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If you want even more ideas, try this book!

Cover Vendee 2011small.jpg


Cover picture:
View from Les Sables d’Olonne, across the harbour to La Chaume.

Cover design: Adrian Hulf
Published 2011 by Malnoue Publications
© Angela Bird

Email address:
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AT to normal @ sign
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Click here to order the book from Amazon



And here’s a review of the previous edition from the Amazon site, posted by a satisfied reader!

5 out of 5 starsExcellent Book - Don't leave home without it, 
Reviewer: Peter G Smith from Middlesex

“For a first time visit to this part of France with children this book was a lifesaver. Whatever the weather there was always something to do or somewhere to go listed in the book. Any town or village we went through seemed to be listed along with useful and interesting details (and great restaurants). It was required reading every evening to plan for the next day’s activities. Shame it wasn't available (I didn't see it) in the region, as my copy seemed to get borrowed by most Brits on the campsite.”


Author’s note: Actually it is available in the Vendée, too;
see below for a selection of possible stockists.


This comprehensive holiday guide has 176 pages, 100+ photographs
(including 16 pages of colour), a selection of accommodation
and restaurant recommendations and a "Top 30" of Vendée sites to visit.


In the UK the book can be ordered through any bookshop - the shop should
receive copies from its wholesaler within one or two days.
It may also be ordered through
Amazon UK .
You may find it on the shelves of some shops - usually larger bookshops with good travel sections, such as Waterstone's – though some
branches of WH Smith may also stock it.
In London it is usually to be found at Hatchard's (Piccadilly), and in the specialist travel bookshops Stanford's (Long Acre) and Daunt's (Marylebone).

In France, the book should be in many Vendée supermarkets, good bookshops and in many "Maisons de la Presse" shops and newsagents.



Provides you with more to do
than you can possibly fit into a single holiday...

Camping and Caravanning Club

A real cracker!
Planned our whole holiday by it!
It's been our Bible!
We never go out without it.
Absolutely spot on!

Comments from delighted readers

If you'd like to try your hand at reviewing it (favourably, I hope!), Amazon welcomes readers' opinions. You can add your comments to a section on the relevant page , and even give the guide a star rating...


WHERE CAN YOU CANOE AT DAWN through the salt-marshes, squeeze down France's narrowest street or engage in a spot of medieval siege warfare? If you want to amuse the family - grandparents or toddlers - you'll find this book full of ideas! In it I have listed golf-courses and megaliths; introduced museums of every kind; and highlighted junk shops and village fêtes based on everything from sardines to cowpats.

When you've sipped the Muscadet, dug the sandcastles and eaten the langoustines, you could take a trip to a working windmill, a ruined castle or a Romanesque abbey - oh, and whatever you do, don't miss the breathtaking "cinéscénie" of Le Puy-du-Fou!

You'll find where to pedal along a railway line, drive across the sea bed or dance to an accordion under the stars. Discover magnificent museums and glorious gardens, and hear about the region's connections with Bluebeard and Rabelais, Dougal and Zebedee, Monsieur Hulot and Richard the Lionheart - served up with a digestible dose of the Vendée's exceedingly bloody history.

A freelance journalist and Vendée second-homeowner of 40 years' standing, I've spent more than four decades digging out offbeat entertainment for family and friends. As well as having worked as a sub-editor for magazines, ranging from The Field to the Orient-Express, I have written on French-related topics for Blue Riband, France, and Brittany Ferries' Voyage magazines, and have produced extensive UK-wide coming-events guides for Country Living (of which I was for eight years Contributing Events Editor) and for The Illustrated London News.
In France, I was for four years Vendée correspondent of the glossy French bi-monthly magazine
Côté Ouest.


The Vendée
and surrounding area, with the Pays de Retz
Angela Bird



Planning your trip: When to go, How to get there, Where to stay.

Useful information: Accessibility, Beaches, Bird-watching, Boating, Casinos, Church-going, Cycling, Diving, Electricity, Entertainment, Environment, Fishing, Golf, Hotels B&Bs and restaurants, Internet, Maps, Markets, Measurements, Medical treatment, Money, Motoring, Naturism, Newspapers, Pets, Post offices, Public holidays, Public transport, Riding, Safety, Shopping, Star-gazing, Telephoning, Tennis, Tipping, Walking, Weather, Wildlife.

Vendée Food and Wine

A Little French History

A Vendée Top 30


Area 1. St-Jean-de-Monts, Challans, St-Gilles and the Islands
La Barre-de-Monts, Beauvoir-sur-Mer, Bois-de-Céné, Bouin, Challans, Commequiers, Fromentine, La Garnache, Ile de Noirmoutier, Notre-Dame-de-Monts, St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, St-Hilaire-de-Riez, St-Jean-de-Monts, Sallertaine, Ile d'Yeu.

Area 2. Les Sables-d'Olonne, La Roche-sur-Yon and the Bas-Bocage
Aizenay, Apremont, Avrillé, Beaulieu-sous-La-Roche, Brem-sur-Mer, Brétignolles-sur-Mer, La Chaize-le-Vicomte, Chaillé-sous-les-Ormeaux, Coëx, Jard-sur-Mer, La Mothe-Achard, Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits, Nesmy, Olonne-sur-Mer, Le Poiré-sur-Vie, La Roche-sur-Yon, Les Sables-d'Olonne, St-Étienne-du-Bois, St-Révérend, Talmont-St-Hilaire.

Area 3. La Tranche-sur-Mer, Luçon and the Marais Poitevin
L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer, Angles, Chaillé-les-Marais, Esnandes, La Faute-sur-Mer, Longeville-sur-Mer, Luçon, Maillezais, Marans, Mareuil-sur-Lay, La Rochelle, St-Cyr-en-Talmondais, Ste-Hermine, St-Michel-en-l'Herm, La Tranche-sur-Mer, La Venise Verte (including Vouillé, Vix, Damvix, Coulon, Maillé and Arçais.

Area 4. Fontenay-le-Comte, Pouzauges and the Haut-Bocage
Bazoges-en-Pareds, Chantonnay, La Châtaigneraie, Faymoreau-les-Mines, Fontenay-le-Comte, Mervent, Mouilleron-en-Pareds, Nieul-sur-l'Autise, Niort, Pouzauges, St-Michel-Mont-Mercure, St-Prouant, Vouvant.

Area 5. Les Herbiers, Clisson and Vendée Wars Country
Les Brouzils, Chavagnes-en-Paillers, Cholet, Clisson, Les Épesses, Les Essarts, La Gaubretière, Les Herbiers, Legé, Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Mallièvre, Mauléon, Montaigu, Mortagne-sur-Sèvre, Mouchamps, Rocheservière, St-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, Tiffauges.

Area 6. The Pays de Retz, Nantes and the Loire estuary
La Baule, Bourgneuf-en-Retz, Frossay, Guérande, Machecoul, Les Moutiers-en-Retz, Nantes, Paimboeuf, Le Pellerin, B, St-Brevin, St-Nazaire, St-Père-en-Retz, St-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu, Le Lac de Grand-Lieu.

176 pages (of which 16 in colour), with more than 100 photographs; numerous maps and town plans.
UK distributor: Portfolio Books, London

Original book published as "The English Family Guide to the Vendée" in 1994
Revised and updated edition published as "The Vendée: an English Family Guide" in 2000

both by Éditions Hécate, Luçon

Revised and updated edition published as “The Vendée and surrounding area” in 2004

by Malnoue Publications, London


This edition published 2011
Price £9.99
ISBN 0-9545803-2-2


The book is available :

in the UK, priced at £9.99, and in the Irish Republic:
Bookshops -
LONDON, Stanford's, Borders, Daunt's, Dillons, Hatchard's, Waterstone's etc;
PORTSMOUTH ferry terminal, in the shop called Clarendell Motoring, at the bottom end of the marshalling yard (just after the check-in kiosks);

ELSEWHERE: may be ordered through any UK and Ireland bookshop; and is often on the shelves at branches of Waterstone's, and some branches of WH Smith’s.

(UK distributor: Portfolio Books, Westminster House, Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2ND    Tel: 020 8334 1730 / Fax: 020 8334 1609).
Also obtainable direct from the Camping and Caravanning Club, and may be consulted in libraries in many parts of the UK.

in the Vendée, priced at 15 euros:

Places that might stock the book are:

Leclerc hypermarkets in Challans, Fontenay-le-Comte, Olonne-sur-Mer, La Roche-sur-Yon (branches on La Tranche road, and at Les Oudairies), St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.
Hyper U or Super U supermarkets in L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer, Chantonnay, La Chaume, La Chataigneraie, Jard-sur-Mer, Luçon, Noirmoutier (L’Epine), Pornic, Pouzauges, St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, St-Hilaire-de-Riez, St-Jean-de-Monts, La Tranche-sur-Mer.
Intermarché supermarkets in Beauvoir-sur-Mer and Château-d'Olonne.
Maisons de la Presse in L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer, Aizenay, Beauvoir-sur-Mer, Challans, Chantonnay, La Chataigneraie, Fontenay-le-Comte, Fromentine, Luçon, Mareuil-sur-Lay, Pouzauges, La Roche-sur-Yon, St-Fulgent, Les Herbiers, Ste-Hermine, St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, St-Jean-de-Monts, Talmont-St-Hilaire, La Tranche-sur-Mer.

Other bookshops/newsagents (it would be great if you could support these - often small - outlets below…):

L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer Tabac/Presse (15 Rue du Gen. Leclerc);
Angles Superette Vival;
Brem-sur-Mer Tabac/Journaux/Presse ;
Chantonnay L'Écritoire (7 Ave G Clemenceau); Tabac/Presse/Loto

La Chaume (Les Sables) Tabac/Presse/Loto (32 Quai George V);
Le Château d’Olonne Mag/Presse/Librairie
Chavagnes-en-Paillers  Monsieur Léon Lucas (bookshop)
Les Essarts Presse/Papeterie (27 Ave du Gen. De Gaulle);
La Faute-sur-Mer Tabac/Presse (3 Ave de la Plage);
Jard-sur-Mer Presse (47 Rue de l'Ocean); Tabac/Loto/Presse (95 Rue de l'Ocean);
Luçon Arcadie (2 Place du Petit Booth);
Montaigu Maison Media (6 Pl du Champ de Foire);
Mortagne-sur-Sèvre Tabac/Presse (10 Route de Cholet);
Alize Photographie (3 Rue du General Passaga, Noirmoutier town);
L'Herbaudière (Noirmoutier) Presse du Port ;
Port-Bourgenay Librairie du Port ;
La Roche-sur-Yon Médiastore (Les Flaneries shopping centre, Route de Nantes);
Les Sables-d'Olonne Presse Aymeric de Gallon (33 Boulevard Arago); JP Berghe (19 Ave du Gen. De Gaulle); Tabac/Presse Le Balto (1 Ave d'Anjou); Tabac/Presse Le Guiné (9 Quai Guiné); Tabac du Casino (31 Prom. Lafargue); Librarie Centrale (20 Rue de l'Hotel de Ville); Au Brin d'Égaille Tabac/Presse (44 Prom Clemenceau);
St-Christophe-du-Ligneron Tabac/Presse (Place de l'Église);
St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie Atlantic (13 Rue du Gen. De Gaulle), Tabac/Presse/Loto;
 Librairie La Cougoulette
Librairie/Papeterie (26 Place St-Gabriel);
St-Michel-en-l'Herm Presse Michelaise (8 Place de l'Abbaye);
St-Vincent-sur-Jard L'Étape du Tigre Bar/Tabac;
La Tranche-sur-Mer Tabac Le Flash (Grière Plage), Maison du Livre et de la Presse
Vouvant  Tabac/Presse

In France, the book is distributed by specialist map and travel-guide company
Cartothèque-EGG, ZAC de La Liodière, Route de Monts, BP 30445, 37304 JOUÉ-LES-TOURS  CEDEX, France (tel: 02 47 62 28 28; fax: 02 47 62 28 30).
Note that you cannot order it from the Cartothèque site; it’s just a catalogue of books distributed by the company.

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