Must See Attractions – Vendée

Château de Tiffauges a key Vendée attractionThe Château de Tiffauges

Le Château de Tiffauges is perched on the banks of the Sèvre-Nantaise River on the northern edge of the Vendée. The castle is not so much famous as infamous due to the notorious 15th century owner Gilles de Rais sometimes referred to as Bluebeard. If you dare to visit the castle today you’ll find a display of medieval war machines and weaponry and it’s even possible to try the crossbows or the catapult yourself! Guided tours tell the story of the aforementioned hero turned murderous villain Gilles de Rais and below the ramparts there is an alchemist’s workshop where  attempts are made to conjure up all manner of potions and spells in a rather spooky atmosphere! More detail on the Château de Tiffauges

The castle at Talmont VendéeThe Château de Talmont

Le Château de Talmont was founded by the Count of Poitou in the 10th century. In 1182, Richard I (Lionheart) became the Lord of Talmont when it was passed to him as part of the dowry of his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. Richard was a man who liked hunting and the forests around Talmont were well stocked with game so he had the castle restored to make it fit for a King. Today the Château de Talmont is a ruin but if you visit the castle in July or August you will usually find that there is a programme of medieval events with costumed performers providing many different forms of entertainment. If you’re on holiday in the Vendée, this is a castle which is well worth a visit, particularly good for children. More detail on the Château de Talmont

Bazoges Donjon Vendée


The charming unspoiled village of Bazoges-en-Pareds is situated in the Bas Bocage region of the Vendée approximately 12 km south-east of Chantonnay. On approaching this tranquil village from almost any direction, one can’t help but be impressed by the 14th century medieval donjon (keep) which lies at its heart surrounded by a moat. It was constructed during the Hundred Years War around 1380. This huge tower of honey-coloured stone with its little pointed watch tower at one corner is all that remains of the 14th century château which once have stood on the site. More detail on Bazoges en Pareds

Abbaye Royale Saint-Vincent Nieul sur L'AutiseNieul sur L'AutiseNieul sur L’Autise

This is an extremely charming and beautiful village situated only 12 km from Fontenay-le-Comte in the south of the Vendée. The renowned Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Aliénor d’Aquitaine) was born here in 1124 and her mother Aénor de Châtellerault was buried in the cloisters of the Royal Abbeye St.Vincent. The Abbaye was founded in 1068 and benefited from the protection of the counts of lower Poitou and also the Dukes of Aquitaine. It is one of only a few monastic complexes to have conserved its three main elements of church, cloister and convent in superb condition. More detail on Nieul sur L’Autise

Tour Mélusine VouvantVouvant

Vouvant, the only fortified town in the Vendée, is a member of the elite club of the ‘Plus Beaux Villages de France’ and with some justification as it is one of the most appealing of France’s villages. The village itself was created at the beginning of the 11th century close to the 20,000 acre forest of Mervant. The site was chosen by William V, Duke of Aquitaine because of its strategic position and he ordered the monks living in Maillezais to build a stronghold, a church and monastery. The ramparts were added by the powerful Lusignan family in the 12th century to protect the town. More detail on Vouvant

The Prieuré de GrammontPrieuré de Grammont

The Prieuré de Grammont is a small but superbly preserved rural priory which was founded by the legendary warrior King Richard the Lionheart in the year 1196. It can be found in the peaceful countryside of the Bas bocage just off the road from Chantonnay to Pouzauges in the small village of St-Prouant. In this beautiful old priory you will find a chapel along with monastic buildings, chapterhouse, refectory, kitchens and even a serving hatch and rooms for guests. More detail on Prieuré de Grammont