Jard-sur-Mer, Pays de la Loire: tourism & sightseeing
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The small town of Jard-sur-Mer is on the coast of south-western Vendée, here known as the 'Côte de Lumière', to the south-east of the popular Sables d'Olonne resort and north-west of La Tranche-sur-Mer.
The town of Jard-sur-Mer can be seen as falling into three separate regions: the traditional town centre, the port area and the beaches. Not surprisingly it is above all the beaches that attract visitors to Jard-sur-Mer.
The coastal centre of Jard-sur-Mer is based around the port area. The harbour, overlooked by the Conchette windmill, can hold more than 500 boats. The port and jetty area is a pleasant place to take a stroll and around the edges of the port there are plenty of bars and restaurants to take a pause.
There are small beaches close to hand either side of the harbour, and of course several of the well known sandy beaches of Vendée with easy reach - the Plage du Pe du Canon just north of the harbour and the Plage de la Mine a little further north-west are among the most popular of the local beaches. The Plage de la Mine would be our choice, because of its scenic setting with low cliffs behind the beach.
There are also rocky sections along the coast here, which is not always the case along the Atlantic beaches
A short distance to the north, the traditional town centre of Jard-sur-Mer is also a bustling destination in the summer months as visitors buy fresh produce from the daily market and walk around the pedestrianised town centre.
France This Way comment: the port and town in Jard-sur-Mer are both quite small but very nicely maintained and active in high season so would be a good choice of destination for those looking to have a quiet, but not very quiet, holiday in the Vendee.
Quite unusually for coastal resorts in Vendée there are also some sites of historical interest to visit in the vicinity, even if much of the town centre is of recent construction. Principal among these is the remains of the nearby Abbey of Lieu-Dieu, dating back to the 12th century and about two kilometres west of the town. The abbey was seriously damaged during the Wars of Religion in the 17th century but sufficient remains to make a visit worthwhile.
Beyond the abbey the coast along the Payre estuary and headland is among the most scenic in the region and a very nice place for a walk along the cliffs and sea-front.
The ancient roman style Church of Sainte-Radegonde, best known for the medieval carvings of monsters around the belltower, and the 17th century Chapel of Saint Anne are among the other places of interest.
The home of Georges Clemenceau, an important French politician at the time of the First World War, is a listed National Monument in France and can be visited at nearby Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard.
There are also numerous trails through the forests that follow much of the coast around Jard-sur-Mer which make for a pleasant and usually very peaceful change from the beaches, with both walking and cycling routes available. There is even a 'training circuit' marked out for those who want a little more activity during their visit!
See more of the popular beaches and resorts in Vendee
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Map of Jard-sur-Mer and places to visit
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Address: Jard-sur-Mer, Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, Sables-d'Olonne, Vendee, Pays de la Loire, 85520, France || GPS: latitude 46.417222, longitude -1.575556
Plan your visit to Jard-sur-Mer, Pays de la Loire
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Georges Clemenceau house: national monument (2km)
- Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne: zoo or wildlife park (16km)
- Ars-en-Re: most beautiful village (24km)
- Saint-Martin-de-Ré citadelle (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (29km)
- La Flotte-en-Re: most beautiful village (32km)
Market days in Jard-sur-Mer, France
Regular market(s) are held in Jard-sur-Mer each Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Jard-sur-Mer (Francais)