Slow travel experiences – so put the brake on!
Looking for something a little different, a new experience perhaps? Choose one of the many slow travel experiences to explore the Vendée in a different way. Slow travel helps you to put the brake on and focus on understanding local culture and natural environment.
Horse drawn caravans in the southern Vendée
A Slow travel experience in a Roulotte or horse drawn caravan is a perfect way to really take things easy. In the south Vendée region, Les Roulottes du Sud Vendée offer the chance to travel at a walking pace. A horse-drawn caravan holiday is an original way to explore the countryside. An experience that young and old will appreciate, one little tip though - it pays to be good friends with the horse!
A Tuk-tuk electric slow travel experience in l’Ile d'Yeu
Since 2019, Véronique and Emmanuel have been offering electric tuk-tuk outings on the Ile d'Yeu. Frequently used in Indonesia, these Tuk-tuks do not go un-noticed on the island. Ecologically friendly and unusual, the tuk-tuk provides an original excursion for tourists.
Setting out, onboard your Tuk-tuk, the first stop is the Pointe du But and the Pointe du Châtelet, followed by a visit to the Port de la Meule. Then continuing towards the village of Saint Sauveur or alternatively a stunning sunset at the Pointe du But. In addition, as a little bonus you will get to taste some local produce… Organised and planned especially for small groups, in so assuring an unforgettable travel experience. A very different visit to Ile d’Yeu.
Vélo-rail, a unique hand car outing! Slow Travel from the past
Why not try a drive in the countryside with the family or friends with a vélo-rail? It is an unusual slow travel form of transport though! Leaving from the station at Commequiers you will travel along a 10km piece of track pumping your hand car. On the journey, you will cross the river "La Vie" and pass through the station at Saint Maixent sur Vie…
During the season route: 7 km (return trip or 14 km in total), same duration as a 2h walk.
Out of season route: 10 km (round trip or 20 km in total), same duration as a 2h30 walk.
Boating in the Marais poitevin, in the heart of the Green Venice
The beautiful scenery of Marais poitevin can be explored in two ways. Firstly, by hiring one of the “Plate” (the name given to a traditional flat-bottomed boat). A relaxing way to appreciate the verdant green landscape. Here you are free to explore the canals of the Green Venice. Where the trees form natural tunnels and the ducks or other wildlife accompany you.
The second option is with a local guide who will explain its history and various marsh traditions: such as the “pigouille” (a long pole used to guide the boat) as well as eel fishing techniques. As you glide along you can admire many relics from the past - among them the sumptuous Abbey of Maillezais.
Try an electric scooter an excellent slow travel experience
Electric scooters are an original way to explore the great outdoors and can be used everywhere. Each rental company offers tours to discover the unique identity of each destination. As a couple, with family, friends or colleagues, the scooter becomes the start of a new unforgettable experience.
Stand up Paddle in the Marais poitevin
To discover the Vendee in a « slow travel experience » why not set out an explore France’s second largest wetland area, the Marais poitevin. Also known as the Green Venice, the wet marsh region is ideal for decompressing and chilling out during a stand-up paddle session. Alternatively, on board of a traditional boat « a plate ». Setting out from La Tranche sur Mer, you can travel through an unspoilt marsh environment and fully appreciate your surroundings.
Horse-drawn carriage rides in the vineyard of Eric Sage
The Eric Sage wine estate, In Brem sur Mer, is in the process of converting to natural agriculture. The estate’s team offers horse-drawn carriage rides to discover the vineyard in a very different way. A real slow tourism experience, where all you can hear is the “clip clop” of the horse’s hooves. A peaceful and relaxing visit with the chance to sample some of the estate’s wines. The visit is possible in English and Dutch.
Marais Breton Vendeen… on the trail of “white gold”
Welcome to an authentic spot along the meandering canals in the heart of the marshes. When you follow, the "Route du sel" it is just like a journey back in time. A preserved natural environment where the fauna and flora will surprise you.
The traditional “Bourrines” (thatched cottages) from yesteryear are still quite visible and the presents of “white gold” shows its importance in the region. An ideal way to discover unusual views of these marshes is by canoe. Setting out as a family group or with friends, it is a novel slow travel experience.
The Chaos de Piquet, a genuine destination for your slow holidays
The Chaos de Piquet can be found in the river Yon valley and consisted of an old spinning mill dating back to 1861. This part of the valley is known for its granite gorges. The river is full of huge granite blocks which are known as “Gargantua’s pots”, referring to the famous giant created by Rabelais.
Today, the entire area has become overgrown by its natural environment. The peaceful and picturesque site is at the heart of a wild but protected nature. A walk along the river allows you to experience a real slow tourism moment.
The " Peuplier Blanc " hiking trail (4km for 1 hour and 15 minutes – indicated by red markers) will guide you towards the old spinning mill. The path continues up the river heading towards the Borget and Ripaud mills.
The Yon Valley is classified as a natural area. A fascinating place where you might even encounter a deer, a badger, or a kingfisher!
The Chapelle aux Lys planetarium, we are so insignificant compared to the universe
La Chapelle aux Lys, classified as a “Village étoile”, is a marvellous place to slowly observe the stars, thanks to its low light pollution. A unique site in the Vendee.
The Astrolys association, organises each year an astronomy festival. The local council decided to create an original and educational hiking trail, called the Chemin aux étoiles (A path to the stars).
During your slow holidays, choose one or both of the two circuits. Take the time machine and discover the history of the universe. The 1st circuit is 4.6 kilometres and travels back 3 million years per metre. This course represents the Big Bang, the birth of galaxies and stars, continuing up to the disappearance of the dinosaurs. The second circuit of 1.7 kilometres explains the solar system from the birth of the sun to the Creation of planets.
Exhilarating beach gallops, a slow lifestyle but a fleeting sensation
Galloping along a beach just like a scene from a film is something you can experience in Saint Jean de Monts! In other areas, trekking options promise varying landscapes such as forests and beaches. These are accessible to all levels, novices, and experienced riders alike. The treks last 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, for the more experienced riders - equestrian centres offer treks to explore the marshes on horseback. These are generally for 2 half days and include an overnight stop.
Sèvre river mountain bike experience – totally Vendean!
In the heart of the Vendean Bocage, the Sèvre river has enabled numerous craft and industrial activities to develop. Due mainly to its strong current and water mills. It is possible to visit some of these mills and even spend the night.
Today, the river is an ideal playground for mountain biking thanks to its irregular nature. What an adventurous way to discover the Vendee’s bocage region by following the natural curves of the river. Alternatively, the valley can be explored on foot or horseback. Does slow tourism not mean enjoying an experience as far from modern life and motorised vehicles as possible? Mountain biking provides all that and becomes a time to disconnect and really get back into the heart of nature.
Tree houses, gypsy style caravans, or bubble rooms... The Vendee is full of quirky places. Your mission is just to choose the suitable accommodation for your slow holidays.