The Vendée is famous for its green countryside, golden beaches and sunshine. The Southern Vendée has as many hours of sunshine as the south coast of France, and is home to the historic former capital of the Vendée, Fontenay-le-Comte.
Fontenay le Comte
Just 10 minues drive away – rich with history and architecture. At the heart of the old town with its steep cobbled streets is the medieval fountain which is the emblem of the town. Fontenay has many shops and several parks. The market is held every Saturday and Wednesday morning. Attractions include the Chateau de Terre Neuve, the Museum of the Vendée, Le Donjon des Cimes (a system of trampoline like nets suspended in the trees of Parc Baron, overlooking the old part of Fontenay) and the Eglise de Notre Dame.
The Pearl of France’s Atlantic Coast, La Rochelle is a beautiful city with a completely unspoilt old port, lined with cafes and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by. It is also a vibrant city with excellent shops and there are even a couple of sandy beaches. Well worth a visit are the Aquarium and the Maritime Museum. 1 hour from Bourseguin.
This is the name given to the low lying area of the Marais Poitevin, between Fontenay-le-Comte Niort and La Rochelle. A network of canals and lush pasture land with pretty waterside cottages, there are many attractive villages from where you can take boat trips or hire your own boat for a lazy afternoon on the water.
The Abbeys of Maillezais and Nieul-sur-l’Autise
Visit the majestic ruined abbey of Maillezais, or the fascinating abbey of Neil-sur-l’Autise with its exceptional cloisters and interactive exhibitions. Combine your visit with a boat trip on the Venise Verte for a great day out (there are boats for hire right next to the abbey at Maillezais).
Classed as one of the prettiest villages in France, Vouvant is just 10 minutes drive from Bourseguin. Famous for its fascinating Romanesque church and the Tower of Melusine, there are also many pretty little streets and a lovely walk around the ramparts. An Arts festival is held in August, with local artists opening up their studios to visitors. Visit vouvant.fr for more information on Vouvant.
Mervent : Forest, lakes & zoo
The beautiful forest of Mervent starts just a couple of miles from Bourseguin. At the centre of the forest (less than 10 minutes from Bourseguin) is the village of Mervent and its lakes, a perfect spot for walking and cycling. You can also go fishing and hire pedalos, canoes and sailing boats. The forest contains several tourist attractions, including Mervent zoo.
15 minutes from Bourseguin is the village of Bazoges-en-Pareds, with a fascinating medieval Donjon (climb to the top for panoramic views), pigeonier, medieval garden and a museum of rural life.
The sandy lakeside beach of Chassenon Plage is about 15 minutes from Bourseguin. Open only during the peak summer weeks, there is a large waterslide (afternoons only), bar, canoe and boat hire, and lots of shady trees to picnic under.
La Faute sur Mer (left) a wide sandy beach with sand dunes behind is just under 50 minutes from Bourséguin. The Vendée is famous for its beaches; many of which (from La Faute-sur-Mer and Jard-sur-Mer to Les Sables d’Olonne) are within easy reach of Bourséguin. In the Charente Maritime Chatellaillon Plage, reputedly the safest beach on the Atlantic coast, with miles of golden sand, is just over one hour away. Alternatively, you could take a day trip to the beautiful Ile de Ré, just beyond La Rochelle.
This famous futuristic theme park is just 1.5hrs hour from Bourséguin. Visit www.futuroscope.com for further information.
Le Puy du Fou
The Vendée’s premiere tourist attraction, Puy du Fou, is 45 minutes from Bourseguin. For full details of this magnificent attraction, which includes a reconstructed Roman Amphiteatre with gladiators, Vikings, a medieval city, 18th century village and more, visit www.puydufou.com
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