With its white sandy beaches and pine forests with winding cycle paths the lovely Vendée area in France is the ideal location for a family camping holiday. There are also some fantastic visitor attractions which are ideal for children. Here are four of our favourites to visit when you’re camping in the Vendée:
Puy du Fou
Puy du Fou is an amazing historical theme park in the heart of the Vendée region. Before your children start groaning you can quickly reassure them that this is no ordinary castle or stately home visit! There are various regular spectactular shows including The Vikings where a reconstructed 1000 year old fortress is attacked by a Viking Longship; Triumph’s sign set in a replica amphitheatre where 10 Gaul prisoners endure terrible ordeals to prevent them being put to death by the Romans; or a medieval extravaganza in The Secret of the Lance when a shepherdess is left alone to defend the chateau with only a magic lance to help her. There are also three separate villages to wander around – the medieval city, the 18th century village and the 1900 town square.
In addition the themepark is also set in 125 acres of forest with over 1400 animals; there are puppet shows, magic shows, jumping fountains in the lake, a labyrinth…. And it doesn’t end there – in high season in the evening there is a stunning show (the biggest night time show in the world) telling the 700 years of history of the area involving 1200 actors!
It’s not surprising that this is France’s most popular themepark after Disney so if you’re in the Vendee region it’s not to be missed. And you can feel smug in the fact that your children may actually have learned something while they were having fun!
More active children will love Tepacap, an outdoor adventure park set in a forest 15km from Puy du Fou. There are a number of courses depending on age, ability, and probably more importantly, sense of adventure! Children will love playing at being Tarzan and swinging through the trees and as many of the activities are suitable for adults the whole family can join in. Although probably more suited to older children there is an area for younger ones.
This African themed safari park is located a 15 minute drive from Nantes. Home to over 2000 animals and set in 80 hectares the park has a 10km safari trail that you can drive in your own vehicle or ride in the park’s 4×4 offroader with a guide. There is also a Marine Land with dolphin shows and the Bush Village where some of the smaller animals live. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can even stay overnight in the bivouac camp!
Oceanile Water Park
A list of children’s attractions wouldn’t be complete without a waterpark! Located on the island of Noirmoutier off the coast of the Vendée the Oceanile waterpark has waterfalls, flumes,a wave pool, a lazy river,whirlpools as well as a large indoor pool. If you struggle to get your children out of the water when on holiday they’ll love it here. Although also connected by a bridge you can head home over the 4.5km paved causeway the Passage du Gois, previously used as part of the Tour de France route, just watch you don’t get caught out at high tide!
If you would like to experience camping in the Vendée with your family, Canvas Holidays features a number of family-friendly campsites in the area.