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Wander around and recharge your batteries in the unspoilt natural environment of the Vendée.
There are so many different coastal landscapes in the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, including beaches, rocky coasts and sand dunes. Whether you are on foot or by bike, you’ll enjoy the great diversity of these natural habitats on the shores of the ocean.
OUR ROCKY COASTS
On the seafront here, there are two sections of rocky headland that will provide you with a welcome change of scenery: from the north of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie as far as Sion-sur-l’Océan in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez and from La Sauzaie to La Normandelière in Brétignolles-sur-Mer.
The area covering 3 km of granite rocky coast in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is known as the ‘Corniche Vendéenne’ (Vendée Headland). This area has been listed as a remarkable natural site since 1926. The jagged cliffs boast some natural treasures:
- Les 5 Pineaux, isolated rocks facing the ocean, acting as watchtowers at the entrance of Sion.
- Trou du Diable, a cave of foam shaped by erosion. At high tide, the waters come gushing in and are then violently spurted out.
HIKING ALONG THE GR8 HIKING ROUTE
The hiking route n°8 stretches for several hundred kilometres between Saint-Brévin-les-Pins (Loire-Atlantique) and Sare (Pyrénées Atlantiques) via the Vendée coastline, and the Pays de Saint Gilles in particular. This national ‘Grande Randonée’ long-distance hiking route (GR8), marked in red and white, will lead you along the coast, from Brem-sur-Mer to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, via Brétignolles-sur-Mer and Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.
On this route, you can explore the rocky coast and cliffs dotted with coves, and witness the sheer beauty of the natural environment along the Vendée coast, the sandy beaches, dunes, forest and salt marshes.
The Vélodyssée is a cycle path that also runs along the Atlantic coast, via this magnificent destination.
WALKS AND HIKES
Whether you’re alone, with family or with friends, we recommend exploring our waymarked trails to admire the natural environment in this local area.
Whether you are used to long walks or not, don’t worry, there’s something for everyone. There are almost 30 walks to do in the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, of varying distance (from 3.6 km to 16.1 km). Each walk will guide you around certain points of interest, combining local heritage sites, monuments, viewpoints and places to visit.