Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez travel guide

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Visit Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (Pays de la Loire, France)

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The town of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is situated next to 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.

Exploring Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

France This Way review: the coast of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is among the most attractive sections of coast along the Vendée coast of western France - the 'Côte de Lumière'.

Sand dunes at Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

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.

Close to hand you will find numerous beaches that are supervised, 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 is a continuous conurbation with Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, which it 'wraps around' to the south: Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie has a town centre that is more attractive to tourists while Saint-Hilaire-du-Riez is more functional, although the town centre of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is also pleasant.

The town is centred around the Church of Saint-Hilaire, largely a 19th century reconstruction in the 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 you will find all the facilities you need.

 
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Coast and beaches in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

The coast here can be seen as two distinct areas. The northern part is primarily beaches that extend for several kilometres, such as the Plage des Demoiselles, the Plage des Mouettes, and the Plage de la Parée Préneau and very popular with visitors. The larger beach closest to the town is called the Plage de Sion.

The coast to the south, closer to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, has several small beaches but is mostly a rocky coast with small sandy coves and several distinct features, such as some immense boulders. The walk around this section of coast, from the lighthouse, extends for about three kilometres and is very picturesque.

At the end of the main coast walk you reach a small area which includes the tourist office for Saint-Hilaire-du-Riez and various cafes and shops - there is a car park here, so you might prefer to start the coast walk here and walk south-west until you reach the lighthouse.

Coast walk in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

Attractions nearby

Garden enthusiasts will be pleased to know there is a garden open to the public here, the Jardin de Rigonnieres, an extensive garden with a focus on flowers

The Museum of the Bourrine du Bois Juquaud, is an ecomuseum set around the traditional houses of the region, with low walls and thatched roofs, and a chance to see what life was like here 200 years ago (the buildings are the principal attraction).

Bourrine is the name given to a certain type of building built in this region, typically in the 19th century, of clay and reeds and usually long and low

Nature lovers will 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

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

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Visit near Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez with France This Way reviews

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

The port town of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is an attractive and traditional town, very lively in summer

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie guide
Saint-Jean-de-Monts

Saint-Jean-de-Monts

At Saint-Jean-de-Monts you will enjoy the extensive sandy beaches and one of the livelier resorts on the Vendee coast

Saint-Jean-de-Monts guide
Bretignolles-sur-Mer

Bretignolles-sur-Mer

Bretignolles-sur-Mer is one of the smallest Vendee resorts - still has a big beach though!

Bretignolles-sur-Mer guide
Brem-sur-Mer

Brem-sur-Mer

Brem-sur-Mer is a small resort with a long beach to the north of Les Sables d'Olonne

Brem-sur-Mer guide
Notre-Dame-de-Monts

Notre-Dame-de-Monts

The resort of Notre-Dame-de-Monts is one of the quiter resorts of the Vendee coast

Notre-Dame-de-Monts guide
Sables d\'Olonne

Sables d'Olonne

The lively town of Sables-d'Olonne is our favourite resort on the Vendee coast

Sables d'Olonne guide

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

Address: Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, Sables-d'Olonne, Pays de la Loire, 85270, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.721944, longitude -1.944167

Plan your visit to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Vendee

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saint-Jean-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (12 km)
  • Notre-Dame-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (19 km)
  • Phare de la Pointe des Corbeaux: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne: zoo or wildlife park (30 km)
  • Fort de Pierre-Levée: site of natural beauty (31 km)
  • Port-Joinville: site of natural beauty (31 km)
  • Marais de Machecoul: site of natural beauty (32 km)
  • Vieux-château de l'Île d'Yeu: site of natural beauty (32 km)
  • Phare de l'île d'Yeu: site of natural beauty (33 km)
  • Aérodrome de L'Île-d'Yeu: site of natural beauty (34 km)
  • Georges Clemenceau house: national monument (46 km)
  • Planète sauvage (parc): zoo or wildlife park (46 km)

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)