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The Vendée is so“fish”ticated!

The Vendée,is a land of sea farers, fisherman and sailors. Each season has its own particular fish. The two main coastal town of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie and Les Sables d’Olonne are traditional fishing ports. One is renowned for its "sablaise" and the other "it’s little blue fish"! But the Vendée is also known for its shellfish and crustaceans. From a selection of prawns, langoustines lobsters or squid, all can be bought freshly from local breeding tanks or fishmarkets. You’ll be totally hooked!

Coastal fishing in the Vendée

The Vendée has over 250km of coastline, which constitutes an area of refuge for many species during their reproduction periods.

Among the emblematic fish of the Vendée, there are monkfish, turbot, hake, whiting and sole "otherwise known as sablaise". In addition, there is red mullet, pollack, dogfish, mackerel, tuna, sea bass and the famous sardine of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie.

The Vendée’s coast also offers many crustaceans: pink and grey prawns, langoustines, spiders’ crabs, shore and edible crabs as well as the divine blue lobster.

Cephalopods (molluscs) better known under the names of calamari, cuttlefish and squid also evolve in Vendée waters.

La Sablaise, the Vendée’s name for “sole”

Sole fished off the coast near Les Sables-d'Olonne, is also known as “Sablaise”. This flat fish is low in fat, with a firm white flesh and is usually cooked as fillets. It can also be enjoyed whole, in a “meunière" style, coated in flour, with butter and lemon juice.


Jean-Marc Perochon avec un homard

Guided visit of the fish market in Les Sables d’Olonne

This "behind the scenes" visit is a true immersion into the daily activities of the fishing port. During the visit, you will discover:

  • the lively atmosphere of the fish auction,
  • the fish landings,
  • the comings and goings of the fishing boats,
  • the typical “characters” of a working port.

During 1h30 these expert tour guides will introduce you to the "backstage" reality of the fishing port. You will understand better the role of the auctioneers and fishmongers and the habits of its fishermen. You will decipher the secrets of selling process and discover the different types of fish and shellfish being sold.

Guided tours "Behind the scenes of a fishmarket auction" in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie

Fishermen have a passion for their profession. During this visit which lasts 2 hours you will discover the various types of traditional fishing namely on trawlers, cappers, and long liners. The landings, the fish market, the fishing trade between classical and more modern methods, a constantly changing world…
At the end of the visit, you can sample grilled sardines.