1 - The GR8: Vendée coastline walk
Coastal walk, follow the red and white signposts along the ocean from the north to the south of the department. The GR8 national long distance footpath provides 221 km of paths for walkers. Enjoy a day's walking or a longer trip.
Take the GR8 and walk along the Vendée coastline and explore the customs path from Bouin in the north to the Bay of Aiguillon in the south. Follow a route with a mosaic of highly different landscapes, from fishing ports to wetlands, from dunes to forests, from a rocky coastline to large fine sandy beaches... The circuit has many surprises in store with extraordinary vistas and fine local encounters.
- Level: not challenging
- Type of route: ramble
- GR8 signage: white and red
From Bouin to Barre de Monts... 28 km in the heart of the Marais Breton Vendéen
Imagine broad meadows stretching as far as the eye can see, intersected by estuaries and canals; a coastline of traditional ports and fisheries where oyster farming reigns. Nature-lovers will enjoy spotting the many types of birds that make this location famous for bird-watching. Move on to the picturesque port du Bec with its coloured boats before resting your backpack at Barre de Monts.
From Saint Jean de Monts to Saint Gilles Croix de Vie 23 km to explore the Vendée cliffs
Follow a pine-scented path redolent with the scent of the sea, you will cross the pine and holly oak forest before getting to the village of Sion. Then, to get to St Gilles Croix de Vie take the "Corniche vendéenne", three kilometres of granite rocky coastline between the ocean and Belle époque villas. The corniche is listed as an outstanding natural site. The rugged cliffs feature many natural treasures you can explore along your route.
St Gilles Croix de Vie is worth tarrying over at night. Walk along the dockside to the jetty and enjoy the fishing village atmosphere...
From Brem sur Mer to Les Sables d'Olonne 31 km on the Côte de Lumière
The path varies between wetlands, dunes, forest and rocky coastline along this route. Follow the bends of the saltwater marshes and stop off at the bird observatory. Take a guide and don't forget your binoculars to admire grey heron, the black-winged stilt, and the elegant avocet. The view is breathtaking. Before arriving in Les Sables d'Olonne, cross La Chaume, a quaint little fishing village with coloured houses and narrow streets. Going back along the seafront, stroll in the famous quartier de l'Ile Penotte with its houses decorated with seashells.