Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Pays de la Loire: tourism & sightseeing
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The town and associated coastline of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is one of the best known and most visited of the popular resorts along the Vendée coast of western France - the 'Côte de Lumière'.
It is situated just a few kilometres north of the lively town of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, and south-east of Saint-Jean-de-Monts, and includes an extensive stretch of the coast between these two towns, explaining its popularity.
France This Way comment: you will often not know whether you are in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez or Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie as they are so close together. The two together make a very popular destination, with the beaches of the former and the lively town of the latter providing a very good combination.
As with much of the Vendée coast, around Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez you will find sandy beaches and rockier sections of coast, sand dunes and forests, and an extensive marsh environment further inland.
Nearby there are numerous beaches that are supervised, including Les Marines, Merlin-Plage,Sion-sur-l'Océan and the Plage des Demoiselles, with the focus on children-friendly beaches with lots of family activities. The beaches and rocky coves of the plage de Sion are one of our favourites.
The town centre of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is also pleasant, and centred around the Church of Saint-Hilaire, largely a 19th century reconstruction in neo-gothic style of churches that previously stood in the same location.
Apart from the church there are no monuments of particular historical importance but the number of visitors means that the town has a very happy, 'holiday' feel to it for much of the summer, and you will also find all the facilities you need.
Garden enthusiasts will be pleased to know there are two gardens open to the public here - Le Jardin de Rigonnieres, with a focus on flowers, and the gardens of the Bourrine du Bois Juquaud. The Borrine is very interesting because it is set around one of the traditional houses of the region, with low walls and a thatched roof, and a chance to see what life was like here 200 years ago.
If you are staying here there is a very wide choice of accommodation available, with campsites and holiday villages being the most popular with visitors, and hotels near the centre of the resort (although a greater selection of hotels can be found at nearby Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and Saint-Jean-de-Monts).
Nature lovers will also enjoy cycling and walking in the Dominial Forest that is behind the beach to the north of the town.
See more of the popular beaches and resorts in Vendee
Map of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez and places to visit
Visit near Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vendee
Address: Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, Sables-d'Olonne, Vendee, Pays de la Loire, 85270, France || GPS: latitude 46.721944, longitude -1.944167
Plan your visit to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Pays de la Loire
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Saint-Jean-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (12km)
- Notre-Dame-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (19km)
- Phare de la Pointe des Corbeaux: site of natural beauty (26km)
- Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne: zoo or wildlife park (30km)
Market days in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, France
Regular market(s) are held in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez each Tuesday & Thursday & Sunday & Monday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (Francais)