycle along the coast is the perfect start to your weekend in Les Sables d’Olonne © Nathalie Chevre

Day 2

On your second day and after your first coffee, go for a stroll at the fishing port and soak in the unique atmosphere at the adjoining Poissonnerie. Then head to the Halles Centrales, a beautiful iron and glass building for a fresh oyster-tasting break at the market Continue through the pedestrian streets of the town centre and the Penotte Island district where you can observe intricate shell frescoes on the facades of houses. Carry on toward the embankment and the seaside villas to take in the architecture of the 1900s-1920s when Les Sables was a renowned seaside resort. 

Sit down for lunch in a restaurant on the main beach for a relaxing moment. 

In the afternoon, enjoy a peaceful canoe ride or a cool stand-up paddle board ride in the marshes. 

Make a stop in Port Olona with a view of the marina where the famous Vendée Globe departs from then stroll in the streets near the Chaume district, a maritime neighbourhood boasting narrow streets and traditional fishermen’s cottages.  

Enjoy a gourmet dinner to end your stay on a tasty note, with a dinner at one-Michelin-star restaurant L’Abissiou for instance. 

Port Olona © Nathalie Chevre

What to look out for this year? 

  • The 10th edition of the Vendée Globe – departing on November 10th from Les Sables d’Olonne 

For more information, visit www.destination-lessablesdolonne.co.uk

Lead photo credit : The Sables d'Olonne bay © Antoine Martineau

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