La Roche-sur-Yon travel guide

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Visit La Roche-sur-Yon (Pays de la Loire, France)

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La Roche-sur-Yon is a town in the centre of the Vendée department of north-west France. It is the prefecture town for the department, and part of the Loire-Atlantique region.

Explore La Roche-sur-Yon

France This Way review: although there is not a great deal to see in the town, we enjoyed a visit to the centre of La Roche-sur-Yon to see the gardens with their automated wildlife and to stroll around the shopping area.

You can find the tourist office in the large open square next to the market near the rear of the main church. You can ask for a map of the town in the tourist office to help you find the less prominent attractions.

Park in the centre of La Roche-sur-Yon

The centre of any visit to La Roche-sur-Yon will be the Place Napoléon. This is one of the largest open squares in France and, as well as the interesting buildings around the edges of the square you can explore the gardens that fill much of the central part of the square.

The square contains several large ornamental ponds, and these contain animals such as a hippo, an owl and others that contain mechanisms so that, at a push of a button, they move, make noises and squirt water. These are very will done and children of all ages will be interested.

The gardens of the square are also nicely maintained and in the centre of the square there is a large statue of Napoléon.

On one edge of the square you can see the most imposing church in La Roche-sur-Yon, even if it is not very old and does not look much like a church - the Church Saint-Louis was built in the 19th century in the neoclassical style with a facade that is inspired by Roman temples, with a row of 6 large stone columns beneath a triangular fronton.

The church Saint-Louis is the largest church in the Vendée department, up to 71 metres long and 51 metres wide.

The interior of the church is nicely decorated although more traditional in style, with a large central nave separated from the two side aisles by large stone columns. The furnishings, paintings and stained glass windows are all typical of the 19th century.


Elsewhere on the edge of the Place Napoléon you can see the Town Hall from 1810 and the original Justice Palace from 1815, also in the style of a neo-classical temple. The Justice Palace is now a local museum, celebrating painting, photography and graphic art since the 19th century.

As you continue to stroll through the town centre in La Roche-sur-Yon you will come across other interesting and historic buildings such as the Préfecture and an impressive building that was owned by La Poste. This was built in the art deco style in the early years of the 20th century - as well as the main structure of the building, take a look at the style of the canopy above ther entrance.

Opposite the préfecture there is a pleasant small park

Rather hidden in a side street to the side of the tourist office you can find the oldest house in the town, a townhouse dating from 1566 and built over three stories in a simple renaissance style.

Now behind a small park area, the Italian Theatre is also in the neoclassical style featuring a row of columns and has been recently restored.

Temple in town centre in La Roche-sur-Yon

Also here in the centre of La Roche-sur-Yon you will find a long shopping street and a good selection of cafes and restaurants.

There is another imposing church in La Roche-sur-Yon on Rue Blériot, the Church of the Sacred Heart. Although this church at first glance appears traditional, it was actually constructed through the middle of the 20th century and incorporates various architectural styles and elements.

Attractions nearby

Most of the attracions in Vendée are on the coast, well known for its long sandy beaches, with resorts such as Les Sables d'Olonne and Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie but closer to La Roche-sur-Yon you will enjoy a visit to the Chateau de Talmont - during the summer various events are held in the castle, but it can be visited at other times of the year.

You can find more travel ideas in the Vendee guide and the Pays de la Loire guide.

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Visit near La Roche-sur-Yon with France This Way reviews



The village of Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits in Vendée has a large medieval market hall and a roman style church to visit

Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits guide
Chateau de Talmont

Chateau de Talmont

The Chateau of Talmont is a ancient castle, now in ruins, in the Vendee department

Chateau de Talmont guide


The small town of Talmont-Saint-Hilaire is mainly known for the Chateau de Talmont, where various events take place during the summer season.

Talmont-Saint-Hilaire guide


At Longeville-sur-Mer you will enjoy the lively market in the town as well as the sandy beach

Longeville-sur-Mer guide


Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard is a small resort in Vendee where you can visit the house and gardens of Georges Clemenceau

Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard guide
Chateau d\'Olonne

Chateau d'Olonne

Chateau d'Olonne is a very small resort, well placed for exploring the coast and visiting Sables d'Olonne

Chateau d'Olonne guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vendee

Address: Roche-sur-Yon, Pays de la Loire, 85000, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.669378, longitude -1.418722

Plan your visit to La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendee

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardins de Chaligny: remarkable garden (25 km)
  • Georges Clemenceau house: national monument (30 km)
  • Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne: zoo or wildlife park (33 km)
  • Jardins du Bâtiment: remarkable garden (34 km)
  • Puy de Fou: theme park (45 km)
  • Fauconnerie du Puy du Fou (falconry): zoo or wildlife park (45 km)
  • Marais de Machecoul: site of natural beauty (47 km)
  • Saint-Jean-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (51 km)
  • Eglise de Notre-Dame (Vouvant): religious monument (51 km)
  • Vouvant: most beautiful village (51 km)
  • Lac de Grand-Lieu: site of natural beauty (51 km)
  • Marans: ville fleurie 4* (52 km)

Market days in La Roche-sur-Yon, France

Regular market(s) are held in La Roche-sur-Yon each Wednesday & Tuesday & Thursday & Saturday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at La Roche-sur-Yon (Francais)