Campsite near Les Sables D’Olonne Departure Vendee Globe
Main city of the Côte de Lumière (the light coast), marina and fishing harbour, and departure of the biggest nautical event of the world, Les Sables D’Olonne is a very interesting place to visit during your stay in Le Camping du Marais.
Less than one hour drive from the campsite, this seaside resort is famous for a long time for its sea bathes. You will enjoy its architectural wealth, the shopping quays and the pine forest bordering the coastline.
This alive city has developped over the time to become the first seaside resort in Vendée where you can pratice a variety of water sports : surf, wave ski, kayak, canoe, sand-yacht, …
Les Sables d’Olonne is a central city on the coastline and the active harbour supplies all the Vendean markets and more. You can go to see the unloading of hundreds of fishes and the sells in the auction house : sardines, langoustines, oysters, sea bass, sol… and savour in the famous restaurants along the quays.
The activity of the city will significantly increase in November 2016 whith the departure of the 8th round-the-world solo yacht race Vendée Globe. This exceptional solo yacht race is nicknamed the Everest of the seas because the skippers have to face physical performances. This famous media event brings in significant economic benefits.
It lasts weeks and creates a specific atmosphere in the city that lives at the pace of the race, and there are celebrations for the arrival of each skipper. It is a major event you can not miss.
Les Sables d’Olonne offers you also high quality leisure activities such as : Golf, Thalassotherapy, casino, museums, zoo, fishing, horse riding…. You will enjoy all these activities during your stay at the Campsite Domaine Le Jardin Du Marais.
Landscapes around the Sables d’Olonne.
The coastline around Les Sables d’Olonne is various with sand dunes that are as a wall to protect the marsh in the hinterland, or the wild and rocky coast with deep rifts where the waves smash violently and noisily as at the Puits d’Enfer along the Nouch cliff road you can cycling or walking to enjoy the wonderful oceanic panoramic views.
The public forest set up by Louis XI to protect from the engulfing was effective thanks to the pines sowed in the 19th century.
This green wall is now 11 km length and run by pathes with marker signs. This forest is an oasis of peace and houses remarkable wild flora and fauna.
The landscapes of the hinterland are very specific with the marshes. The salines exist since the Romane Empire and they are always in activity. The salt manufacturers called « Sauniers » will tell you the history of the « white gold » and explain the traditionnal gesture of this specific job.
Les Sables d’Olonne: The city with many faces
The Sables d’Olonne can be divided into different quarters that show its development.
The quarter called La Chaume is the oldest. It kept the harshness of the sailors long ago. Facing the sea, it offers little streets to conduce to the quay Georges V next to the channel to enter the harbour.
The quarter of the harbour is located on the Cabaude island and offers 3 ports from one to the other side : the trade harbour and the fishing harbour which is the oldest with its foundations dating from the 15th century. It is still active with the fishing development and always fit the emerging needs. You can enjoy a walk along the high-class buildings on the marina Port Olonna built in 1979 and restored 2011.
When coming back to the center, 2 big esplanades offer an overview on the city : the Liberty place and the Lafargue Admiral promenade and the Baltard style Halles in the middle.
Next to the Cabaude island is the quarter of Le passage with narrow little streets links the port ond the beaches. One of them « la rue de l’enfer » (Hell Street) seams to be the most narrow in the world (40cm on the ground).
Further away next to the beaches Penotte island is typical urban island with the houses bedecked with shells and mozaics.
And to finish with the remblai and the variety of typical buildings with seaside resort style dating 20th century and fabulous villas (the Palazzo Clementina house) dating from the 19th century, built by rich owners attracted by the sea bathes trend.
This elitist touristic wave dating the years 1800 has increased with the arrival of the railway in 1866. From that date, the seaside resort was born and his success never stopped.
Between 2008 and 2013, the remblai is built again and offers more place for bikes and pedestrians, it is also embellished with local plants (tamaris, pittosporum, green oaks ….).
A rich heritage
The castle Saint Clair joined with the Arundel tower, sentinel of La Chaume, was built by the Talmont lords in the 15th century, before being converted in fortifications a century later. Now it home to the Sea Museum. As regards the tower, a fire was installed in 1593 to guide the boats and it still a long time the only one lighthhouse in Vendée. You can climb to the top the see the city and the surrounding marshes.
Always in the same quarter, the priory Saint Nicolas on the buccaneer quay, overloopks the ocean since the 11th century. It was built by holy cross monks and turned into fort, and became guardhouse and powder store until the 19th century. There are 7 cannons that protected the bay.
When going down to the Saint Nicolas Church, the fishermen boss, stays on the Saint Anne place. A wonderful fresco in trompe l’œil style recounts the daily life in the quarter.
The Saint Jean d’Orbestier Abbey
is located on the Château d’Olonne town ajoined to the Sables d’Olonne. The Abbey was a great Benedictine monastery from its creation between the 12th century and the 18th century. Richard the Lionheart appreciated it a lot and it became his favorite hunting ground. He took profit to confirm the privileges. Unfortunately, the Religious wars jeapardized it and during the Revolution, it was sold as National assets.
It laboriously reaches the 20th century, but destroyed. The city bought the Abbey in 1989 and began restoration works. It is now home for cultural events.
To conclude, you will enjoy the city and its surroundings with its numerous faces it offers.