Walking and Cycling in the Vendée
Walking in the Vendée is a real joy. The département is well served with paths, including two grandes randonnées (long distance footpaths or GRs) the GR8 and GR364, four local long paths (or GRPs) and hundreds of lesser paths. In total, the Vendée boasts something over 6000 km of well marked path.
Routes range in length from 2.5 km to something over 300 km and can be cunningly arranged to include a suitable wayside restaurant for lunch. The paths cover a spectacular range of scenery, and are well maintained, with many being suitable for buggies, so children can easily be included in the party.
Cyclists are equally well catered for in the Vendée: cycling is regarded by many as being the national sport of France, and certainly most towns and larger villages have well subsribed cycling clubs. There are any number of minor roads carrying very little in the way of motor traffic that open up the countryside to the two-wheeled explorer, as well as several hundred kilometers of dedicated cycle track. Away from the roads, many areas (including the forest of Mervent and the marais) have well-marked routes for vélos tout terrain (VTT or mountain bikes).