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Brétignolles-sur-Mer is a family-friendly seaside resort with a great, easy-going atmosphere. There are 5 beaches along the coast here where swimmers and surfers of any level will find what they’re looking for! Curious and sporty visitors will be delighted with the natural environment and the local heritage sites are sure to be a hit with those looking for authenticity.

The must-sees in Brétignolles-sur-Mer

1 – Vendée Miniature

Vendée miniature is an idealistic scale model of the Vendée from bygone days. Come and see for yourself one of the most beautiful miniature villages in France, with 650 figurines (1/10 scale), bringing to life this village in the Vendée woodland.

(Estimated time: approximately 1.5 hours)

2 – Sainte Véronique Rock

In Corque cove, you’ll see Sainte Véronique rock, a natural monolith, standing upright. it is 6.5 metres high but a part of the top of the rock was destroyed at the beginning of the 1960s in a very strong tide. It is still the icon of this jagged coastline.

(Estimated time for a self-guided tour: 10 min)

3 – La Sauzaie / Le Jaunay dune area

This is one of the biggest dune areas in the Vendée with no woodland. It is a classified Natura 2000 site, especially for its exceptional flora and fauna. You’ll enjoy walking around this unspoilt natural environment where you’ll catch a glimpse of some species that are native to the area.

4 – CRoss of David calvary

The Cross of David calvary was built in 1908 and is owned by the family from the Château de Beaumarchais.

5 – Church of Notre Dame

The church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption was built between 1847 and 1850 based on basilica-type plans. There’s a white marble high altar, a wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ on the cross dating from the 19th century, statues and a magnificent organ.

(Estimated time: 10 min)

6 – la Pierre Levée Dolmen

This dolmen includes an oval-shaped, 45-cm-thick quartz table, which is sloping to the west and rests upon 3 rocks – 2 granite and 1 quartz. The dolmen is also known as the ‘Pierre du Diable’ (devil’s stone) because according to legend, as the devil was carrying stones, he ran into the Virgin by surprise. He therefore left his stones where he was and they formed the dolmen. This megalith is a tombstone from the Neolithic era and is classified a Historic Monument.

(Estimated time for a self-guided tour: 5 min)

7 – Marais Girard RED STONE

The stone is a deposit of red quartz at the foot of the ‘customs officer’s stone tablet’, and is around 5 metres high. From the cliff, to the right of the guard house, there is a big quartz ledge, around 50/80 cm thick, that stretches for more than 100 metres out towards the ocean.

(Estimated time for a self-guided tour: 5 min)

8 – STELE of Marais Girard

The stèle of Marais Girard is a reminder that the path along the headland was built in 1954, on Jacques Hillerin’s land. It was built in the ruins of the former guard house. This house was built in 1756 and was used by the custom’s officers in charge of watching over any boarding and docking. The custom’s officers here would collect the salt tax, known back then as the ‘gabelle’. The ruins of this house were restored in 1968.

(Estimated time: 15 minutes)

9 – The beaches

Every beach in Brétignolles-sur-Mer has a very different atmosphere: La Sauzaie is a wild beach on a rocky coast with coves, renowned for the surf spot here, La Parée beach is near an area of town that is very lively during the summer, Marais Girard is popular with the little ones because there is a playground nearby, La Normandelière is a sandy beach that is ideal for families, and finally, the Dunes 1 and 2 sandy beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing and kitesuring. There are on-duty lifeguards here in July and August.

10 – The coastal path

There is a cycle path that doubles up as a footpath for pedestrians along the coast of Brétignolles-sur-Mer.

You can explore the headland and the dunes in complete safety, with a view of the sea along the entire path!