43 Properties for sale in Vendée, Pays de la Loire, France
Rows of cheerful yellow sunflowers nodding gently in the breeze. Vast expanses of golden sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, with waves rolling in from the Atlantic and crashing spectacularly on the shore. The stuff of picture-perfect postcard scenes, the Vendée department in Pays-de-la-Loire has something for everyone to enjoy. When it comes to sunshine, the Vendée is almost on a par with the south of France with up to 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, and with some 70 miles of sandy beaches there's no shortage of opportunities to soak it up.
CAPITAL: LA ROCHE-SUR-YONNE - Originally burnt down by the Republicans in the wars of the Vendée, La Roche-sur-Yonne was selected by Napoleon I in 1804 to replace Fontenay-le-Comte as the préfecture. Today the large and grand Place Napoleon serves as the centre of the town's grid-like structure.
Average property prices
Vendée department: €158 000
Source: Notaires de France
Access from UK
By air: Nantes
By train: Eurostar to Paris, TGV to Nantes
By road: La Roche-sur-Yonne is 637km from Calais
Average annual temperature: (La Roche-sur-Yon): 7.5ºC/16.3ºC
Average annual rainfall: 900.9mm
Average annual sunshine hours: 1,852
For those who enjoy the great outdoors, most of inland Vendée is what the French refer to as bocage, meaning countryside. This stretches from the northern border of Vendée down to Fontenay-le- Comte, eventually reaching the marshy landscapes of the Marais Poitevin. In the south-east corner of Vendée, the village of Nieulsur-l'Autise is thought by many to be the birthplace of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her son Richard the Lionheart also spent time here. If you're a history buff then a visit to historical and educational theme park Le Puy du Fou is a must.