If you're planning a family holiday in the Vendee, make sure you add a few of its fabulous chateaux to your itinerary. The department is home to some absolutely stunning buildings that will wow adults and children alike. Here are some of the chateaux you really shouldn't miss:
Chateau des Essarts
Located in Les Essarts, Chateau des Essarts has an impressive 2,000-year history. It dates back to Roman times, though there have been plenty of additions since then, including a Saracen tower in the 12th century and renovation work in the 13th, 16th and 19th centuries.
This is a great place to come for anyone with a keen interest in France's history, since figures such as Napoleon and Charles VII stayed here. And for parents travelling with kids, there are some 25 hectares of parkland where lively children can burn off a little energy before you head back to your holiday home.
Le Chateau Feodal de Sigournais
Le Chateau Feodal de Sigournais is a listed Historic Monument which can be found in Sigournais. Dating from the 15th century, this feudal castle has a stunning keep and seven towers that are bound to spark the imaginations of children.
In fact, this attraction offers competitions and 'funbooks' for kids ages eight to 12, so if your children fall into this age range they'll have even more to keep them occupied.
Inside the keep, you can see a collection of coats of arms from the Vendee itself, as well as the rest of France and Europe, in addition to an exhibition on wine in the Middle Ages - so there's plenty to interest mums and dads, too.
Chateau de la Greve
Over in Saint Martin des Noyers is Chateau de la Greve, which dates back to the 1100s. This place has a really rich history, including having an important role during the Wars of Religion. Later in its lifetime, it became a centre for agriculture, and today is a prime tourist attraction.
In terms of children's activities, it regularly hosts fantastic medieval workshops that give them the chance to rush around on exciting treasure hunts, for example, while there are also annual events for people of all ages. These include Christmas markets and medieval-themed days.
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