The Vendée’s events and festivals, renowned internationally
The Vendee is the “land of great events”, hosting many international sporting events every year. For instance, it is home to the incredible Vendée Globe yacht race, which leaves from Les Sables d’Olonne. You can also assist the world’s biggest night-time show - the unique Cinéscénie at the Puy du Fou® or encourage the runners on the Foulées du Gois race against the tide. Alternatively, on a more musical note enjoy William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants … you need to experience at least one!
The international nautical event “Vendée Globe”
Considered "the Everest of the seas" the Vendée Globe is a single handed nonstop round the world race without assistance. From Les Sables d'Olonne, the skippers are engaged in a three-month race aboard their monohull OPEN 60 IMOCA class. Surrendering themselves to the elements, they must cross three major capes: Good Hope (South Africa), Leeuwin (Australia) and Horn (Chile). All this before returning up the Atlantic and completing their world tour at its starting point. By the end of their journey, they will have travelled just over 21,000 nautical miles on the world's oceans.
The Cinéscénie, the world's biggest night-time show
June to September: The Cinéscénie at Puy du Fou is the show not to be missed! This 1hr 30min legendary show has already delighted over 10 million spectators. The show includes 2550 actors and dancers, a stage covering some 23-hectares and over 28,000 costumes. The Cinéscénie tells the story of Jacques Maupillier and the history of his ancestors from the Middle ages to World War II. A homage to the Vendean people.
French music festivals, famous beyond frontiers
Festival « Dans les jardins de William Christie »
William Christie is a Franco-American conductor, harpsichordist, and founder of Les Arts Florissants. This musical ensemble festival is devoted to Baroque music. He then created the festival "Dans les jardins de William Christie" which takes place every year at the end of August, in the picturesque village of Thiré. The objective of this festival was to create a unique and original experience linking music and gardens, it is now also an event of international acclaim.
A Festival called the “Musical Nights in the Romanesque Vendée”
The Festival "Les Nuits Musicales en Vendée Romane" is organised by the Association of "Petites Cités de Caractère" (Villages of Character) in summer. Every evening, artists perform six concerts, in six remarkable settings whose heritage is particularly highlighted on this occasion. The music includes jazz, baroque, classical, and opera.
Poupet: a celebrated music festivals in western France
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 has the lush verdant Poupet valley as a backdrop. That makes it a unique event which attracts 3,000 spectators. Each year, an electrifying programme awaits you during the month of July.
The french movie festival of la Roche sur Yon
The International Film Festival of La Roche-sur-Yon takes place every year, in mid-October and lasts 7 days. This movie festival offers a multiple programme accessible to everyone. The films presented are French premieres and pre-view screenings. These permit unique encounters with emblematic figures, that reflect the vitality of contemporary cinema. The event creates real bridges between various artistic practices, and an exhibition as well as concerts enables us to really soak up the atmosphere.
Les Foulées du Gois: a race against the sea
Every year in June, the international road running race Les Foulées du Gois takes place on the Passage du Gois. Thirty professional runners race against the incoming tide. This event attracts thousands of spectators, who admire this exceptional race in an outstanding maritime setting. A face-to-face challenge between man and nature.
4 days in Chantonnay : the one and only French IML event
In May every year: a large walking event for all types of hikers
There is a change of scenery every day for 4 days, thanks to the 20 circuits devised by the 350 volunteers of the association R4JCV. There were no less than 5,200 walkers enrolled for this annual gathering which has a very sociable atmosphere, with many festive activities organised to coordinate with the event. Chantonnay and its surroundings countryside provides a range of environments to walk in, from natural to architectural heritage. Different routes and the choice between several distances in a line (not in a loop) of 8, 12, 21, 28 and 42 km are offered. It is possible to walk 1, 2, 3 or 4 consecutive days.