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Gites and Cottages with Pools in the South Vendee.
Attraction in the Vendee.
12k from Fontenay le Comte and is the largest forest in the south Vendée,
crowning a string of hills the forest consists of over 5000 hectares of mainly
beech trees (hêtres), oak trees (chênes) and sweet chestnut trees (frênes). The
forest, is both publicly and privately owned, and is a haven of tranquillity for
both people and wildlife alike. Amongst the deep tree lined ravines and wide
clearings Pink Asphodel and Yellow Broom proliferate, and under the trees as one
would expect the ground contains an abundance of the types of edible fungi that
are so highly prized by the local gourmets. The lakes contain a profusion of
Perch, Pike, Carp and Eels and fishermen are plentiful, the lakes also contain
the normal amphibians including edible frogs, which are now illegal to catch and
kill. The forest is home to a wide variety of birds including Black Kites,
Kingfishers, the extremely rare Short Toed Eagle and two rare varieties of
Magpie. Among the many mammals both Deer and wild Boar can be found and during
the season there is a vibrant hunting community.
known as The Mountain forest of Mervent-Vouvant
the foot of the Armorican Massif.
has been laid out with over 200 kilometres of well marked footpaths and offers
some of the best walks to be found anywhere in the Vendée. The local tourist
office has plans of all of these walks together with distances and difficulty.
Other trails are marked out for mountain biking and horse riding. The forest
rises steeply from the banks of the lakes and affords stunning views and in
several places you can get dramatic panoramic views over the canopy of trees to
the lakes and river below. This belies the description of this area as a small
hilltop forest barely 10 miles across perched on top of a granite plateau.
the Mère and the Vendée flow through the forest and have been dammed in four
places to form lakes containing 14,000,000 cubic metres of water. The upper dam
or barrage is just below Vouvant on the river
Mère and controls the water level around this very pretty village, the river
then meanders on through the forest until it reaches the barrage at Pierre
Brune. Just below this barrage is the Fun park of Pierre Brune one
of the many attractions in the forest, from here the river flows south through
the forest and passes under the bridge in the village of Mervent. The lake is at
its widest here and supports a beach where you can swim and a nautical centre
where you can hire sail boats, canoes, kayaks and electric boats. Bicycles can
also be hired here (tarifs 2008).
Probably the best vantage point to see the panoramic of the forest and lake is
from the village hall in Mervent standing on the last remains of the castle de
Mervent and looking out across the forest towards the confluence of the two
rivers the Mère and the Vendée. From here the River Vendee flows on for a
further 3 kilometres until it arrives at the Barrage de
de Mervent, the main dam in the lake complex, is 145 metres long, 26.5 metres
high and commenced operation in 1956. It provides drinking water for Fontenay Le
Compte and the local area, generates electricity and regulates the flow of the
river Vendée as it makes its way through the marshland preventing flooding in
the low lying areas. On the road just above Le Barrage de Mervent is the Park Zoological de
Mervent, within its 5 hectares of grounds there are over five hundred
animals, a cactus collection. Though small it is very popular with families as
they have a small petting farm where the children are introduced to the friendly
The Mervent forest is one of the jewels of the Vendée and no
matter what time of the year you visit it will always have treasures to reveal.
It has some great restaurants and these can be viewed on our restaurants in
the Mervent area, many of them reviewed by "Tate" our resident Critique
activities within the mervent forrest.
The Parc d'acrobaties. 34 Chemin du Chene
games and activities up in the trees.
4 courses of varying difficulty
to find your limits, test your courage and agility.
La Jamoniere Ecomuseum and pond.
Grande Perrure. Teaching farm and retro park.
climbing at Pierre Blanche. Though mainly for beginners, experienced
climbers also use this area for experimenting.