(Picture above: Vouvant - voted one of the prettiest villages in France in recent times)

There are so many quaint and pretty villages to explore within just a stone's throw of the cottage, namely St Paul En Gatine, St Pierre De Chemin, L'Absie and Foussais Payré.  The nearest town, La Chataigneraie is a 10 minute drive, offering 2 supermarkets, banks, shops, restaurants, and an open air swimming pool.Throughout the summer there are various festivals in the nearby villages and towns to enjoy.

The village "Café Bonbon" is a friendly place to either relax and have a hot or cold drink accompanied by a home made cake, or enjoy a delicious meal - be it breakfast, lunch or dinner at a very small price. Being just 1.5km away by road, It is reachable by foot within 10 mins walk through the forest path from the cottage.

Reachable by car at approximately 4km from the cottage is a local boulangerie / patisserie.  

Le Lys is en route on the marked and mapped "Randonnée du Lys", which offers two planned walks, varying in distance and highlighting the local attractions.  It is also on the "Sentiers Cyclables de la Vendée" and so is a perfect place for the avid walker, hiker or cyclist.

Within a 10 minute drive, or 30 minute bike ride from the cottage, hidden away in La Tardiere is  the green nature/leisure park of Etruyère, offering a large lake, restaurant/bar with pool and water slide, horse riding, marked trails, pedalos, boules and table tennis and a small outdoor sanded play area with slide for the little ones.  There are picnic benches for those who would prefer to bring their own lunch.  Perfectly placed adjecent to the restaurant is the Lilo z'enfants adventure park, aimed at children aged 2 - 12 years, full to the brim with fun and activities to keep your children endlessly entertained, giving you the opportunity to relax and soak up some rays whilst being able to keep an eye on them.  Lilo's activities include: inflatable slides and bouncy castles, bungee trampolines, a children's electric quad track, playhouses, sand and ball pits, games and lots more! The perfect place for all the family.

Chantermerle, with it's outdoor go-karting track and adjecent adventure park, is just a 10 minute drive from the cottage.  Set within the heart of the forest, the adventure park is packed full of outdoor fun and adventure with treetop courses, zipwires, outdoor games, discovery trails, crazy golf, picnic areas and lots more, it makes for a great, active and fun filled family day out!

Classed as one of the prettiest villages in France, the stunning Vouvant is just 15 minutes drive, girdled by a loop of the river Mère with beautiful medieval buildings, stunning views, superb restaurants, local artists and art galleries, it offers an excellent mix of art, culture and history. 

Adjacent to Vouvant and also reachable within 15 minutes is the village of Mervent with its huge forest extending over 5000 hectares and vast fresh water lake with safe swimming and numerous sports activities available suchas hiking, horse riding, mountain biking and many water activities with its' own water sports school, pedalos and canoes to hire.  Within the forest is Le Parc de Pierre-Brun adventure park, with something for all ages and packed full of activities and rides, this makes for a fun packed family day out.There are also restaurants over looking the lake and a man made beach where you can relax, sunbathe and swim.  Also within Mervent is the Naturezoo.

Reachable within 20 minutes is Le Lac De Chasson, Xanton Chassenon, which has just undergone huge redevelopment, making the lake one of the largest water park attractions in the Vendee!  It has a large lake offering safe swimming, a water flume, toddler's pool, pedalos, man made beach with cafe, children's outdoor play area and picnic area too!  There is also a nearby restaurant with a view over the lake.

The lush green and very beautiful "Venise Verte", Marais Poitevin is reachable within approximately 30 minutes and is definitely worth a visit.  Renowned for its waterways, the best way to see the region and its wildlife is by boat (or bicycle). There are many embarcaderes where the barques can be hired with or without a guide and there are picnic spots at the water's edge; some hirers offer nocturnal trips.

Other attractions to visit in the area are the amazing historical Puy du Fou, which has been voted Europe's no. 1 theme park attraction and has the following Trip Advisor quote when given the 2013 Travellers Choice Award: " for an unforgettable trip with family or friends! Puy du Fou Park is a whirlwind of extraordinary shows and a real breath of fresh air far from everyday hustle and bustle."

Located near to Poitiers and reachable within 1.5 hours is Futuroscope, or Parc du Futuroscope, which, with it's raving reviews is one of the best and most interesting French theme parks, based upon multimedia, cinematographic futuroscope and audio-visual techniques. It has several 3D cinemas and a few 4D cinemas, along with other attractions, rides and shows, some of which are the only examples in the world. 

For the keen fisherman, Pescalis is a 20 minute drive and is one of the premier fishing complexes in Europe!

Depending on how adventurous you are, other activities you can partake in nearby are  microlite flights in Breuil Barret and even bungee jumping in Loge Fougereuse - both reachable in under 10 minutes! 

The cottage is a 1 hour drive to the beaches of La Faute Sur Mer, La Tranche, Jard and Chatelaillon, the harbour side town of La Rochelle, and the unforgettable Ile de Re with its beaches, small ports, shops and cafes perfect for enjoying the Vendee's 2,400 hours of sunshine per year - equivalent to the French Riviera. Charron is renowned for its mussels and is the place to go if you like seafood!  Les Sables D'Olonne offers a long sandy beach lined with restaurants and hotels, just beneath Brem Sur Mer which boasts a very child friendly, safe and sandy beach with rock pools to explore - both are worth the day trip out and reachable within an hour and a half.