3 - Unusual sites and places

La plus longue route submersible d'Europe, des écoles transformées en chambres d'hôtes, gîtes ou restaurants... Surprenez vos proches et vous aussi par la même occasion avec ces lieux hors du commun.

The incredible and mythical Passage du Gois

Le passage du Gois

The appeal of the island of Noirmoutier is linked to its unusual access: in addition to the bridge, you can reach it via "Le Gois", a road 4 km long, twice a day at low tide. A curiosity that was the only one of its kind, the Passage du Gois long served as the umbilical cord connecting the island to the mainland until a bridge was built in 1971. In Le Gois try your hand at shellfish picking.


The train restaurant "Voiture Orient Express" in the Bocage Vendéen

Le chemin de fer de la Vendée - Mortagne sur SèvreWho has not at one time dreamed of being one of the lucky people to travel on the Orient Express whose name epitomizes luxury, travel, romanticism and adventure? Travel, lunch or have dinner on board an authentic restaurant-car from the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, who travelled across Europe with the most prestigious of all trains, the Orient Express.

Visit, eat or stay in a school in the Vendée

Chambres d'hôtes Ancienne Ecole - Boufféré The former school in Boufféré, with its red stone and brick walls, takes you back to school days of the past. Fittings have been added to make accommodating guests possible, and the classrooms have been made into bedrooms. However, the school feel is still firmly in place. You will find old-fashioned leather shoes, shirts and school satchel, desks, blackboard and chalk.

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Chambres d'hôtes la Maison d'Olivier - Mesnard la BarotièreThe Maison d'Olivier, is located at the heart of the Bocage Vendéen 15 km from Puy du Fou® and from the Sèvre valley. Olivier and Isabelle welcome guests to their former 19th century schoolhouse. This fine, charming residence was built in 1884 in the centre of Mesnard la Barotière. Today it has four cosy and spacious guest rooms with evocative names: "the history class", "the science lab", the "music room", the "writing workshop" and the "proctor's lodge".

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Ecoles Buissonnières - Sainte HermineAt the "Les Ecoles Buissonnières" in Sainte Hermine, the approach is slightly different: keep the school architecture and furniture and add a certain amount of modern elegance and refinement. Certainly, the school feel has gone, but the transformation is very well done and the setting is just right for a good night's sleep during which you may just find yourself dreaming about some of your own school days.

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restaurant la récréIn Damvix, the girl's school, abandoned in 1969, was then used as a dressmaker's workshop and later a pottery before becoming the venue for the La Récré restaurant in 1989. A few years ago, La Récré was refurbished and enlarged but the school-feel of the place was preserved. This riverside creperie invites you to take a seat surrounded by posters and furniture which pays homage to school life and childhood. Pencil cases, certificates and school books make a return appearance.

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Espace Gaston Chaissac - Sainte FlorenceA school has been converted into a tourist attraction "Espace Gaston Chaissac". Visit the former state school the outside of which was restored to its former glory when contemporary artist Gaston Chaissac lived there. The latrines, where Chaissac painted, appear on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List.

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