The town of Talmont Saint Hilaire is located between our campsites in Les Sables d’Olonne and Jard sur Mer. If you are looking for a family day out away from the beach, but don’t want a long journey, it could be an ideal destination.
The town’s most well-known attraction is Le Chateau de Talmont. This castle has connections with Richard the Lionheart, but the reason it is so popular is due to the child friendly activities that bring medieval history to life. Much of Le Chateau de Talmont is a ruin, but its history is recreated by audio tours or guided tours around the site. The main tower remains intact and a climb up the tower’s steps offers great views over the surrounding Vendee countryside.
All around the castle, there are opportunities to get involved and discover more about the past. Children can dress up in medieval costumes including knight’s armour and take part in a number of historically based activities. For added entertainment there are a number of displays from jousting knights on horseback to falconry demonstrations.
The castle makes for an affordable day out. The car park is free, the entry fee is good value and you can pay a small additional charge for activities such as crossbow firing and a mini-knight experience. There is no café or restaurant at the castle, so it is a good idea to take your own picnic.
If you have a spare hour or two to spare, there are a couple of other attractions in Talmont Saint Hilaire. The first is the Aquarium le 7eme Continents. This is a relatively small and low key aquarium in comparison to Oceanopolis in Brest or La Rochelle Aquarium, but has a good selection of fish from around the world. As a smaller attraction it doesn’t attract the crowds of the larger aquariums, so can provide a calm retreat from the sun.
The town is also home to a unique collection of automobile history. Musee Automobile de Vendee contains examples of cars from the height of French and wider European engineering, including a number of rare models. It is run by car enthusiast who can provide more detailed information on the exhibits for those who are interested. The cars are displayed along with classic imagery used in car advertisements, so provides an interesting insight into motoring history.
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