Fairs and festivals in the Vendée
The Vendée has a wealth of festivals, shows, folklore and theatre, day and night to add to your holiday. From traditional to alternative, there are over 500 different events to choose from.
June to September: The Cinéscénie at Puy du Fou is the world's biggest night-time show! The 1hr 40min legendary show has already delighted over 10 million visitors. The show includes 1,200 actors and dancers, a 23-hectare set and over 24,000 costumes. A travelling merchant, homage to the Vendéen people, the story of Jacques Maupillier the history of his ancestors, from the Middle Ages to WWII.
July: In Saint Malo du Bois, the Festival de Poupet is one of the most well-known music festivals in western France. Its location close to the Sèvre nantaise river, with the greenery of the Poupet valley as a backdrop, makes this a unique event which attracts a 3,000 strong crowd. Each year, an electrifying programme awaits during the month of July.
The "Saint Jazz sur Vie" International Festival in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie in Saint Hilaire de Riez kicks off the music season each weekend of Pentecost. If it's jazz you love, don't miss the "Vague de Jazz" festival on the south coast of the Vendée in August.
The "Festival Les Nuits" music festival in Vendée Romane is organised by the "Petites Cités de Caractère" (Villages of Character) association in the Vendée. Every evening, artists perform six concerts in six different locations including jazz, baroque, classical, and opera music.
There is a wide choice of musical entertainment on offer: the Baroque Music Festival at the Logis de la Chabotterie, the Café de l'été in la Roche sur Yon, the Mer & Vie music festival in the canton of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, Face & Si in Mouilleron le Captif, Eperluette in Chantonnay, and the Déferlante all along the coast...
Visiting a region includes discovering its places of interest, history, traditions and regional produce. From medieval festivals to reviving skills from bygone days, these events are a real reminder of the authentic heritage which has shaped the identity of the Vendée.
2 Thursdays in July and 2 Thursdays in August, The "Association Autrefois Challans" presents "Foire à l'ancienne" (ancient fair). The town of Challans goes back in time and relives the local habits and customs from the 1910s.
Each year on 14 August, the "Fête de la Mogette" in Poiré sur Vie attracts thousands of people for the threshing of the mogette white beans (800 kg cooked with a wood fire).
Other events, such as: the festival of Milling in Nieul sur l'Autise, the Ancient Fair in Hermenault, Threshing and Ancient skills Festival in Saint André Treize Voies...give real insight into the way of life of our ancestors.
At the end of the year, the Vendée offers sparkle and shine with a great array of markets and festivals around Christmas.