l'le-de-Noirmoutier Destination Guide

l'le-de-Noirmoutier is a small, natural island is located off the Vendee coast and is just 20 km long and 7 km wide. It is a nature-lovers dream with its preserved heritage of sand dunes, salt marshes and dense forest. The island has a considerable amount of warmth and sunshine, due to its unique microclimate.

Activities

Activities on the island include water sports, sailing, fishing and deep-sea diving. There are many sites and attractions to visit and explore such as museums, churches and local craft shops. Le Chateau de Noirmoutier is one of the landmarks that are most frequently visited. Over the centuries this castle has been built on and restored, with the very first traces dating all the way back to 830. The 12th-century castle and museum have exquisite views looking out over the island and the ocean.

There is a traditional market held each Friday morning. You will find famous local produce including the Bonnotte potatoes (the most expensive in the world), oysters, fish and sea salt. As you can imagine the local cuisine is second to none. You will be spoilt for choice with authentic restaurants, cafes and creperies. In addition to this, each of the four villages on the island has its own little market, church, boulangerie and beach.

If you are travelling with children then you may wish to visit the Sealand Aquarium, take the Hippobus (horse-drawn carriage) for a tour around the salt marshes, and visit Ile aux Papillons. Significantly, it has over 700 varieties of butterflies from around the world. You could also travel to the Maison de l’Ann. There is a cute little donkey farm, Mini Ville, which displays little houses and villages from various areas within France, Petit Gris (a snail farm). Additionally, there is a tourist train which stops off at the various attractions and points of interest around the island.

Travel

The island is conveniently connected to the mainland by a bridge that was built in 1971. It can also be reached via “Le Gois”. This is a 4.8 km long cobblestone walkway, covered twice daily by the tides.

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