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Local Visits 


Local Restaurants       Activities       Cycling







(3-6 miles from Dolphin Gites)



Normandeliere. Situated between Bretignolles and Brem-sur-mer. Nice beach but can be busy during the peak season. Good Creperie on beach. Easy parking.


Les Dunes. Nice beach at Brem-sur-mer. Can be busy during peak season. Easy parking.


La Grande Plage. Large beach at St. Gilles. Very nice beach with cafes along promenade, and water sports. The beach is sign-posted just before you enter St. Gilles. Follow signs for Grande Plage. Can be busy during peak season.


Olonne Forest. Quiet beaches, but not surveyed. Drive to Brem-sur-mer, turn right at small roundabout on to small road, and take main forest road along the coast. Park along main forest road and walk through the woods to the beach. It's about a 20 minute walk to the beach through the woods.


Other Beaches. Drive to coast at Bretignolles-sur-mer, turn right and follow coastal road. There are quite few beaches along the way, some rocky and some sandy, with parking areas along road.










The Puy-du-Fou



(1 hr's drive from Dolphin Gites)




85590 Les Epesses


Very highly recommended attraction and is a 'must do' if you plan to stay for more than one week at Dolphin Gites, especially if you have children. The Puy du Fou is one of the most famous attractions in France and is in easy driving distance from Dolphin Gites. 





It is difficult to describe just how good it is. Many people argue that it is better than Disneyland, and is less expensive without the queuing. It is nothing like Disneyland and involves medieval joisting shows, gladiators, falconry displays and a whole lot more!!


It takes just over one hour by car. Go on a day that is not too hot. The Puy-du-Fou is a superb 'park attraction' which makes a great day out for all the family. Performances continue throughout the day and include; a falconry display, jousting knights, magic and music shows, demonstrations of rural crafts and atmospheric reconstructions of a Norman fort, a medieval town, a Roman amphitheatre and an 18th-century village. 


The most popular shows are the falconry show, the Vikings and the Gladiators, however, all the shows are fabulous.








(10 miles from Dolphin Gites)


Apremont is a beautiful village with a beautiful chateau only a few minutes drive from Dolphin Gîtes. You can get there by bicycle or by car. The village is very quaint and particularly attractive and is a delight to walk around and explore. You can visit the chateau, eat in any of the small cafés and restaurants near the chateau. You can relax on the sandy river beach, swim in the river or take a canoe and meander past the walls of the chateau drifting through the delightful scenery along the river banks.


Château d'Apremont, Vendée

Canoeing at Apremont, Vendée



There is also a high water tower with a viewing platform on top which is also well worth a visit. From the top of the water tower you can see for miles in every direction. In fact, you can see the island of Noirmoutier in the distance.







Les Sables d'Olonne  


(12 miles from Dolphin Gites)


Les Sables d'Olonne is a famous beach resort, best known for its magnificent huge bow shaped sandy beach, great shops and night life. There is a fabulous promenade with hotels, cafes and beach views. Why not spend the morning browsing the shops and then eat in one of the charming restaurants along the sea front? Spend the afternoon sunbathing on the fabulous bow shaped beach, dipping in the water to cool off. In the evening, walk the promenade and take in the nightlife and street artists all along the sea front.










St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie  


(8 miles from Dolphin Gites)


St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is a touristy fishing port only a few miles from Dolphin Gîtes. It is a pretty town with a quayside harbour, fishing boats, restaurants and cafés, and a pedestrian street with nice shops. Also, there is a big Leclerc hypermarket, Lidl and McDonalds.




There is also the Grande Plage in St Gilles which is a big open fine sandy beach. You can take surfing lessons on the beach. 


We recommend the restaurant La Riviera on the SE side of the river. It is not expensive and the food is excellent.








Water Park



Atlantic Tobogan   (10 miles from Dolphin Gites




42 Avenue des Becs, 

85270 Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez









Zoo in Les Sables


(12 miles from Dolphin Gites)




Route du Tour de France, 

85100 Les Sables-d'Olonne


There is a very good zoo at Les Sables d'Olonne, ideal visit if the weather is not fantastic.





Château de la Guignardière


Adventure Château at Avrillé, near Talmont St Hilaire 

(25 miles from Dolphin Gites)




Route des Sables d'Olonnes, 

85440 Avrillé



There are various educational and clue solving trails through the grounds of the château which are great fun for all the family. It is set in the grounds of the château, and, if you like following clues on an adventure trail, then you will enjoy this. There is also a coffee shop.






Château Talmont St Hilaire 


(19 miles from Dolphin Gites)

Rue du Château, 

85440 Talmont-Saint-Hilaire.



French home of Richard the Lion Heart, with a range of medieval  activities for children. Definitely worth a visit with young children.







Automobile Museum


(12 miles from Dolphin Gites)




Route des Sables D'Olonne,

85440 Talmont-Saint-Hilaire


There is a very good automobile museum near Les Sables d'Olonne.








The Machines  


at Ile de Nantes


(50 miles from Dolphin Gites)




Les Chantiers Bd Léon Bureau 
Nantes, 44200


Remember the giant mechanical puppets on the streets of Liverpool? The giant girl and the dog - well they were created by the same person who conceived of the Machines, at Nantes - François Delarozière.



The Machines de l’Ile de Nantes, is an extraordinary artistic project like you've never seen before. Born from the imaginations of François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, it is a blend of the invented worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the industrial history of the French island of Nantes. 


“A team of machine builders have set up their workshop in the industrial warehouses of the former shipyards, at the heart of the Ile de Nantes. The designers let their imaginations roam from the treetops, the savannah to the ocean depths, building a bestiary of living machines to populate this area under redevelopment.”


You can have a ride on the mechanical Elephant, or go and visit the workshop and gallery.




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