Review: Le Colombier in Sainte Hermine, France

Review: Le Colombier in Sainte Hermine, France

Naturist camping Le Colombier was already the last destination on our itinerary… Time flies when you’re having fun and especially when you’re on a nakation through this wonderful area in western France. We had covered the beaches of the Bay of Biscay, inland destinations like the Dordogne and the Creuse and now we were heading towards the Vendée, a department in the Pays de la Loire region.

 

With its combination of a rich history and culture, 200 kilometres of beaches and wonderful nature the Vendée is a top destination for many Europeans who decided to have their holidays in France. With an average of about 2500 hours of sun per year it’s also one of the sunniest regions in the country. The perfect destination to soak up some vitamin D and the best place to do is of course on a naturist camping. Le Colombier for example.

Le Colombier naturist camping in the Vendée, France

Location

Another reason why so many Europeans like to visit the Vendée is because it’s such an easily accessible destination and yet it’s far enough from home to have that real vacation feeling including the warm climate of course.
Coming from inside of France, Nantes is the destination you want to follow and from there drive south towards Sainte-Hermine. Travellers from the very south-west of France or from Spain better take direction La Rochelle and follow their GPS from there. In any case an updated GPS is well recommended.
If you’re traveling from the UK, there are 6 ferry ports where you can be dropped off on French grounds: Roscoff, St Malo, Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre and Calais. St Malo will be the closest to your destination.

 

For a fly & drive there are two airports nearby. Nantes International airport serves destinations all over western Europe and the slightly smaller one at La Rochelle connects mostly to the UK. Both airports are about a one hour drive away from Le Colombier and have several car rental offices. We flew out of Nantes and found this airport rather confusing. But maybe that was because we were a bit annoyed that our trip through France had come to an end.
Coming by train is of course also an option. The high speed train will get you from Paris to La Roche sur Yon in less than 3 hours and visitors from the UK can book connecting tickets with the cross channel Eurostar. There are several car rental offices at the train station.

Le Colombier naturist camping in the Vendée, France

Accommodation

Le Colombier is a 50ha domain with only 160 camping spots. This provides a very specious atmosphere which immediately reflects in the pitches that are all between 110 and 260 square meters. If you come with a small tent it’s almost possible to get lost on your own pitch.
Rental options are available in 7 different types of mobile homes which can accommodate 2 to 4 persons, two types of chalets for 4 to 6 persons and the brand new Luxury Lodges for 5 persons.

 

We had the opportunity to stay in a centrally located mobile home “Selenia” which came with a large living room, a well equipped kitchen, a bathroom with toilet and a very nice terrace.
Most of the camping spots are located on several different large lawns which make them very easily accessible by car. If you prefer more tranquility or privacy, ask for a more remote space like in the Le Vieux Lavoir part for example.

Le Colombier naturist camping in the Vendée, France

Facilities

If you’re into naked hiking, Le Colombier has a real treat for you: about 15ha of forest with several kilometres of hiking trails. Ideal to escape the hot afternoon sun with a nice naked stroll through the woods. Since this is all property of the campground, no need to worry about unexpected encounters.
Our tip for a walk: first have a drink at the bar (one needs to be decently hydrated before getting into action) and then walk down the path into “the valley”. Walk straight and start following the red trail. After a nice walk you’ll end up by the lake where you can relax on a bench and watch the two swans slowly wade towards you. From there you can take a path back to the bar for another drink.

 

Another place to escape the heat is of course the large swimming pool which also has a wading pool for the little ones and an outdoor jacuzzi. Le Colombier is a very family friendly campground and provides several options for your kids varying from a playground and trampolines to the daily kids club. To keep the grownups entertained there are several sport options like a volleyball court, ping pong tables, an outdoor fitness area or fishing in the pond.
And then there’s a of course the bar with a rich assortment of beers and wines and the restaurant of which it’s said to be one of the best ones on a French naturist camping. We’ve tried the food and we can only agree. It was yummy!

 

Yves, the owner, is a huge music lover and if you know a thing or two about guitar rock you’ll probably end up spending several hours with him at the bar exchanging great music tips. Not only that, bands are often invited to play at the campground as well. So if music is your thing, check the activities calendar before you make your booking. Other activities include theme dinners, night swims and ghost hunting trips.

Le Colombier naturist camping in the Vendée, France

Surroundings

The Vendée has several attractions which can be counted as the very top in France or even outside of the country borders. The historical theme park Puy du Fou has been nominated as the best theme park in the world and yearly attracts more than 2 million visitors. People fly in from all over the world to awe at the park’s shows while if you stay it Le Colombier you’re less than an hour drive away.

 

Another must visit in the Vendée is the polder landscape of the Marais de Poitevin which is also called the “Green Venice”. About 200km of cycling routes will take you through wonderful landscapes past channels and wetlands. An even better way to explore the nature is (just like in the real Venice) directly on the channels. The Embarcadère de l’Abbaye organises daily boat trips through this lush green scenery. And while you’re there, don’t forget to visit the ruins of the Saint Pierre de Maillezais abbey which are right next door. You’ll be having a natural and cultural infusion and the day has only just started.

 

More historical pleasure can be found in the town Bazoges en Pareds. Entry tickets include a visit to the Donjon, the anthropologic museum and the medieval garden.
If all that sightseeing has made you thirsty, we have some good news for you. Domaine Coirier is a family wine business which has existed over 100 years. Typical to this place is that all the products come from within the Vendée department, from the grapes to the wood that is used to make the barrels. Not only can you taste some delicious local wines, while doing so you’ll be listening to a passionate presentation from the owner.

 

Of course we do understand that you want to spend some naked time during your nakation as well, the campground is certainly an option but for a decent skinny dip you can also opt to have a day trip to the coast. Sauveterre, Le Petit Pont and Les Lays are the three official nude beaches in the Vendée, but of course if you walk away from the crowds you can also bare it all on many other beaches.
This is only a handful of things to do in the Vendée, for a complete overview of sights and activities we recommend the website of Vendée Tourisme.

Le Colombier naturist camping in the Vendée, France

Staff

Decades ago Yves en Rianne bought a huge farmland and started transforming it into the wonderful naturist campground that Le Colombier is today. Because we were there at the end of the season their only additional staff member was a twenty-something girl from the region so we can’t tell you very much about the staff other than that they have tons of experience, both in naturism as in the campground business. They know very well how to run a successful place where guests feel welcome and keep coming back. Other than that the fact that Yves is a great cook will make sure that you won’t be hungry and have some great evenings at the restaurant.

Le Colombier naturist camping in the Vendée, France

Guests

We’ve said it before, we were at Le Colombier at the very end of the season and this should be taken very literally. We’re pretty sure that within hours after we left the property Yves and Rianne have closed the gates for the season. So the amount of other guests were limited although several of them had come over especially for this last weekend because the weather was still great.
Guests from all over Europe come to Le Colombier but the majority is from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the UK.

 

 

Summary

Le Colombier is not only a beautiful naturist oasis but also the perfect getaway to a magnificent region to visit in France. A cosy atmosphere, lots of nature and a lot of family friendly activities complete the image of your next best nakation.

 

Read more about Le Colombier on  NUDE
More info and reservations: https://www.lecolombier-naturisme.com
More photos: On our Facebook

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited as guests of Le Colombier, but of course all opinions are our own. We are super confident you will love this place as much as we did!

4 thoughts on “Review: Le Colombier in Sainte Hermine, France

  1. All these French reviews are from places located in the french south west quarter. It does not permit to conclude anything about France.
    I believe reviews from places located in the south east quarter (Alpes, Mediterranean sea) would be totally different because the climate, the places… offer different possibilities to organize locations and activities.

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