Chateau de Terre Neuve in Fontenay le Comte (20 minutes drive):
It was built in 1580 it is renowned for its monumental fireplace, stonecarved ceilings, wood-panelling, gilded suns from Louis XIV’s bedchamber, original paintings, furniture, collections and superb items of clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries. Open daily from May-October.
Chateau de la Greve in Saint Martin des Noyers (25 minutes):
Dating back to the 12th century, the Château de la Grève was fortified by the Chabot family and rose to importance during the 16th century and particularly during the Wars of Religion.
Today, with the help of volunteers, new life has been breathed into the once neglected château, which, as well as being open to visitors, now also stages annual events (medieval days, Christmas markets etc.) and arranges children’s activities including birthday parties and medieval workshops (treasure hunts, calligraphye etc).
Chateau de Sigournais in Sigournais (25 minutes):
Features include a magnificent keep with herringbone roof timbers, enclosed ramparts with machicolations and typical arrow-slits in the restored towers.
The rooms of the keep contain furnished reconstructions of a stately home of the period and a collection of over 600 coats of arms (from the Vendée, France and Europe).
‘Dungeons and Gardens’ of Bazoges en Pareds in Bazoges en Pareds (30 minutes):
Step back in time to the Middle Ages and find out what life was like in a 14th century keep. Climb the spiral staircase through six furnished floors till you reach the 30 m high ramparts. Enjoy a pleasant stroll in the herb garden between rows of vegetables and flowers, then take a rest under the pergola near the fountain.
In July and August there are painting exhibitions and family activities on Thursdays.
Chateau des Essarts in Les Essarts (30 minutes):
Owned by some of the country’s noblest families, many important characters from history have visited, including Charles VII, Henri IV and Napoléon. The site was a theatre of battle during the Wars of Religion and the War of the Vendée. As well as the castle itself, visitors can enjoy exploring the 25 hectares of parkland outside its walls.
Logis de la Chabotterie in Saint Sulpice le Verdon (45 minutes):
Scene of the arrest of General Charette in 1796, it is also an important historic site which marks the end of the War in the Vendée. There are 10 rooms open to visitors, an enclosed formal garden and a walk-through display about the War of the Vendée.
There is also the Michelin 2 star restaurant as listed in our dining section.
Chateau de Gilles de Rais in Tiffauges (55 minutes)
Watch films recounting the history of the castle over the centuries, spectacles illustrating the art of warfare in the Middle Ages, and a medieval training camp. In July and August there are weekly night-time spectaculars and tours in period costume for 5-8 year olds. Every Decenber there is a Christmas market.