During your vacation at Le Petit Paris, visit downtown Sables d’Olonne with its boardwalk, villas and charming neighbourhoods.
The promenade that runs along the vast beach of Sables d’Olonne, is steeped in history. You will be able to go back in time, thanks to the historical plaques set along the promenade, indicating the architecture from the 1930s. You can see, in particular, “La Pendule”, a pendulum clock measuring 8 meters high, which was built on an old blockhouse and inaugurated on July 1st 1956.
The boardwalk is very popular with holidaymakers and locals alike who take advantage of the bars and restaurants with view of the ocean, shops and nightly entertain in July and August.
Parallel to the boardwalk, you can continue shopping in the pedestrian streets, buy fresh produce and local specialties at the market, les Halles, walk along the fishing harbour and visit the Notre Dame de Bon Port church and quaint neighbourhoods in the city centre.
Places you will not want to miss :
Ile Penotte: a small neighbourhood with narrow streets, facades and walls decorated with shell mosaics. These decorations, inspired by mythology and fantastic folktales, were produced from 1997 by Danièle Arnaud-Aubin, a resident and local artist. She is nicknamed “the lady of the seashells” and has made this district a must-see in the Sables d’Olonne.
La Chaume: you will enjoy an exceptional view of the bay of Les Sables d’Olonne from the Château Saint-Clair and the Tower of Arundel, built in the 15th century by the Princes of Talmont. Originally, La Chaume was an independent district of immigrant Spanish fishermen.
Today there are pretty, colourful houses, numerous ballast stone walls and low, whitewashed houses, signs of their architectural influence.
You can access La Chaume, the oldest district of the city, from Les Sables, by boarding the maritime shuttle, to cross the channel, the legendary start of the Vendée Globe.
You will thus discover its narrow streets, the Tower of Arundel and its fortress, the Priory of Saint Nicolas and La Grande Jetée.
AND the ports and harbours : the fishing port, dating back to the 16th century, is situated in the city centre. The 19th century commercial port, located on the island of Cabaude is just opposite the fishing port. The marina ‘Quai Garnier’ in the heart of downtown Les Sables d’Olonne, close to lively neighbourhoods animated with bars and restaurants.
Finally, Port Olona, La Vendée’s first marina, built in 1979. It hosts many events including the famous Vendée Globe!