Greenways of France # 1: The Vendée from La Barre de Monts to Saint-Gilles

Sweetness of life and privileged moments by bike are present all along the greenways of France. As part of a series devoted to these signposted routes, we invite you to move slowly and discover unspoiled landscapes. Today, we are celebrating the Vendée and its magnificent coastline of the Côte de Lumière. Discover the Vendée greenway, from La Barre de Monts to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.

En Vendée, south of Noirmoutier island, from the Barre de Monts to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, is a portion of the Velodyssey linking Brittany to the Basque Country. It allows visitors to walk along the ocean in complete peace of mind. Over 36 kilometres, this 2 to 3 hour walk is an invitation to discover the Vendée coast. For its first stage, this route leads walkers through 18 kilometers of trails in the Pays des Monts national forest. This Vendée greenway then continues to the sand dunes. She finally gets to the large beach of Saint-Jean-des-Monts, one of the remarkable stages of this itinerary with ocean scents. The charm of the old fishing village of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez imposes a new break.

Pine forest and Vendée greenway
Forest trails

Then place at the Corniche Vendéenne, the famous rocks of Sion-sur-l'Océan and on arrival at Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Most of this route uses cycle lanes. Only four small portions are on roads. The tracks located in the forest are rarely used. However, it is necessary to remain vigilant, especially at crossings where it is possible to cross other people. The last part of the route around Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, consists only of roads on which traffic can be heavy, especially in summer.

Five pineaux beach in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez
Five pineaux beach in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

Local specialties

After your discovery of the Vendée coast by bike, it's time to eat and discover local products. Seafood, mogette, Vendée ham… Préfou, tourtisseau, brioche and waste… But also local alcohols such as kamok or troupinette await you in the many restaurants and shops spread throughout the territory.

Vendée coastline by bike
Vendée coastline by bike

To discover around the greenway

Landscapes, water sports, gastronomy, fishing, hiking ... It's good to live in Vendée, and passing visitors have only spoiled for choice. This rich territory is indeed particularly well valued. The proximity of the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier offers travelers a range of absolutely unique and unforgettable excursions. With its 250 kilometers of coast and 140 kilometers of beaches, the Vendée provides limitless water sports and leisure potential. The Vendée town of Les Sables d'Olonne is located not far from the greenway. She's from elsewhere the starting point of the famous Vendée Globe. The only sailing race around the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance!

Squares of Vendée
Traditional squares in Vendée

For those who love the ocean but prefer to stay ashore, fishing is an ideal activity. The traditional squares are also elegantly outlined on the horizon. Freshwater fishing lovers will also be filled. The proximity of the many lakes, rivers and the famous Marais Poitevin make this territory a magnificent fishing site. And for fans of the historical heritage of our country, the renowned Puy du Fou park is obviously a must in the Vendée. To discover with family or friends... It was voted the best park in the world in 2014, and "Best Park" and "Funniest Brand" in the Fundex OC&C 2019 ranking.