4 things to see absolutely on Noirmoutier Island
The Vendée is a succession of beautiful landscapes: if you don’t know what to do Saint-Jean-de-Monts , Noirmoutier is the preferred destination. With its typical landscapes, its sandy beaches and its must-see sites, the department is home to a true haven of peace. So, what to do in Noirmoutier?
The medieval castle
From its dungeon nearly 20 meters high, Noirmoutier castle completely dominates the city. This 12th century castle surrounded by ramparts kept its military function until the 19th century.
Recently restored, the castle has undergone conservation. With its strategic position, the monks and the population of the island of Noirmoutier used it as a place of defense against the Vikings. It’s like the city’s watchtower. Since 1935, the building has housed a museum dedicated to the history of the island .
There is an important collection of paintings, English porcelain from Jersey, marine objects and others testifying to ornithology, history and local archeology. From the top of the towers, you can observe the salt marshes, the extent of the island and the bay of Bourgneuf.
The wood of the chair
The Wood of the Chair is a national forest of Noirmoutier. The Bois de la Chaise is popular with tourists every summer. It connects the different beaches of the coast and is home to magnificent villas. It is known for its holm oaks and mimosas, as well as its beautiful shaded beaches.
On the beaches, we find the famous Noirmoutier cabins. The Wood of the Chair is an essential stopover for nature lovers who will be able to discover old trees and in particular many holm oaks which give a real cachet to the landscape. It is a nice place to walk in the forest. There are many forest paths there.
During a walk, you can discover the Dames beach and its pontoon, unknown trails, the Grotte St Philbert, as well as the beautiful villas of the 1920s. The walk is very pleasant and peaceful.
Marina and fishing port, the port of l’Herbaudière offers an idyllic landscape. It is the first marina built in Vendée. It is a pleasant place to walk with its souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.
A true little corner of paradise, it is home to one of the most important gatherings of traditional sailing ships on the Atlantic coast. One can find many restaurants, bars and shops all around. It’s a nice place, where you can, for example, taste mussels fresh from a small blue boat.
The salt marshes
Salt marshes occupy a large space in the center of Noirmoutier island. The color of salt marshes can range from pale green to intense red depending on the salinity and the microorganisms present in the water. The hundred salt workers still present on the island represent a vestige of ancestral know-how. They frequently offer tours of salt marshes on their own farm.
Here, the salt, 100% natural, is harvested in an artisanal way with respect for traditions. You can observe small mounds of salt, collected by salt workers on the edges. Salt is obtained by the evaporation of sea water, under the combined action of sun and wind. The salt crystallizes on the surface, which gives rise to the very famous Fleur de Sel de Noirmoutier.
The salt marshes are frequented by hundreds of species of sedentary or migratory birds, which follow one another throughout the seasons. You can observe gray herons, seagulls, egrets and sacred ibis.
What to do in Noirmoutier ? You now have the answer to this question. No need to hesitate about choosing your vacation destination!