The Vendée Coast

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Saint Gilles Croix de Vie

Port de pêche de St Gilles
Fishing port famous for its sardine, Saint Gilles Croix de Vie establishes one of the major poles of the vendean coast today. In spite of its success, it knew how to keep, its soul, the soul of a welcoming and warm city, where reigns all year long the real relaxed rhythm of life. His(her,its) fine sand beaches, its old districts, its five weekly markets, its pretty villas, its ports of peach and sailing in the heart of the city everything contributes to assert the authentic and picturesque character.

Saint Gilles’s site was occupied at first by Romain during the conquest of Gaulle by Julius Caesar. But we find the tracks of the existence of Saint Gilles only in the XIIIth century. During the centuries which are going to follow, the population installed in the mouth of the Life is going to know an important development, in particular thanks to a commercial activity and harbour prosperous. The end of the XVIth and the beginning of the XVIIth see being born Cross of Life which will become parish in 1690.

The disorders from Vandee of 1793 got little the region. On the other hand, the second revolt of 1815 provoked confrontations between Giras (republicans) and the Crosses of Viots (faithful to the crown). Louis de la Rochejacquelin, brother of Henri, off-loaded in Cross of Life, will die during the battle of Mattes. In this ideological separation between both villages comes to be added a natural separation which establishes the river ” La Vie “.

Although connected by a “ford” and boats which allowed rare exchanges between both municipalities, it was necessary to wait for 1836 that a bridge is created. In 1838 take place the first transactions between both municipalities, but it is only in 1967 that both banks of the Life merge to become Saint Gilles Croix de Vie.

Brétignolles sur Mer

Hotspot de surf à BrétignollesBrétignolles-sur-Mer is a sea resort which has a long coastal band with about 12 km. This village of the coast welcomes numerous campings. But she owes her reputation in the region to the surfing as well as to her beaches: La Sauzaie, Les Dunes 1 and 2, and La Gachère.

The miniature village

Of the April 1st on September 30th. Place of escape for one of the most beautiful miniature villages of France by the authenticity of the used materials where the detail highlights the atmosphere of a real history.

Church Nôtre Dame de l’Assomption

At the beginning of the XIXth century, the parish possessed a smaller church situated not far from the place of the current church. In 1845, it was declared by the Council of too dilapidated factory to be repaired and too small to meet the needs of the ceaselessly growing population. We so confided the reconstruction to Mr Levêque, architect to Fontenay Le Comte. The works begun in 1847 lasted 3 years. Certain elements of interior design of the former church were reused as the white marble high altar, the altars of the Virgin and Saint Jean-Baptiste, the pulpit, the stalls and the big Christ in elm, work of the sculptor of Nantes Grootaers-Donon. The project of completion of the decoration was established by Victor Clair, departmental architect and took place between 1850 and 1880. Stained glasses representing Saint Joseph, Saint Louis, Saint Joan of Arc and the Sacred Heart were put in 1926. They were realized by Luc Fournier, painter-glassworker in Tours.

Discover Saint Jean de Monts

plage de st jean de monts

For a pleasant stay in the Vendée, its lifestyle, its good food, walking, mixing leisure activities, enjoying the endless vista of the sea, the huge beach, or just simply relaxing…



Ile de Noirmoutier

Ile de Noirmoutier is the place for nature lovers on the Vendée coastline with an incredible variety of landscapes: beaches, forests, marshes and dunes along with fabulous fauna and flora.



Ile d’Yeu

l'Ile d'Yeu
The Ile ‘dYeu lies 10km off the north Vendée coast, a 45 minute ferry ride from
St Gilles Croix-de-Vie or Fromentine.
Although only 23 sq.kms, it is a microcosm of the Vendéen landscape.
Landing at Port-Joinville stroll along the quayside shops, discover the cafes, restaurants and bars and wander the backstreets where time has stood still.
Feeling a little more adventurous! Hire a bike and explore the varied coastal scenery and countryside of this pretty island.