We love family holidays in the Vendée – you can’t beat the sunshine and safe sandy beaches. And when the children need a break from building sand castles, there are plenty of action-packed days out to be had across the region. Here are our top five favourites.
#1 – Planete Sauvage
About half an hour from Nantes, Planète Sauvage is a Safari Park where you can see more than 2000 animals from five continents. The children will be kept busy spotting giraffes, elephants, bears, wolves, rhinoceros, lions and tigers. There’s also a mini farm, the Marine City with dolphin shows plus the Jungle Bridge where you’ll meet a tribe of macaques.
#2 – Feeling Forest
There’s tree-top fun for the whole family at this pine forest adventure park near Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. The obstacle routes are graded by difficulty, all with a safety induction from an English-speaking instructor. Among the fun are zip wires, high ropes, climbing walls and swinging rings. The courses are suitable for those over 1.4m in height, but smaller children can enjoy the inflatables and mini golf.
#3 – Le Grand Defi
Enjoy more hair-raising adventures at this nature amusement park at Saint-Julien-des-Landes. It boasts 20 tree-top trails, graded from the Black level with zip wires racing across a lake, right down to the Yellow level suitable for children as young as two years old. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, there’s also frisbee golf, Paintball and pony rides.
#4 – Calins-Ca-Anes
This small farm at Les Sables-d’Olonne is a real gem for younger children and a great day out if you’re staying at our Yelloh! Village la Forêt campsite. Donkey rides are the big attraction here. The welcoming owners are warm and friendly, and so are the resident donkeys who always love to get a hug. The children can help groom the donkey before saddling up and enjoying a ride down to the lake and back. They may even get to feed their donkey an apple afterwards!
#5 – Embarcadere de l’Abbaye
The Marais Poitevin is the second largest wetland in France and often referred to as France’s ‘Green Venice’. The Embarcadere de l’Abbaye at Maillezais is a great way to explore this unique landscape. You can take a guided boat tour and learn about the history of the area as you glide past the beautiful Abbey de Maillezais. Alternatively you can hire your own rowing boat – the canals are easy to navigate and well-signposted.
Canvas Holidays has seven campsites in the Vendée.