A Days Fishing From A stocked Lake
Fishing in the rivers, Lakes and Canals The Vendée has more kilometres of canals and rivers for fishing than any other Department in France, for all canal and river fishing a permit is required. (see more details below). The French refer to these areas as a "Plan d'eau". Different lakes offer different opportunities for example the 127 hectare lake complex at Rochereau near Chantonnay has a 2 kilometre stretch for carp fishing at night, whereas the small well stocked Plan d'eaus that most villages have, offer a haven of peace and tranquillity. These local lakes often come under a permit that can be obtained from the local Mairie or Tabac and permits can often be purchased for a single day. There are often local fishing competitions which attract large numbers of competitors and of course have the obligatory refreshment stall. Other Lakes or Plan d'eau may be private and require no permit, just the consent of the owner. Catches are usually restricted, by law on public rivers, canals and lakes and by permit contracts on village lakes. We have several properties on the website with private fishing lakes - no permit is required for this.
Which fish are available? Roach, bream, rudd and perch are in every waterway and provide good sport all through the year. Most waters also hold crucian carp, this is especially true of the canals of the Vendee where huge catches can be taken in June, July and August. Tench and various varieties of the other larger carp strains such as mirror, common and leather carp are common with the latter running to over 25kg in most rivers and lakes. These are best fished for in spring or summer as are the barbel found in some rivers, especially the larger tributaries of the River Vienne. Chub and dace are usually found in the shallower stretches of river and provide year round sport. Pike and zander fishing is at its best from October to the end of the season while for black bass-another predator found in some waters-those summer days when they feed near the surface and can be caught by fly fishing are the best. Bleak, little silvery surface feeders that are often used as bait fish, are everywhere in this region and while they can be annoying when seeking bigger game they also provide welcome bites during times of flood and frost. Beware! One fish to look out for is the American catfish or poisson-chat. These small fish are in most lakes and are voracious feeders during hot weather. They have sharp spikes on the gills that can inflict serious wounds, so it is essential to handle them with care. The other catfish likely to come the angler’s way in the region’s rivers and lakes is a much bigger beast, the Danubian Wels or silure. It can reach over 50kg and has a very large mouth.
The Vendee Beaches
The Vendée has more than 90 miles of sandy beaches – a fair number of which have been awarded the cleanliness accolade of Blue Flag status – as well as plenty of coves for rock-pooling.
And sunny days are almost guaranteed, if you believe the locals, who claim the climate here is more blessed than the Côte d'Azur. The sea certainly benefits from the warmth of the Gulf Stream, and it's less of a schlep than the Med, being just a few hours' drive from the northern ferry ports.
Like many campsites along this stretch of coast, our nearest beach is just across the road. Beyond a screen of maritime pines and over the grassy dunes lies a broad sweep of golden sand where the breeze licks the sea into waves perfect for jumping.
You could spend your holiday touring the beaches just by bicycle, thanks to a family-friendly network of cycle routes running all the way from Noirmoutier to Bourgenay. Wind-driven sports are naturally popular in these blustery parts and you'll find plenty of opportunities to go sailing, windsurfing and sand-yachting. You'd be hard pushed to find a poor beach on the Vendée coast, but for the very best check out blueflag.org for a full list.
With lovely sunny beaches often backed by pine trees along almost all its coastline, the Vendée beaches are especially famed for being children friendly - long, sandy, and safe because they slope gently into the sea. The coast here is known as the Cote de Lumiere ('coast of light') and stretches in an almost unbroken string of beaches and resorts from Noirmoutier in the north to Bretignolles in the south.
It would be quite hard to choose somewhere on the coast in Vendée that isn't near a long sandy beach so your choice depends more on whether you are looking for a quiet resort to relax for a few days or an action packed resort...
France This Way comment: our favourite resort on the Vendee coast is , because of the dynamic town as well as the beach, but if you are seeking a bit more tranquility, especially in summer when Sables d'Olonne can be very busy and parking difficult, we suggest you consider one of the other possibilities!
Below we suggest some of the most popular resorts, starting in the south not far from La Rochelle and Sables d'Olonne travelling towards the north and the Loire-Atlantique department...see the individual guides for more detailed information about the resorts, facilities and local attractions:
One of our favourites among the 'small' resorts on the Vendee coast.
The most active resort on the Cote de Lumière and with a lovely promenade,
Close to the beach, the town of St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is also very pleasant.
Don't let your choice be too decided by the photos - sometimes we find ourselves visiting a resort outside high season or when the sky is a bit cloudy and the beaches are empty. Usually they will have more people on them in the summer although there are so many beaches you will usually be able to escape the crowds if that is your preference! And in truth it is quite hard to take unique and interesting and unique photos of a large area of flat beach...
Cycling in the Vendée
If you want to get the most of your visit to the Vendée, there is no better way than by cycling or walking. One can discover the hidden treasures that only a leisurely pace will reveal. Within the Vendée a vast network of cycle tracks can be found, these have been designed for riding in complete safety while taking in the natural attractions that Vendée has to offer. There are over 1000 kilometres of tracks so now you can take a complete cycle tour of the Vendée. On the tracks everything has been put in place for maximum safety including designated cycle lanes and all the necessary signposts. One will also find excellent picnic areas along the route for relaxing and refreshing oneself. The Department of the Vendée has published "Les Sentiers Cyclables de la Vendée" these are 66 routes of various lengths that form the core of the marked routes around the whole Department. Les Sentiers Cyclables de la Vendée can be obtained from any local tourist office. The routes are in three distinct areas, the coastal routes, the routes of the marais poitevin including the south Vendée and the routes of the Haut Bocage. The Coastal Sentiers run along 285 kilometres of coastline and one will find direct access to the beaches from these tracks. One can also admire the fascinating scenery of dunes, rocky coastline, the seaside resorts and the marshlands that make up the coastal landscape. The Sentiers of the Marais Poitevin have 200 kilometres of cycle tracks which will take one from the coastal town of l'Aiguillon-sur-Mer through the polders and marshlands around the Baie de l'Aiguillon before entering the upper reaches of the Marais Poitevin or Green Venice travelling along canal towpaths with subtle changes in the landscape at every turn. The route then turns northward through the Mervent Forest and Vouvant , taking a detour around Faymoreau. Its northerly journey then takes one via La Chataigneraie, Cheffois and Reaumur, before giving way to the Sentiers of the Haute Bocage. The Sentiers of the Haute Bocage have 280 kilometres of marked track and uses quiet agricultural roads and paths which take one into the heart of countryside. The route even includes 27 kilometres of old railway track, so the going here is relatively easy. There are many detours from the circuit before one arrives back on the coast. The Sentiers are the marked routes, but of course one is free to choose one’s own routes. Perhaps you will take a mixture, using parts of the marked routes but varying to stop off at the many interesting places and attractions that this area has to offer.
In 2011 le tour de france passed out side our front door a good day had by everyone
Basketball is a big sport in France, with most villages having a club with male and female teams of varying age groups.
Our son (number 11 in the above photo) plays for JFM, Moutiers Sur Le Lay in the Minimes Garcon under 15s team.
This photo was taken at a recent tournament where they won the first round and have qualified through to the next round of
the competition to be played at a later date.
It is possible to find club level matches in the surrounding area most weekends and is very good to watch.
This is the new venue in La Roche Sur Yon built for concerts and sporting events - this
basket ball match was between France and Spain - the atmosphere was electric with mascots from the
American basket ball teams and cheerleaders, we had a superb night out and reasonably priced too.
This venue has things going on all the time.