Dolphin Gites in Vendee
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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.







Normandelière Beach 


(3 miles from Dolphin Gites)


Some of the best beaches along the Vendée coast are at Brétignolles-sur-mer, which is only a few minutes away by car or about 20 minutes by bicycle. The Normandelière at Brétignolles sur-mer is a great beach with a surveillance tower and lifeguards. The beach also has a highly recommended crêperie next to the dunes with fabulous views on the sea. The restaurant serves great crêpes and moules frites.




There are many beaches within easy reach of Dolphin Gîtes by car or bike. There are beaches all along the coast at Brétignolles-sur-mer, Brem-sur-mer, Olonne-sur-mer, St Gilles and Les Sables d'Olonne.


Most local beaches are monitored by the CRS who act as lifeguards in the summer months. For those who enjoy rock pools, there is great crabbing along the coast at La Sauzaie.





Water Parks



There are 2 great water parks in the area:


Atlantic Tobogan   (10 miles from Dolphin Gites




42 Avenue des Becs, 

85270 Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez


Océanile   (39 miles from Dolphin Gites)    




Route de Noirmoutier, 

85740 Noirmoutier-en-l'Île







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.





Potager Extraordinaire 


(12 miles from Dolphin Gites)




Route de Beautour, Curzais


Very weird and very large vegetables. If you like horticulture, then this is a 'must visit' for you. 







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.




   Heated Pool
























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