Try your hand at stand-up paddle

Stand-up paddle is the perfect activity to do on the sea or at the heart of the marshland while you’re on holiday in the Vendée, in the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie.

Over the past few years, stand-up paddle has become the trendy sport to do while on holiday. Standing on a wide surfboard with a firm grip on your paddle, this sport (SUP for those in the know) is a great way to explore calm waters very easily or even surf over small waves.

In the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, there are some interesting places suited to this activity.

On the coast when the sea is particularly calm, at the heart of the marshland or on the calm waters of the Auzance. We came here to the harbour in La Gachère to try this activity for ourselves.

A board, a paddle and calm waters: those are the three key ingredients for an introduction to stand-up paddle. At ‘La Cabane‘ in La Chabossière, you can take part in an introductory stand-up paddle session, and at the same time, explore an exceptional place that can only be accessed via the waters.

I got used to the equipment on my knees at first, to see what it was like being on the board and using the paddle. I felt at ease very quickly and attempted to stand up on the board as soon as we’d gone past the first oyster crates. Up until very recently, the peaceful waters of the Auzance were still used by oyster farmers for breeding these shellfish.

Because this activity is so quick to learn, I was able to enjoy the pleasures of being out on the waters and I didn’t have to concentrate too much on the technique. That meant I was able to make the most of my surroundings, to admire the fishing ‘carrelets’ (huts on stilts) or catch a glimpse of a grey heron or an avocet. This picture-perfect place is made all the more magical at sunset. When the last rays of sun disappear on the horizon, the silence is golden. Nobody dares utter a word and this silence is only broken by the waters gently lapping on the board and the paddle brushing against the water.

Where can we try stand-up paddle?

At the Grande Plage and the lake in La Soudinière, in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. At the Grande Plage in Sion, at the Plage des Demoiselles and on the Vallées lake in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. At the Plage des Dunes in Brétignolles-sur-Mer. On the La Chabossière marshes in Brem-sur-Mer




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