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Southern Vendée - 7 top spots to visit as green holiday experiences

Posted the 13 August 2021
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The Sud Vendée is ideal for a  “green” holiday family experience. From the verdant green surroundings of the Green Venise, dicover the majestic, rich architectural heritage of Maillezais or the Chateau de Terre Neuve, and unlock the secrets of the ancient millers … All will be revealed.

The Sud Vendée offers magnificent panoramic views as well as a variety of landscapes from the Marais poitevin region, the forest at Mervent and the Green Venise… But this region also has numerous leisure sites that can be enjoyed by the entire family during the holidays. Here is an unlimited selection to discover the Sud Vendée in English, with the family or among friends.

1/ Drift off along the canals of the Venise Verte

To discover the Green Venise (Venise verte), there is nothing better than to climb aboard a “plate” (flat bottomed barge) and drift along the shaded canals. During these outings, you can admire some majestic structures such as the Abbey at Maillezais as well as animals that can be found in the marshes – otters, herons or even beavers.

Green Venise jetties in Southern Vendée:

2/ Become an acrobat during a visit to the Parc de Pierre Brune

Situated in the enchanted forest of Mervent, the Parc de Pierre Brune theme park offers over 40 different attractions – le trampo élastiques (trampolines) la plaine des gonflables (inflatable structures), le petit train (the little train), les bulles sur l’eau (balls on the water), le mini golf (mini golf) and not forgetting  La bataille des Lutins ( the Battle of the Lutins). This consists of a water fight in electric boats which are equipped with water pistols.

3/ Escape too far off-lands at Natur’zoo near Mervent

The Zoo I set in the heart of the forest at Mervent, at just 6 minutes from Fontenay le Comte. The zoo is home to some 300 animals, who enjoy a happy, peaceful life in this vast wooded park. The daily lives of the lions, giraffes, bears and lemurs, is an ongoing spectacle which will transport you to far-off lands! 

4/ Unlock the secrets of an ancient trade: milling at the Maison de la Meunerie

Located in Nieul sur l’Autise listed as a "Petite Cité de Caractère", la Maison de la Meunerie (miller’s house) invites you to follow in the footsteps of the miller to discover this working windmill, as well as the rural way of life during the 20th century.

Chateau Terre Neuve castle France Vendee

5/ Become part of history itself at the Château de Terre Neuve

Discover the splendid Renaissance building, which overlooks Fontenay le Comte, a town of art and history. Observe the exceptional ornamental details such as the golden suns of Chambord, the carved stone boxwood ceilings, and the alchemist fireplace.

6/ A historic visit to the Abbeys in the Sud Vendée

Why not make the most of your holiday in the Vendée to visit the Abbeys situated in the Southern part ? The abbey of Nieul sur l’Autise founded in 1068, benefited to the protection of the Dukes of Aquitaine and was granted the status of a royal abbey in 1141 by Eleanor of Aquitaine the Queen of France. As for Abbaye de Maillezais, it is the largest historic site of the Marais Poitevin. Its majestic ruins dating back to the the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods provide a dignified setting in natural surroundings. 

7/ Discover the intriguing history of the Marais poitevin at the Maison du Maître de Digues

When you visit this extraordinary place situated in the Marais poitevin, you’ll discover the history of the marshes and the daily life of the Dyke master. The  “Maitre de Digues” in bygone years, supervised the water management and maintenance of the marshes to avoid flooding.

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