The 12 Must-Do Things To Do on the Island of Noirmoutier


Last Updated on 10/05/2022 by Alfred

Attracted by the Vendée and its many seaside resorts whose reputation is well established? Come and visit Noirmoutier, the Atlantic pearl!

Visiting the island of Noirmoutier is a thing to do at least once in a traveler’s life. Known for the salt it produces, Noirmoutier is discovered by the wind, the beaches, and the marshes.

Let yourself be seduced by the beauty of the place, the poetic resonation, and observe the wild character of Noirmoutier.

Mimosas Island (as it is nicknamed) has a lot to offer and has many surprises in store for you. Visit the must-see attractions and enjoy a pleasant stay.

The 12 Must-Do Things To Do on the Island of Noirmoutier

1. Noirmoutier-en-l’Île

 The island’s main town, Noirmoutier-en-l’île, occupies the entire northern tip. Discover the historic heart of the city, its alleys, and the famous district of Banzeau, one of the oldest (occupied since the eleventh century).

Noirmoutier-en-île is dynamic, animated by many merchants and restaurateurs who will welcome you with open arms, ready to offer you the best of their island.

It is also a superb home base to then visit the island of Noirmoutier.

2. The Passage du Gois

This is the incongruous alternative to the Pont de Noirmoutier. The Passage du Gois is a partly paved road submerged at high tide not far from the Pointe de la Casie.

Authentic experience, the 4 kilometers of the passage can be traveled on foot, by bike, or by car.

Beware of the tide: you have an amplitude of three hours per tide to cross. For example, if the low tide is at 15:00, you can travel between 13:30 and 16:30. Don’t wait until the last moment.

3. Salt marshes

Visiting the island of Noirmoutier without strongly recommending the discovery of the salt marshes would be a mistake.

They occupy a large part of the island and offer rather atypical landscapes. As professionals in the trade are called, Salt workers offer tours of their farms during the summer season.

Since the sixteenth century, salt has been a real economic asset for the island. If in the 1990s, the salt workers were only 35, today, they are a hundred to offer you access to their pools.

4. Sealand – The aquarium of Noirmoutier-en-l’île

So plan your dive to the world of the sea! Sealand Aquarium welcomes you and presents you with a wonderful universe: aquatic fauna!

In the different basins, more than 500,000 liters of seawater are home to nearly 200 different animals!

See them: sea lions, octopuses, lobsters, turtles, piranhas … Make full eye contact!

5. Fishing on foot

The island’s beaches lend themselves easily to the game of fishing on foot. Do not hesitate to roll up your sleeves, grab a bucket of water and put your good mood to work.

In addition, it allows you to visit the island of Noirmoutier in a very original way. Pink shrimp, mussels, periwinkles, clams, and other oysters are yours!

On the other hand, be sure to inquire about the conditions, instructions, and fishing authorizations at your outing! This is very important because lipophilic toxins regularly gnaw the berries of the Atlantic Ocean.

6. The Castle-museum of Noirmoutier

The castle museum of Noirmoutier is an excellent way to discover the island’s history through the ages. Also, learn more about the building itself, built in the twelfth century and classified as a Historic Monument.

The museum offers a permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions whose themes vary from year to year. In addition, do not miss climbing into the dungeons from where you will observe the whole island from the top.

7. Océanile – The water park

Here is a place designed for young and old, where fun and joy are guaranteed! Discover the site’s many attractions, from the buoy tube and raft to the wave pool and hot tubs.

Completely adapted to a family outing, come and refresh yourself in complete freedom!

Océanile is ranked the first park in France in its category in terms of activities offered for three years. A guarantee of quality!

9. Butterfly Island

Very close to La Guérinière, Île aux Papillons offers you the opportunity to discover many species, among the most beautiful in the world.

They evolve freely in a huge flowering greenhouse, the largest in France.

You will be able to observe the complete life cycle of these flying insects, sometimes even a few births! You can visit Butterfly Island with your family to experience magnificent moments.

10. Visit Noirmoutier Island by bike

The island of Noirmoutier is more than 80 kilometers of bike paths, with three symbolic and thematic loops. A route map is available on the website of the island of Noirmoutiers.

Discovery by bike has the advantage of offering you freedom both in terms of pace and stops. The relief being almost non-existent on the island, these bike rides are accessible to all.

You can also rent bikes on-site in one of the eleven rental points present.

11. The Noirmout’Train

Tourist attraction par excellence, the little train is a classic. The Noirmout’Train will allow you to visit the island of Noirmoutier in a few moments.

Depending on the tour you choose (between 35 minutes and 2 hours), discover the island, history, villages, or marshes.

At the time of departure of the small train from the Place du Château de Noirmoutiers, the driver can purchase tickets directly.

12. The Medieval Garden

Under the impetus of the ESNOV association, travel back in time and discover, through an extraordinary garden, the vegetable and botanical life of the last millennium. Yes, you read that right, millennial.

Inspired by royal writings dating from 812, the association recreated a garden capable of producing herbs, fruits, and textile plants helping monastic autonomy at the time.

Visits are free, but comments are available upon request.

13. The Bois de la Chaise

A little east of Noirmoutier-en-l’île, discover the Bois de la Chaise, a unique place with an ancient history.

It is said that the wood would have been razed twice in the past before visibly reborn and sheltering today, a few dozen villas came to camouflage themselves there in search of tranquility.

It is possible to walk there, especially since its vegetation is, against all odds, rather Mediterranean … Indeed, arbutus trees, maritime pines, and mimosas grow calmly.

The Bois de la Chaise is also home to some places: the Plage des Dames, the Anse Rouge lighthouse, or the Pointe de Saint-Pierre.

Go further…

  • Consider registering for one of the many guided tours of the island; the Noirmoutrin Tourist Office sets up this service.
  • Visit the mills of La Guérinière, elegant structures that dot the island
  • Discover the port of Morin, located in L’Épine, which is very pleasant for a digestive walk, for example
  • Relaxing on one of the long beaches of Noirmoutier is an absolute pleasure for the body and the mind
  • Walkthrough the authentic village of Le Vieil, where you can observe magnificent white, and black houses with blue shutters, emblematic of the region

How to get to noirmoutier island?

All aboard

The quickest way to get to Noirmoutier is by car. You then have two options.

You can either take the D38 through the Pont de Noirmoutier, which is always accessible, or you can take the Passage de Gois, which is dependent on the tide.

By bike

Cycling is possible, as long as you have the physical condition to travel the island.

The Boat

As for the boat, there are some anchor points:

  • The port of Herbaudière
  • The port of Morin
  • The anchorage of the Bois de la Chaise
  • The beaching port of Noirmoutier-en-l’île

By plane

Those who would like to travel by plane know that the nearest airport is in Nantes. This airport will allow you to get closer from anywhere in France, very well routed.

Get better deals at the best time by going to a flight comparator, like Skyscanner.

The airport is located one hour from Noirmoutier, so many shuttles then make the trip. Otherwise, you can easily rent a car.

Coaches also depart from Nantes or La Roche-sur-Yon (up to 25 departures per day in summer).

Where to stay on the island of Noirmoutier?

The island of Noirmoutier covers only 49 square kilometers. Moreover, a good part is occupied by the salt marshes.

But despite this, staying on the island of Noirmoutier is not complicated. It is dotted with towns and villages that have ample capacity to welcome you with family or friends.

Campsites, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and Airbnb are commonplace.

As for which village to choose, we will only be able to advise you Noirmoutier-en-l’île, Le Vieil, or L’Épine. While dynamic, authentic, and charming, these places will allow you to explore Noirmoutier easily.

Of course, we can only recommend that you consult a hotel comparator before making any reservation.

 

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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