Noirmoutier is a small island off the Vendée coast, famous in France for its potatoes, salt, and as a relaxing holiday destination.

We were looking forward to a couple of days of doing nothing very much. Hiring bicycles  we set out and were instantly charmed by the small white fishermen's houses, often framed by roses or vines. They looked distinctly Greek or perhaps Portugese. Cycling is certainly the best way to see the island. Try starting at the Plage des Dames and follow the cycle route to Viel. Every so often turn right to the sea, where you will discover beach huts and coves. Be sure not to miss L'Anse Rouge, a unique setting for a group of eight or so houses. We adored the whole experience and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Avoid August as the population swells tenfold!


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