The Vendee is an obvious choice for sun, sand and the sea, but it isn't known for its tourist attractions nor history - much of the region was reclaimed from the sea a few generations ago. This makes it difficult for visitors to find something to do once they've tired of the beach. Sure, there's La Rochelle, but other than that... surely there must be more to see and do? Angela shows you where.
Angela has been writing about the Vendee for over a decade and she really knows all the hidden gems which no other travel guide seems to publicise. Craft centres, artists' exhibitions, little science parks, activity centres, amazing views from watertowers open to the public. This book is great for everyone from young couples to families and retired folks. It is the must-have book for the region. None of the big-name tourist guides come close.
This guide has recently been revised to include a wider area and attractions not previously listed. The author lives in the area and has first hand knowledge. We have a holiday home which we rent out and always leave a copy of the book for the use of our guests, which we have been told is very useful and fascinating.
I bought this on a whim a few days before leaving. It was indispensable. Places to go, nooks and crannies, restaurants. We went everywhere. its 520mile round trip from Caen to la tranche sur mer. We ended up driving total trip about 1400miles in those two weeks including the trip down. That's because the region is so lovely and the roads in France are a pleasure to drive on it didn't matter. It has addresses for the places so you can just plonk them in your satnav and off you go.
If we didn't have this book it would have been difficult to eat out at the best places. For example, it would have been impossible to find or know about the famous French Japanese Raku potterer Christian Bourcereau. This book gave me the address, when we got there I stopped to ask someone where exactly it was. It was him!
Tourist information does not have the stuff that is in this book!
If you are planning a family holiday in the Vendee this book is a must. This was our second trip to the area & I wish we had bought this book the first time. It's easy to read, covers loads of days out and has lots of invaluable advice. (if we'd read the section on Puy Du Fou we would have known the evening show books up months in advance!)This book guided us to some great little French secrets - quiet beaches, interesting villages and attractions. I suspect we will have many more holidays in this fantastic area, and this little book will go every time. If you find Michelin too high level, and Rough Guides too detailed, then this is the guide book for you.
As an extensive traveller in France, I had never visited the Vendee (too many English, or so I thought). When I finally did (with the assistance of this great little guide), I found mercifully few Brits outside of high season, extremely friendly locals and a beautiful & interesting area to explore. Please note that I have nothing against the British, but go to France to experience French (not British) culture!!! The guide starts you off with a history of the area... Yes, I would normally give this a miss, but this short & lively introduction probably explains much as to the very positive attitude to the English by the locals that I experienced (the locals were cruelly treated by the republican government at the end of the French monarchy & were assisted, it seems, by the English). Anyway... In a nutshell...
1) Easy to use (attractions divided into visited areas). 2) Good descriptions of attractions. Lively & amusing text. 3) Not overloaded... Only the best & main sights/attractions are listed. This could be deemed a negative in comparison to more comprehensive guides, but for a newbie to the area it is perfect. 4) Lots of nice pictures. 5) There are restaurant reviews, although I didn't use them (as I know that when a restaurant is reviewed the prices tend to rise & the quality goes down)! Just look for where most locals are sitting at lunchtime!
There are very few Vendee guides out there, and as far as I can see this one is the best... Recommended.
Update: Nearly a year on & I stand strong by this review (despite one user voting it unhelpful)... I'm suprised (please comment, as I'd be interested to know what element of my review was objectionable)... As stated, not an in-depth guide to the region (somewhere described as "lively" by the author may well be quiet outside the school hol's, for example)... I never meant to infer that this helpful little guide represented a concise representation of the area either (something the author herself has politely pointed out in response to one of the more negative reviews here). Anyway, I'm off to the Jard Sur Mer region of the Vendee this May (along with this excellent little guidebook). I know many areas of France very well (I was actually born in Paris & most of my family live in the Ardeche), but as stated appreciate this guide's guidance in what is (to me at least) an area of relatively new experience. I fully expect it to be as invaluable to me this year as it was my first visit.
Brilliant informative guide book about the Vendee and surrounding areas. Lots of info on days out and places to visit along with the necessary driving and getting around France info. Definately would recommend it :O)
We visited the Vendee region last month and I bought this guide on a bit of a whim as I had no experience of this region. It turned out to be invaluable and we referred to it at least once a day, whilst planning our trips out and checking market days etc. It was even borrowed by neighbouring holidaymakers so they could plan their stay! It gave useful guides to local food and wines and we sampled all we could! Thoroughly recommended.