The municipalities of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and Bretignolles-sur-Mer offer a wide choice of water activities on 5 sea bases and three lakes.
Nautical bases and associations will encourage the practice of sailing in all its forms, sports and games.


Dinghies gives everyone a good feeling of gliding : optimist , dinghy sailing, windsurfing or catamaran, according to your desires.

Where to practice dinghy sailing?

To ensure the benefits of the best, the EFV ( French School of Sailing) undertake to respect the quality charter drawn up jointly. This charter, posted at the entrance of the EFV , highlights five quality criteria:

  • a personalized welcome,
  • qualified managerial and graduate,
  • an assessment of your level,
  • suitable equipment and in good condition,
  • an appropriate safety device.

Labelled by the French Sailing Federation, the Point Passion FFVoile involved in security and information practitioners on water and public land and respect for the environment.


Surfing has already conquered many followers on the Vendée coast, from 6 years .The spots in Brétignolles-sur-Mer and Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie are widely proven and bring together enthusiasts of all levels.

The surf spots of the Pays de Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

  • Brétignolles : Sauzaie (rocky plateau) and the beach of the Dunes (sandy shore)
  • Saint Gilles : in season, only in an area south of the main beach, "la passerelle"

Where surfing in the Pays de Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie?


Kitesurfing is born of the mixture between the kite and windsurfing. This sport arouses the enthusiasm of aerobatics enthusiasts.

There are several areas Kitesurf evolution on our coast:

  • Brétignolles sur Mer : beach of the Dunes 2, all year.
  • Saint Gilles Croix de Vie : in season, only in an area south of the main beach, "la passerelle"
  • Saint Hilaire de Riez : reserved area between the beach of Becs and Les Salins beach, all year.

Where to learn kitesurfing in Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie?

Sand yachting

The sand-yachting is passable on most beaches of the Pays de Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. It allows to get drunk sensations flush to the beach, a sport as fascinating to watch as practice.

Where to learn sand-yachting in Pays de Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie?

  • From April to October: At Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, on the Grande Plage : Semvie Nautisme.
  • July and August : Saint Hilaire de Riez, on the beach of Demoiselles : Saint Hilaire Nautisme

 The Sand Yachting Center label is issued by the FFCV to structures that meet specifications ensuring users:

  • quality supervision,
  • a welcome adapted to the discipline,
  • a service offering to meet all personal projects: a leisure practice or an educational project in schools,
  • a sports commitment or competition practice in the clubs.

For more information: Fédération Française de Char à Voile (french link)

Sea kayaking

Sea kayaking is the ideal boat to visit the coast, whatever the duration of the hike. In tune with the times, kayaking is sporty, regenerating and environmentally.

The wave-ski

The wave-ski is a compromise between surfing and kayaking. Sitting on a thick surfboard with a paddle, wave-skiing allows you to experience fast thrills in contact with the wave.

Where practicing wave ski or sea kayaking in the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie?

The stand-up paddle or SUP

It is practiced on a long, wide board on which the surfer stands up and propels itself with a large paddle.

Where to practice SUP in Pays de Saint Gilles?

The Longe-côte

The longe-côte is to enjoy hiking along the shore with water up to their bellies, possibly helping a paddle.

Where to practice the longe-côte at the Pays de Saint Gilles?

Water ski, aqua karting and jet-ski

The water ski is an installation for water skiing on a lake, traction is ensured by a system of cables.

The aquakart is an electric water-kart. very fun activity, combining speed, safety and ecology.

Discover the joys of Jet Skiing in the Pays de Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.

Where to practice jet skiing in Pays de Saint Gilles?