Within three quarters of an hours drive through the country is one of the most beautiful and pristine stretches of beaches in the Vendée. Just North of the lovely seaside town of La Tranche sur Mer is a string of three beaches, La Terriere, Bud Bud and Les Conches which back onto beautiful dunes and pine forests. Easy access to the area from parking at Les Conches and La Terriere or drive along the road behind the dunes and discover one of the many trails through the forest and dunes to the beach.
Fourty-five minutes from Manoir du Moulin is a theme park like no other. Live shows are the real attraction at Puy du Fou, from the Roman Coliseum where gladiators fight it out, to Viking battles, knights and musketeers. There are period villages to explore and the world’s biggest night-time show is not to be missed! 1,200 actors and a deluge of special effects will whisk you away on a journey through the centuries for an experience you’ll never forget.
Vendée wines have improved immensely in recent years and, although still not a renowned wine making area, there are some excellent wines made here. Just ten minutes down the road in Mareuil sur Lay are two amazing wineries producing award winning bio wines, Domaine J. Mourat and Château de Rosnay. A bit further afield, you can find Domaine Saint-Nicolas near Les Sables D’Olonne (to name but a few in the area).
The metropolis of Nantes, on the banks of the Loire, is about fourty minutes North of Manoir du Moulin and has an International airport for those arriving by plane. The town itself features the must see Chateau des ducs de Bretagne and the area is steeped in history but Nantes is also a city of art, culture and fine dining.
Fourty minutes Southwest of Manoir du Moulin is the beautiful harbour town of La Rochelle. Famous for its ancient harbour and medieval towers, La Rochelle also boasts a vibrant café and restaurant scene as well as clubs and shopping amongst the fine architecture. La Rochelle also boasts an international airport with direct flights to the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
Twenty minutes from Manoir du Moulin, the Renaissance town of Fontenay le Comte is one of the prettiest towns in the Vendée region set on the banks of the Vendée river and offers many options for visitors. From shopping and restaurants to the amazing Saturday morning market in the heart of town, to the many historical sights such as the Chateau de Terre Neuve, it’s got something for just about everyone. It’s also on the way to the Mervent Forest and Marais Poitevin from Manoir du Moulin.
Fourty minutes from Manoir du Moulin is the historic Logis de la Chabotterie, in the area where General Charette was captured ending the war of the Vendée. There is now a museum and 2 star Michelin restaurant as well as beautiful gardens to explore. Well worth an afternoon and evening.
Just fifteen minutes from Manoir du Moulin is Luçon which features as a centerpiece its towering cathedral. Luçon also has the beautiful Dumaine gardens, Millandy Theatre and the widest selection of shops and restaurants in the area.
Fourty-five minutes from Manoir du Moulin and just across the bridge from La Rochelle is the beautiful Ile de Ré. On the ile you will find a number of small, quaint villages, along with fine sandy beaches, ports, forests and salt plains. The best way to explore Ile de Ré is by renting bikes from one of the numerous rental shops and cruising around the island.
An hour and three quarters drive from Manoir du Moulin is the Isle de Noirmoutier, famous for it’s salt plains as well as it’s oysters and mussels. You can also explore the chateau which has been turned into a museum. Just like Ile de Ré, the best way to explore the area is by renting bikes from one of the numerous rental shops and cruising around the island.
Les Sables D’Olonne is bustling coastal town an hour from Manoir du Moulin that features seaside cafés and restaurants stretching along three kilometers of beach. The area has three harbours, one of which is the starting point for the famous Vendée Globe yacht race.