Jard-sur-Mer is a commune in the Vendée department in the Pays de la Loire region in western France.
Unlike noisy and crowded neighboring Les Sable d’Olonne calm Jard-sur-Mer with its wild beaches and a 350-hectare wooded area is good for kids, hiking and bicycles. The city also has a small port with bars, cafes, restaurants and gift shops.
With the opening of the railway from Lucon to Les Sables d’Olonne in 1930 the town experienced rapid expansion as it developed accommodation for growing the holiday industry.
Tourism and main sights
The symbol of the city is the Conchette mill (Moulin de la Conchette). Built at the end of the 19th century, this windmill has been completely renovated. It overlooks the marina.
The royal abbey of Notre-Dame de Lieu-Dieu (twelfth century). Founded in 1198 by Richard the Lionheart, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Count of Anjou, the royal abbey of Lieu-Dieu is located two kilometers from the town center. It has three levels and, at its origin, was richly endowed. It housed the Premonstratensian monks who came from a former abbey that Richard the Lionheart had previously founded in Genétouze when he was only Duke of Aquitaine. Protestants ruined it in 1568. It was abandoned in 1720 by the last monks. It has just been bought by a private individual who opened, in July 2013, part of the abbey (scriptorium, heating room, former cloister, chapel) for free guided tours by appointment.
The Sainte-Radégonde church (twelfth century). Completed in 1198. The building was fortified in the fifteenth century and was once surrounded by a moat. It was partially destroyed by the Protestants when they attacked the city in 1568. Rebuilt and then modified, the Chapel of the Virgin is Gothic in style and forms a beautiful whole with the frame and the central pillar with the capital in palm leaves. The church also has an altarpiece and a painting of the Rosary of Peinus, representing Richelieu, Louis XIII, Queen Anne of Austria, Mazarin and the Pope attending the fire in La Rochelle in 1628. These two works have just been fully restored.
Georges Clemenceau’s house nearby and the Sainte-Anne chapel (1650) are also interesting for tourists.
There are three main beaches: Plage de Morpoigne, Plage de la Mine, Plage de Boisvinet. All beaches are sandy and good for kids. Jard-sur-Mer was awarded the European Blue Flag in 2008. The rockier sections on some beaches are popular with fishing enthusiasts.
Shopping is not a priority on the tourist program.
There are no Michelin stars restaurants in the city.
Transport and how to get to?
The nearest international airport to Jard-sur-Mer is Nantes (NTE). The airfield Sables-d’Olonne-Talmont (sport aviation) is located in the new town of Sables-d’Olonne, Vendée, a few kilometers south of the center of Sables-d’Olonne.
Shortest distances by car:
From La Baule-Escoublac: 2 h 14 min (149 km) via D213
From Saint-Nazaire: 2 h 8 min (134 km) via D32
From Nantes (tolls): 1 h 25 min (115 km) via A83
From Cognac (tolls): 2 h 26 min (181 km) via A837
From Angoulême (tolls): 2 h 52 min (237 km) via D939 and A83
From Arcachon (tolls): 3 h 43 min (327 km) via A10
From Royan: 2 h 15 min (151 km) via D733
From Les Sables-d’Olonne: 33 min (29.0 km) via D949
From Biarritz (tolls): 4 h 56 min (460 km) via A63
From Bayonne (tolls): 4 h 45 min (446 km) via A63
From Dax (tolls): 4 h 30 min (408 km) via A63 and A10
From Saumur (tolls): 2 h 8 min (174 km) via A87
From Bordeaux: 3 h 12 min (261 km) via A10
From La Rochelle: 1 h 23 min (82.1 km) via D949
From Toulouse (tolls): 5 h 15 min (499 km) via A62
From Carcassonne (tolls): 6 h (589 km) via A62
From Monaco (tolls): 10 h 21 min (1,078 km) via A62
From Nice (tolls): 10 h 6 min (1,056 km) via A62
From Cannes (tolls): 9 h 53 min (1,030 km) via A62
From Saint-Tropez (tolls): 9 h 53 min (1,002 km) via A62
From Marseille (tolls): 8 h 37 min (899 km) via A62
From Avignon (tolls): 7 h 57 min (826 km) via A62
From Montpellier (tolls): 7 h 17 min (738 km) via A62
From Béziers (tolls): 6 h 44 min (677 km) via A62
From Perpignan (tolls): 6 h 54 min (703 km) via A62
From Narbonne (tolls): 6 h 29 min (647 km) via A62
From Andorra (tolls): 7 h 26 min (679 km) via A62
Area: 16.8 sq. km
Population: 2 600
Time: Central European UTC +1
GPS coordinates: 46° 25′ 02″ N, 1° 34′ 32″ E