A day in the Mervent forest
Discovering the largest forest in the Vendée region
Duration: 1 day
For this new experience in Vendée, there’s no sea in sight. We take you off the beaten track for a nature day out with family or friends. Tip: in the morning, put on a good pair of sneakers, pack a picnic lunch and don’t forget your swimsuit!
This morning’s program includes a drive to Mervent. It will take you a good hour to reach the forest by car. You’ll be able to enjoy this magnificent landscape. The land of the Vendée offers a most soothing sight in the morning. The pale sun floods the plain with its gentle rays and the light morning breeze seems to awaken nature as you pass.
Crossing the Chenal Vieux and then the Canal du Bourdeau, you finally cross La Mère before reaching your destination.
With its 5,000 hectares, the Mervent-Vouvant state forest is the largest in the Vendée. A veritable green lung, man and nature have coexisted for decades in this unspoilt area.
This forest is the cradle of fantastic tales and legends such as that of the fairy Mélusine, who is said to have cursed the Mervent forest in revenge. Some hikers even report seeing the fairy at dusk…It’s best not to get lost among the leafy trees.
Nature lovers will be dazzled by the remarkable vistas offered by its astonishing relief. This enchanting forest is sure to disorientate you. But never fear. You don’t need a compass or a keen sense of direction to explore the site’s marked trails.
Starting from the Chêne Tord parking lot, you can tread the gentle paths of the Petit Maillezais hike.
Everyone will appreciate this trail along the shores of Lac de Mervent and in the heart of the national forest… This calm and tranquil natural setting rejuvenates mind and body. Take time to observe the flora and fauna around you. Listen for the rustle of the trees and the song of the birds.
A word of advice from our guide: follow the yellow signs to stay on the right track. The 1h45 circuit is 5 km long
For the brave…
You can even continue south to the Mervent Saint-Luc dam. This arch dam offers a breathtaking view over the forest and the Vendée river. The perfect place to take out your camera and remember this wonderful landscape.
PLUS: Get curious and find out more about this dam by reading the explanatory panels.
If you pay close attention, you’ll surely notice the Pierre Blanche rock, also known as the rock of death. At 34 meters high, this gneiss micaschist rock is ideal for rock climbing. Will you dare to attempt the climb?
If harness and karabiner don’t get your blood pumping, sail the uncharted waters of La Mère and Vendée. At the Mervent leisure center, you can discover new horizons on a boat trip, a canoeing trip or even a paddle!
Good to know: The leisure park has been awarded the “Tourisme & Handicap” label and is open every day in July and August.
Enjoy a picnic break in the shade of the chestnut trees…
All these discoveries have whetted your appetite. It’s the perfect time to settle down in a peaceful spot and recharge your batteries with a well-deserved picnic. The mystical atmosphere of the forest will recharge your batteries and allow you to enjoy the rest of the day to the full.
PLUS: if you’re not planning a picnic, Chill Out welcomes you to its waterside restaurant with terrace. This restaurant offers home cooking using fresh French produce. A relaxing, almost magical break in the heart of the forest.
Afternoon of relaxation or sport at Lac de Xanton-Chassenon
After this morning between earth and Mother, we take you to the Xanton-Chassenon lake. With water slides, pedal boats and inflatables, your children will be like fish in water. While you can relax on the sandy beach and take a refreshing dip in the on-site bar-terrace. A lazy afternoon just the way we like it…
Happy walking! If you’ve got the energy to spare, you can take off from the lake along the lush green meadows of the Autise Valley. As you follow the signposted trail, breathe in and let yourself be intoxicated by the scent of trees and flowers carried by the wind. Your footsteps will take you successively through plain, hedged farmland and forest. Something for all nature lovers.