We have travelled to the Vendée Region in France on two occasions and both times staying on the same site Le Pas Opton.
Our first visit to LPO was in the summer of 2007. We booked a holiday through Spring Harvest Holidays and offshoot of the Spring Harvest Christian Conference which takes place annually in Skegness and Minehead in the UK. LPO offers a mixture of the usual Spring Harvest Springtime conference (i.e a Morning Bible Study session with a guest speaker and an Evening Worship, with children and youth sessions running in parallel), but it is far more low key and also offers the chance to relax by the pool and visit the beach (a lot warmer than either Skegness or Minehead) and the beautiful local countryside. In this respect it is like Eurocamp with a variety of tented and mobile accommodation. We had a fabulous fortnight on both occasions and got to visit a lot of places in the region.
Our first visit to LPO was a little little unusual in that Anita was already in France. She had flown out to Paris a week earlier and than taken the train to Caen for a French study week (part of an Open University Course).
The three remaining members of our family and my Mum who was joining us set off across the Channel from Portsmouth one Sunday evening arriving in St Malo on the Monday Morning. Anita whose course had finished on the Friday was staying the weekend with her cousin Jacqui and family in Brittany. She arranged to meet us at the train station in Rennes.
We had taken the car and our plan was to drive to the Vendée using the fast French Toll Roads (free in Brittany by the way). It was a long journey but gave us the chance to explore the French countryside on route. It was our first trip to France since our Holiday in 2002 so it was nice to be back.
Le Pas Opton – Campsite
Our base for the next two weeks – we were staying in a 6 berth tent
The little picturesque seaside town was a great place to wander in the evenings and grab an ice cream.
Chateaux des Commequiers et Apremont
A local ruined Chateau at Commequier and another at nearby Apremont as well as the Water Tower in Apremont
Les Sables D’Olonne
A local seaside resort where Anita and I had a great evening meal and the location of a Zoo
Moulin des Gourmands
A working windmill and museum
Jardin des Olfacties
Garden of smells in Coex
Oceanile Water Park – Noirmoutier
St Jean de Monts – Village de Jeux
An evening playing games in an open air festival of games
Marais and Abbaye d’Ile Chauvet
In the marshlands where Sea Salt is harvested
The Causeway to Noirmoutier en Ile
At low tide the causeway to Noirmoutier en Ile is passable and either side locals harvest mussels and other shell fish, but the tide comes in quickly!
Trou du Diable
On the coast between Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is a place called Trou du Diable (Devils Hole)
A trip to the Nourmoutier en l’Ile – with its picturesque blue and white houses.
Puy du Fou
An amazing historical Theme Park with shows from Romans and Vikings through the Middle Ages and an evening re-enactment with a cast of thousands.