Saint-Jean-de-Monts travel guide

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Visit Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Pays de la Loire, France)

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Saint-Jean-de-Monts is one of the more popular of the coastal resorts along the Vendée coast in western France, predominantly because of the long sandy beaches along the coast here. This section of coast is known as the 'Cote de Lumière'.

The town is situated between Noirmoutier to the north-west and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez to the south-east, and the island you can see out to sea on a clear day is the Ile d'Yeu.

Explore Saint-Jean-de-Monts

France This Way review: Saint-Jean-de-Monts is quite a lively resort and very popular with visitors and families with children and is a good choice if you want to pass a holiday in a typical resort

The main focus of any visit to Saint-Jean-de-Monts is going to be the beach. The beach here is an extensive fourteen kilometres long stretch of well maintained sand (it is the longest single beach in the Vendée department).

Of course with such a large area of sand available the beach is ideal for almost any activity you can think of...and several you haven't yet thought of! Sand-yachting is particularly popular.

Beach at St Jean-de-Monts

Beach at Saint-Jean-de-Monts

The beach slopes very gently into the sea so it is shallow for a large distance with minimal waves, and there are lifeguards in several places, which explains why Saint-Jean-de-Monts is so popular with families with small children. There is a long pedestrian pier on the beach in the centre of the town.

Note: there are actually several beaches in Sant-Jean-de-Monts, to add a bit of variety to your visit. The most important are the Grand Plage in the centre of the town and the Plage des Demoiselles to the south. Some of the beaches allow dogs, which are not permitted on the principal beaches.

A substantial length of the beaches is also backed by forests, planted in the 19th century, as was the case along a substantial part of the French Atlantic coast, to prevent erosion. These forests now provide numerous opportunities for shady walks.

One of the most distinctive architectural features in Saint-Jean-de-Monts is the large curved apartment blocks built in the 1970s, just behind the beach. I understand these are not loved by everyone but I found them to be rather attractive.


Just behind the beach you can enjoy a stroll along the promenade, or visit one of the many shops and restaurants. Of course you will also find a casino, almost obligatory in any French seaside resort!

You will also find a long street of shops and cafes leading between the beach and the town, very busy in summer and very typical of a large number of resorts in France.

Saint-Jean-de-Monts town centre

The centre of Saint-Jean-de-Monts is about two kilometres from the beaches, behind a large stretch of forest, and is centred around a large open square. While it won't take you long to explore the centre it is quite enjoyable to visit.

In the centre of the square there is quite a charming old church, built of stone and several interesting architectural features. The church dates from the 14th century, although it has been largely modified and rebuilt since that time. Inside the church you can see the stained glass windows.

14th century church in Saint-Jean-de-Monts

Other activities

Although sea-facing activities occupy most visitors to Saint-Jean-de-Monts be sure to allow time to explore the environment of the area.

Just a short distance inland from the town an extensive area of marshes and flat fields provides an interesting contrast to the town, or you can take a walk through the large forest. In places it is possible to hire a boat to better explore the marshes.

The town of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is not far to the south-west of here and has a vibrant centre, and day trips to the islands of Noirmoutier and Ile d'Yeu are very popular.

See more of the popular Vendée resorts and beaches

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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Map of Saint-Jean-de-Monts and places nearby


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

Notre-Dame-de-Monts guide


Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is the beach resort next to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez guide


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
Ile d\'Yeu

Ile d'Yeu

Explore the Ile d'Yeu on foot or by bike to see scenic coastline, beaches and a medieval castle

Ile d'Yeu guide


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

Bretignolles-sur-Mer guide


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

Brem-sur-Mer guide

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

Tourist classifications for Saint-Jean-de-Monts

Saint-Jean-de-Monts is classified as a village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*

Address: Saint-Jean-de-Monts, Sables-d'Olonne, Pays de la Loire, 85160, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.793611, longitude -2.058889

Plan your visit to Saint-Jean-de-Monts, Vendee

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Notre-Dame-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (7 km)
  • Phare de la Pointe des Corbeaux: site of natural beauty (21 km)
  • Fort de Pierre-Levée: site of natural beauty (23 km)
  • Port-Joinville: site of natural beauty (24 km)
  • Vieux-château de l'Île d'Yeu: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Phare de l'île d'Yeu: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Aérodrome de L'Île-d'Yeu: site of natural beauty (27 km)
  • Marais de Machecoul: site of natural beauty (29 km)
  • Pointe Sainte-Gildas: site of natural beauty (40 km)
  • Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne: zoo or wildlife park (41 km)
  • Planète sauvage (parc): zoo or wildlife park (42 km)
  • Lac de Grand-Lieu: site of natural beauty (44 km)

Market days in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, France

Regular market(s) are held in Saint-Jean-de-Monts each Wednesday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Francais)