June 2016


(entries in red indicate new additions)

For Vendée vide-greniers, I have made a selection from
this excellent specialised website.




This website is really just a supplement to Angela Bird's guidebook, The Vendée (left), which gives full details
in its 176 pages of hundreds of interesting and off-beat tourist sites throughout the region.
What you see on the website consists of either extra topics not covered in the book (Calendar, Restaurants, Travel routes, Internet links etc), or updated information (new tourist attractions open - or old ones closed)
since the most recent edition of the book appeared.
For the complete picture, order The Vendée through bookshops in the UK and Ireland, or from Amazon ;it is also on sale in good bookshops throughout the Vendée.



The listings on this site are supplied in good faith, gathered by the author from various Vendée sources.

However it is always wise to check details with organisers or tourist offices before making a special journey.




Until 18 Sept 2016

Le Port des Sables-d’Olonne  Exhibition about the history of the Vendée’s largest fishing port, from the days it was created in the late 18th century.

Until 1 May, daily 3-6; 2 May-3 July, daily 10.15-12.30 & 3-6. Tues-Fri 2-6; Sat, Sun 11-1 & 2-6.

Admission 5,00 €.



Musée de la Mer et de la Peche, Chateau St-Clair, La Chaume, nr Les Sables

Tél : 02 51 32 01 16


Until 25 Sept 2016

Le Grand Parc. New season for the hugely enjoyable “historical theme park”. High points include the storming of the “donjon médiéval”, the “Vikings”, and a fabulous falconry show. The “Renaissance at the Castle” show is enacted within the ruins of the Chateau du Puy du Fou. Among other dazzling entertainments are chariot-racing, and faithful recreations of medieval, 18th- and 19th-century villages. Apr, May open stated days only (see brochure), 10am-7pm; plus evening shows of musical fountains “Organs of Fire”

One-day pass: 37€, children 26€ (if booked in advance, 32€ & 22€); 2-day pass 55€, children 39€ (advance 48€ & 33€); 3-day pass 60€, children 44€ (advance 53€ & 38€) . Under-5s free.

Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, nr Les Herbiers
(tel : 02 51 64 11 11).

Until 31 Aug 2016

Mémoire/s  Large exhibition using science and history to explore the multiple facets of memory

Tues-Sun 10-7 (1 July-31 Aug, daily 10-7). Admission 8 euros, students 5 euros, under-18s free.

(Annual pass for Historial 12 euros

Pass Vendée, one year's admission to Historial plus 7 other major historical sites in the Vendée, 21 euros.)


Historial de la Vendée, Les Lucs sur Boulogne.

3 June 2016

Les Folies du Chateau   Evening of medieval-style events and eating around the castle and waterfront.


Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile, Noirmoutier island


4, 5 June 2016

Rendez-vous aux jardins, 2016:  Some lovely gardens will put on a special welcome for this annual open weekend; Some will have concerts, guided tours and cultural entertainment.  This year’s theme is “colour”


Various venues throughout France

4, 5 June 2016

Weekend western  US Western-style entertainment beside the lake, with country dancing sessions, plus demonstrations of cattle-cutting on horseback.

Sat from 2pm; Sun 10-6.



Maché, near Aizenay

5-12 June (approx) 2016

Transat New York/Vendee/Les Sables d’Olonne  The world’s top single-handed skippers are due to arrive in Les Sables after a race across the Atlantic from New York, from where they set off on 29 May.


Port Olona, Les Sables-d’Olonne

12 June 2016

Les Foulées du Gois  Very large sporting event, with running races held on the 4km-long causeway that links Noirmoutier island to the mainland. Events start at 4pm; the final race, where international athletes race the rising tide that will eventually sweep up to their knees, is around 7.50pm.


Beauvoir-sur-Mer, near Noirmoutier island

14 June 2016


Donizetti’s opera in four acts, relayed live to the cinema from La Fenice theatre in Venice.

Sung in Italian, with French subtitles

Contact cinema for start time & ticket prices.


Cinéma Espace, Boulevard Phelippon, Luçon

(tel 02 51 27 94 22)

18, 19 June 2016

Marché d’Artisanat d’Art  Large summer craft fair.


Place de la Liberté, La Tranche-sur-Mer

17 June- 10 Sept 2016

Cinéscénie  Spectacular night-time son-et-lumiere show, re-telling the history of the Vendee.

Usually Fri & Sat nights, from around 10.30pm. 26€, children 18€.
Tickets are usually sold out well before the summer, but if you haven’t been able to get any, it’s worth turning up on the night in case people are selling off spare ones alongside the box office. (The box office does not deal in any returns, so this is the only way customers can sell back their spare tickets)


Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, near Les Herbiers (tel: 02 51 64 11 11).


18, 19 June 2016

Journées du Patrimoine du Pays et des Moulins  Weekend of events featuring rural heritage and craftsmanship.



Throughout France


19 June 2016

Fete d’ou Lumas  Annual snail-fest, with procession at 2.30pm and brocante fair from 8am.


St Flaive-des-Loups, nr La Mothe-Achard.


21 June 2016

Fête de la Musique  The annual day when music-making is everywhere, in streets, concert halls etc. The festival tends to run on for a few days, so expect many musical events during the week.


Throughout France

24, 25 June 2016

Festival Percu-Temps  Festival devoted to percussion music.


Various venues, Challans

25 June 2016

Verdi’s Requiem  Canadian conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay directs the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and a choir of 200 in Verdi’s great oratorio.


Vendéspace, Mouilleron-le-Captif, nr La Roche sur Yon

25, 26 June 2016

Raid Mélusine  Annual sporting event, where teams of three competitors undertake seven different sections: mountain-bike; bike and run; canoe; archery; orienteering; abseiling; and shooting.


Vouvant and Forest of Mervent, near Fontenay-le-Comte

26 June 2016

Puces Islaises  Flea market, with more than 200 dealers setting up shop around the picturesque village church. 7am-6pm


Ile-d’Olonne, near Les Sables d’Olonne

26 June 2016

Feux de la St-Jean  An afternoon of games and bouncy castles, ending with a bonfire to celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist. From 5pm.


Parc de la Mairie, Vix, near Fontenay-le-Comte


Late June - late July

Les Soldes / Sales!  This is the official period for which French shops are authorised to hold sales.  Make the most of it!


Throughout France

30 June-3 July 2016

Trophées Equivendée   Annual equestrian event featuring dressage, cross-country and show-jumping competitions, as well as carriage-driving and gymkhana games.

Admission free.


Menjopolis estate, near Bazoges en Pareds

3 July 2016

Les Coloriades du Pays de Palluau  The picturesque village of Apremont holds a painting competition on a historic theme.



Apremont, near Challans









The Conseil-Général’s website also has a regularly updated calendar of events on its site, under “Agenda”.

For brocante fairs and vide-greniers, check out this specialised website. 
If you wish to see those in another département, simply change the Vendee code (85) at the end of the link to that of your chosen département: i.e. 44 for Loire-Atlantique; 49 for Maine-et-Loire etc.



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