The largest stud. You can take a ride on

The French have some really wonderful and different ideas for the Christmas period. Each one of them is done in style. Most of the towns have a distinctively Christmas feel about them and are well worth a visit at this time of year.

Traditionally the Vendee has become a fantastic summer holiday place, but do not let that put you off when the temperature drops.  Take time and visit one of the many small towns and villages. You will not be disappointed.

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For something completely different, take a look at our first suggestion:


Noel au Haras – The famous Vendee Horses.

From 26th December 2017 till 7th January 2018. 2-30pm – 7-30pm.

This year, the world famous Haras complex is putting on a Xmas spectacular called

“The Fantasy Odyssey of the Rider of Anse Rouge”



This spectacular show last for 5 hours

The story is about the legend of the Mervent horse. A young girl has to find the shoes from some of history’s famous horses to try and save an injured horse.

Also available on 21st and 22nd December is a tour of France’s largest stud. You can take a ride on a horse and carriage and, also learn about this famous stud.

This is a must see for any horse lover out there.

Christmas animations

In addition to the great equestrian show, the Haras opens its doors for free throughout the Christmas holidays with entertainment for the whole family. 

In the program :

Puppet Theater Guignol
Ponies on stage
Makeup and creative hobbies
Circus workshop
Walking and animation of fantasy horses
Hitching on the nursery site
Pony ride (2 €) and Grand Carrousel (2 €)



Our next offering is:

Christmas Walk 2017 in Fontenay-Le-Comte

From 15th – 17th December with free admission. 10am till 8pm

For the past 13 years, the small town of Fontenay-le-Comte has had it’s traditional Christmas market. It is located in a wonderful setting along the Poey d’Avant wharf which is right in the city centre.

The market is growing year on year and is now proving really popular with over 18,000 visitors in 2016.

The market itself is a craft and commercial one especially for local artisans, auto-entrepreneurs and traders.

The first thing about Fontenay that you notice is that it’s a wonderful historic town and right in the middle is a large square and is used for a car park, a boules pitch plus it is somewhere to relax and unwind.

Below the square is the main walkway to the market town. The town is typically French in every way with trees, water fountains and blocked uneven paving. The food smells drift up towards you with the distinctive smell of Paella and freshly baked bread.

The market is a mix of all trades. There is a wonderful African stall selling leather belts and African trinkets. There is also an inside market which is full of every type of sea fish imaginable. The winding cobbled streets are dotted with café’s and loads of stalls selling the very best fresh vegetables.

















Next on our list is:

Noel en Fete at la Roche-Sur-Yon

The City of La Roche-sur-Yon invites you from 9 to 21 December, with family or friends, to share fifteen days of Christmas

Roche-Sur-Yon has decided this year to have a very traditional theme of red, white and gold. ( The Dream of Herbert )

Six white silhouettes covered in white appear. They invite us to follow them. Over time, they transform into majestic characters, their heads light up and they take us towards a luminous star. The music is really haunting as they perform a magic ritual that will allow the star to rise in the sky.

·         Saturday, December 9, 2017, starting at 5:30 pm (duration: 1 hour) ( The Bal Des Lumineoles ) 

At dusk,the Place Napolean becomes very atmospheric. Three characters on stilts with wings parade amongst the audience, inviting Lumineoles, great birds of light, to dance. Full of colour, they fly into the sky with the city in the background. At the same time, the water  eggs illuminate, and seem to form a path of light on the pond. Plants with twinkling flowers spread their buds.

·         Sunday, December 17, 2017, from 17 h 30 (duration: approximately 1 h 30) Place Napoléon – La Roche-sur-Yon



Lastly, we have:

Brissac en son Parc

Christmas fairy decorations. December 23rd 2017  till January 7th 2018

During the Christmas holidays, go and have a look with the kids and admire the sumptuous decorations and Christmas lights that are installed throughout the tour.

Every day except Tuesdays, 25 December and 1 st January 

Two guided tours are available. First one is at 12:00. The second one is at 2:00 p.m.

Reduced rate of € 8.50 and free for children under 16 years old.


We do hope that you are able to visit one of our suggestions. On behalf of all of us at Bike Hire Direct Vendee, may we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year with peace and prosperity in 2018.