Travel to Vendee

Travel to VendeeA handy guide to travel options between the UK and Vendee for summer 2017.

Direct Flights

All of our villas in Vendee have a Saturday arrival day in peak season (broadly speaking July and August). Flexible changeover days outside this period mean you can tailor your holiday to flight availability and prices. As many of our holidaymakers travel in peak season, we have highlighted those routes with a flight on Saturdays. Bordeaux airport to Vendee is a three hour drive but adds flight options if other routes are not available or there is a service from your local airport.

Ryanair
London Stansted to La Rochelle: Daily (July & August only), Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (outside July & August)
London Stansted to Bordeaux: Daily (July & August only), Monday, Wednesday, Friday (outside July & August)
London Stansted to Poitiers: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Edinburgh to Bordeaux: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Edinburgh to Poitiers: Wednesday, Saturday (July, August and September only)

Easyjet
London Gatwick to Nantes: Daily
Luton to Nantes: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Liverpool to Nantes: Tuesday and Saturday
Bristol to La Rochelle: Tuesday, Saturday
London Gatwick to La Rochelle: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
Belfast to Bordeaux: Wednesday (August only), Saturday
Glasgow to Bordeaux: Monday, Friday
Liverpool to Bordeaux: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
Luton to Bordeaux: Daily
Bristol to Bordeaux: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
London Gatwick to Bordeaux: Daily

Flybe
Birmingham to Nantes: Daily except Tuesday and Thursday
Southampton to Nantes: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Manchester to La Rochelle: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
Birmingham to La Rochelle: Wednesday, Sunday
Southampton to La Rochelle: Various days according to month, including Saturday in Jun, July and August
Birmingham to Bordeaux: Daily
Southampton to Bordeaux: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (July & August only)

Car hire

All the above mentioned airports offer car hire from all the major rental companies. It goes without saying that we recommend you pre-book your car, and shop around for the best deal.
Our top tips for car hire:

1. Take advantage of the online check-in facility offered by some rental agencies before you travel. This will save time on arrival at the airport.
2. If possible, get the person in whose name the car has been booked to go straight to the car-hire desk, rather than wait for your luggage, to get ahead of the queue at the rental desk.
3. We read of many problems where rental agencies claim that the vehicle has been damaged, even though the bumps or scratches were pre-existing. Take a moment to photo the vehicle where pre-existing damage has been highlighted on your rental agreement as proof should there be any future dispute.

Ferries

One of the reasons for the popularity of Vendee to the British is the relatively short driving distance to sunshine. For many in the south of England, Vendee can be reached in a day, albeit a long one. The much improved roads across the north of France offer a short sea crossing from Dover with a 6 to 7 hour drive. Alternatively, a longer (and less frequent) crossing to Normandy or St Malo means a shorter drive of between 3 and 4 ½ hours once in France.

The AA Route Planner indicates the following driving times from the ferry ports to St Gilles Croix de Vie, the middle of the three main resorts we feature in Vendee:

Dunkirk 6 ¾ hours
Calais 6 ½ hours
Le Havre 4 ¾ hours
Caen 3 ¾ hours
Cherbourg 4 ½ hours
St Malo 3 hours
Roscoff 4 hours

Port to resort distances (in kms)

Destination Dunkirk Calais Le Havre Caen Cherbourg St Malo Roscoff
Les Sables d’Olonne 716 675 461 414 452 290 428
St Gilles Croix de Vie 722 681 467 378 420 258 396
St Jean de Monts 709 668 454 364 413 290 428

 

An overnight ferry to Normandy is a good option to break your drive and with an early morning arrival at the French port offers a more leisurely drive to your property for the afternoon check-in. These overnight crossings, as well as those to Brittany (Portsmouth-St Malo for Vendee) get fully booked quite quickly, especially weekend crossings during July and August. An alternative is an early morning sailing from the UK port with an overnight hotel close to the port if travelling some distance to the south coast.
If taking a short crossing and a longer drive, you may want to consider an overnight hotel. Different hotel chains provide different room types such as triple and family rooms, so it is worth doing some research. A good starting point is the Accor Hotels website which features a number of the leading chains across a wide price range including Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Formula 1.

Train

To make the most of your stay at one of our villas in Vendee we strongly recommend having access to a car. Nonetheless, if members of your party are arriving by different means, travelling to Vendee on the train is an option to consider.
Through tickets are available from London to Vendee using Eurostar, high-speed TGV trains, with only the last part of the journey on a local train. The journey time from London to Les Sables d’Olonne is usually between seven and eight hours. All journeys require a couple of changes and we recommend itineraries where this happens at Lille Europe, where only a change of platform is required. Other options entail crossing Paris between terminals, which may be off-putting for some. A second change is required at Nantes.
Tickets can be booked at the English language website of French Railways.
If your travel plans are a little more complicated and involve flights and train travel, there are TGV trains from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Nantes usually requiring a change at one at one of the out-of-town TGV only stations. Trains are not too frequent, so check your itinerary carefully and be aware of your options if your flight is delayed. The local train connection from Nantes to Les Sables d’Olonne takes under 1 ½ hours.