The Vendée department is one that is well known to thousands of Irish people going on holiday to France. This is one of the sunniest departments in France and within a four-hour drive of the ferry ports, which explains a lot of its popularity.
But it also has some beautiful spots that are worth seeing. Hundreds of years ago, half of the current Vendée was under water and there were many islands the Île de Noirmoutier is one of the few that are left and even that is connected to the mainland via a bridge/causeway.
There’s a really nice charm to the place with its dramatically tidal harbour, its decent aquarium, its lovely beaches and the large market square in the middle of the town of Noirmoutier-en-l’Île.
The market here is seasonal, with a summer market running from April to September and a winter market for the rest of the year. Strong local specialities (of which you’ll see plenty of evidence all around the island) are oysters and sea salt.
The summer market has two locations: the Place de la République, where a lively full-on market with everything takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning from 08:00 to 13:00. Then every Monday morning from mid-June to mid-September, there’s a market at the Herbaudière opposite the port.
During winter, there is a market on Place de la République every Friday morning and there are more markets all year round at the villages of Barbâtre (Place du Marché every Wed), La Guérinière (Place de Laurier and Place de l’Eglise every Thurs) and L’Epine (Place du Général de Gaulle every Saturday).
Video of Noirmoutier Island from the air:
Tootlafrance Market Guide Map (click on the blue markers for location and information)
View Tootlafrance Market Guide in a larger map