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Towns and Villages of the Vendee
Les Sables d'Olonne
Sables d'Olonne (lay sab do lon) situated on the Atlantic coast about
half way down the Vendee is one of France's original holiday
destinations. The town is dominated by the magnificent stretch of sand
of the Grand Plage and the promenade that runs along its full length
with many of the classic Victorian buildings still there.
Les Sables d'Olonne has a thriving fishing port and world class marina.
times there was no land where Les Sables d'Olonne now stands. Founded
in 1218 by Savary Ler de Mauleon, Lord of Mauleon, it was then
separated from the town of Olonne
by Louis X1 in 1472, It thrived early on as a whaling port until
by the 17th century it was France's port for cod fishing with over
14,000 inhabitants (today the population is approx 16,000).
In 1825 the first bathing establishment were formed which flourished
till today it is one of the finest resorts on the Atlantic coast.
Train services started in December 1866 with express services to Paris in 1971 and the TVG in 2008.
The Port was destroyed by the Germans on 27th August 1944 as they evacuated the town.
Les Sables d'Olonne is home to the internationally renowned "Vendee Globe"
the world’s most prestigious single handed around the world race which
is held every 4 years, leaving in November and circumnavigating the
globe without assistance before returning in January. The month before
the race the Vendee globe village is open to the public and it is an
event not to be missed.
sports as would be expected are very prominent here from the beach
games and swimming to surfing, land yachts, wind surfing all manor of
sailing from dingy sailing up to ocean yachts, whether you want to
participate or just watch you will not be disappointed.
Apart from sports, Les Sables has a great variety of other interesting things to see and do including a very good zoo,
boat trip to the Marais Saline, historic buildings and art galleries
and interesting walks not to forget shopping in the small winding back
streets or the regular markets.
out is one of the great pleasures of life and you will not be
disappointed here in Les Sables d'Olonne. There is a wealth of
restaurants catering for all tastes and budgets. The excellent fish
restaurants that face the fishing port and new marina is a favorite
with most, or those around the main marina where there a many
interesting eateries,it may be easier to catch the ferry across the
harbour to Chaume rather than walk around.
Return to find more interesting Towns and Villages in the Vendee