Chez Chartres

Holiday with friends and family - conviviality in rural French Vendée

Local Info

The micro-climate of the Vendee helps to make it one of the sunniest places in France with nearly 2,500 annual sunshine hours on average every year.
Some of the many places of interest around the village are:

Vouvant Village: one of the 'plus beaux villages de France', this pretty fortified village with its famous Medieval tower, the Tour Mélusine, and some lovely coffee shops/restaurants is well worth a visit. As it is situated just on the other side of the Mervent Forest, it can be visited from the house by bike.

Fontenay-le-Comte:The historic capital of the Vendée before Napoleon's time, Fontenay is only 3km away, with its imposing cathedral, quaint old streets, and all modern services including supermarkets and restaurants, sports halls, swimming complex, beauty treatments, karting, museum, theatre and tourist information. 

Mervent Forest: The edge of the forest starts only about 500 meters from the top of the garden. Within the forest with its miles of cycle paths, the rivers Mere and Vendée have been dammed to create sections of lake. One area called La Plage also has an area of imported sand: you can lake-swim there, pedalos and canoes are for hire nearby, and there is a sailing school.  Also in the forest is an animal park, the Natur'zoo de Mervent, and the Parc de Pierre Brune, an amusement park ideal for children with bumper-boats, train and lots of games, and also an adventure park in the woods behind Mervent Village, with bouncy castles, bungee jumping, and high adventure circuits through the treetops.

La Rochelle: Just under an hour away, La Rochelle is a fine old seafaring town with narrow cobbled streets, a good selection of shops and museums and an impressive fortified harbour. The acquarium is one of the best in Europe, and a great family trip out. An easy drive over the impressive toll bridge from La Rochelle takes you to the Ile de Ré. This island is a cyclist's paradise, nowhere on the island is more than 19m above sea level, and it has silver sand beaches and some lovely restaurants overlooking quaint harbours.

Nieul sur L'Autise: only about ten minutes drive away on the D104, this beautiful village has its own abbey open to visitors and a great creperie. See website Nieul-sur-l'Autise

Maillezais abbey - Beautiful old abbey, and gateway to the marais poitevin (see later!). See website Maillezais

Futuroscope: At Poitiers just over an hour away, another amazing futuristic prize winning theme park, rides and spectacles, with top ratings on Tripadvisor https://en.futuroscope.com/

Ile d'oleron and Fort Boyard: Boat trips from La Rochelle, or have a drive to the Island. Fort Boyard is a stunning sight from close up, you can hire boats from Ile D'Oleron or La Rochelle to go there.

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