Listed among one of France's most beautiful, Vouvant is a fortified village bursting with flowers in summer but is worth a visit any time of the year. Combine a brisk walk along the ramparts by the river, have a meal at one of three restaurants incl. Café Cour du Miracle, and visit artist studios. Horseriding and hiking nearby; Saturday market in summer. Directions (27km)
The 13th century Donjon de Bazoges-en-Pareds, is a restored medieval castle keep with spiral staircase, six floors, and thirty meter high ramparts offering spectacular views of the adjacent medieval gardens, the incredibly quiant village, and the surrounding countryside. Directions (13km)
Château St. Mesmin
Located on the border between Vendee and Deux Sevres, lies Chateau de St MesminThe chateau was built in 1370 by Pierre-de-Montfaucon in a hexagonal shape. Today, visit the chateau for a glimpse into medieval life with visits to the keep, armory, kitchens, and more. Directions.
Massif Forestier de Mervent-Vouvant
This beautiful forest is said to be the largest (oak) forest in France with rivers and streams meandering through the hilly landscape. It offers hiking, mountainbiking, picnic, zoo, boating, fishing, and beach opportunities. Do be aware that trails may not go in a loop, so be prepared before commencing your hike! Directions (30km)
City Visit: Nantes
Nantes is a beautiful, cultural city offering sightseeing, a huge chateau, shopping (inner city and shopping malls), and a diverse foodie scene with a lovely atmosphere in summer (terraces, people watching, and entertainment) and in winter (Christmas market in several streets and squares.) Convenient parking throughout the city makes it ideal for an all-day visit, or a romantic evening with English language cinema, dinner, and a stroll. Directions (81km)
Island visit: L’île de Ré
L’île de Ré is a beautiful island, perfect for an all day trip from La Baudonniere. When in the area, it is a place you should not miss. From beautiful beaches to interesting architecture, vineyards, star fortresses, and an abbey ruin, the island lends itself great for a sightseeing drive, or simply park the car at St Martin de Ré for a languid stroll along the port with its many restaurants and terraces, and its narrow streets with lots of little shops. There is a toll bridge to the island. Directions (103km)
Prieuré de Grammont
The former monastery of the order of Grandmontains was founded around 1197 by Richard the Lionhart. The monks lived isolated as a way to escape temptation and materialism, and were devoted fully to God, obedience, contemplation and assistance to the poor.
It is one of the best preserved abbeys in France. Directions (5km)
La Colline des Moulins
In 1834, are land maps showed 15 mills were lined atop La Colline des Moulins, in Mouilleron-en-Pareds. The hill now boasts 8 mills (anno 12th century), 4 of which have been restored and others, hidden in the landscape, are in various stages of ruin or repair. Bluebells line many of the trails in April/May summer but if you enjoy walks with stunning views and hidden monuments, it's a lovely spot at any time of the year. Directions (14km)
Visit Bluebeard's castle Chateau de Tiffauges. The castle is largerly in ruin, but has a rich (and creepy) history. Medieval reenactments and demonstrations are held regularly, including markets. In summer and at Christmas time, there are also nocturnal events, concerts and plays. Events are outdoors. Directions (39km) Website
The Vendéen Coast
From Les Sables d'Olonne to Tranche-sur-Mer, sightseeing, beaches, seafood restaurants, shops, and sea air await! Directions (88km)
A boat tour on the Marais Poitevin is a lovely family or just-for-two romantic activity that we highly recommend. The best embarkation point is located next to the Maillezais Abbey, one of the most majestic ruins in the Vendee. Directions (54km) Website
Market Day: Fontenay-le-Comte
A large town located in the south Vendee at the edge of the Marais Poitevin and along the banks of the Vendee River, Fontenay-le-Comte is worth your time for some sightseeing, especially in combination with market day. The market is held year-round on Saturdays from 08h00 to 13h00. Directions (31km) Also visit beautiful Chateau de Terre-Neuve (French tours with English language read-along) Directions (37km)
Le Puy du Fou
Without question the biggest draw to the Vendee area is Medieval themepark Le Puy du Fou, voted best in the world. The Cinéscénie, the park's evening spectacle, features 2000 actors and 24 000 costumes. Adventure for the whole family. Website.
Directions from La Baudonniere.
Directions back to Baudonniere
Restaurant Le Casse Croute
is conveniently located between
PdF and the Manoir, in Pouzauges. Not to miss!
Le Rocher de Cheffois is an old stone quarry-turned-lake hidden in the hill of Cheffois. Active from 1903 to 1953 the area is now surrounded by nature trails of various distance leading from the lovely chapel (anno 1858.) Definitely worth a visit - as is the 13th century village church. The world famous Ripaud Nurseries are nearby with over 1000 varieties of trees and plants. Directions (19km)
Abbaye de La Grainetière
Traverse history in an active abbey. Grainetière is situated in the beautiful, tranquil countryside near Les Herbiers, the structure is part restored and part ruin. Restorations are aimed to be complete by the Abbey's 900th anniversary in 2030.
Directions and website (18km)
La Ciste Des Cous
La Ciste Des Cous is said to be the oldest megalithic monument in the Vendee, discovered in 1910, and dated 4000 BC. The Neolithic gravesite consists of a circular burial chamber and a ciste with standing stones. Located in the fields off of the D43 from center Bazoges-en-Pareds. There is a signpost. (14km)
Château de Pouzauges
A 12th century fortress with a wall of 355 meters long and a keep that rises 26 meters. The imposing keep was transformed into a home by Catherine de Thouars, wife of the famous Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard), who added elegant chimneys and cushioned window seats. Also in Pouzauges, Eglise Saint Jacques , an 11th century church in both Romanesque and Gothic styles. Directions (11km)
City Visit: Angers
Like Nantes, Angers is a multi-cultural sightseeing destination in Pays de la Loire. Easy parking at the railway station (la Gare) with public transportation to the heart of the city. The Chateau with its Apocalypse Tapestry and restored gardens is definitely worth your time, but there are also many shops, restaurants, and ... the opera. Directions (112km)