As I spent one week in Noirmoutier last summer, I thought that a post as a mini travel guide about my favorite places might interest you.
To summarize Noirmoutier in a few words : it’s an island located in Vendée, connected to the mainland through a (free) bridge and through an arm of land : famous passage du Gois, that you can access only at low tide. If you already know île de Ré, you’ll find similarities between both islands, especially in architecture, pines or salines, but the two are still different.
We stayed in Noirmoutier this summer by chance : my only search criteria 8 days before departure was to find a house to rent somewhere in France in a nice place, and not on the Côte d’Azur !
Noirmoutier : to do
Beaches : we liked Luzeronde and lutins beach. Beaches in Bois de la Chaise are lovely and some of them are very typical with their beach cabins, but they are also very crowded in August whereas the others mentioned above were quite quiet even late in the morning !
Passage du Gois : it’s really worth seeing ! It’s a submersible road which connects Noirmoutier to the mainland. It’s avery good place to find sellfishes : don’t forget your rubber boots !
Sébastopol polder : a very pleasant nature reserve for walking, cycling and bird watching.
Jetée Jacobsen : waouh ! I really liked this place. We went there for a bike ride at sunset : so beautiful ! View on the ocean, on the Müllembourg salines (a natural reserve) and on Noirmoutier castle.
Bois de la chaise : I had read about it, but went there without much conviction, and I must say it was more beautiful and unique than I expected. You have to go and see these pines, these oaks, and these beautiful century-old villas ! You’ll discover the plage des Dames and its famous beach cabins. I wish I could see these place out of season to better immerse myself in its atmosphere of the last century.
Salines: my tip: don’t follow the bike paths and lose yourself in the salines : most of the people just ride the trail around the salines !
Perhaps you will have the chance like us to meet a salt worker who will tell you a little about his great job. My daughters still talk about him !
Le Vieil : I liked this small village and its typical architecture
Noirmoutier en l’Île market: we found good products there, especially in the halls.
Noirmoutier : addresses
Trait d’Union Book Shop : a nice place to lose yourself among books, at any age ! A small room with a reading corner is dedicated to the youngest ones : my daughters loved it. And there is also a patio where you can have a drink. A must see.
Etier restaurant : a gourmet restaurant located on a seewater canal where you’ll feel at ease ! A warm welcome, efficient service and a good cuisine that is definitely worth a visit. The veranda offers a pleasant setting.
Tutti Frutti icecreams : oh my God their ice creams are so good !! I went there almost everyday. Their waffles are good too. Of course, often, you have to queue…
Enjoy osters at the Port du Bonhomme : a bike, a glass of white wine, oysters : life is beautiful in Noirmoutier !
Noirmoutier in august
As you can imagine it’s not the best period to go there, but I was quite surprised that we managed to escape the crowd on most occasions. How ? By having a different pace !
For example : the market is very crowded, but if you leave around 10.30 am it’s ok. Same for beaches : I don’t really like beaches where you have a restaurant, bar, etc…but if like me you prefer wilder beaches, you’ll be OK as you can see on my pictures !
And of course you should ride a bike and forget your car ! We saw traffic jams, but by far ha ha ! The network of bike paths is very good and if you are with children, it’s very safe as most paths are separated from the road : my 6-year old daughter has been cycling alone all week and she loved it ! While riding your bike you’ll really enjoy the landscape and you will really feel on holiday mood !
If you want to stay in Noirmoutier in August, I clearly don’t recommend you to do like me and book your rental last minute. I found ours only thanks to a last minute cancellation and there was absolutely nothing else to rent on the island ! Moreover, I realised afterwards that the owner had raised its usual price…
That’s it, I hope that this mini travel guide will give you essential information to prepare your stay in Noirmoutier. If you already know the island, please share your info in comments !