Saint Hilaire de Riez
Camping near Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez
Only 20 minutes from the Bois Verdon campsite in Saint Jean de Monts, is the pretty seaside resort of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez in the Vendée, with its 13 km of sandy and rocky coastline. You will be amazed by the variety of its landscapes: a magnificent pine forest, beautiful sandy beaches, a rocky coast and salt marshes.
The Vendée coastline at Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez / Sion-sur-l’Océan, near the Bois Verdon campsite
Walking along the Vendée coastline in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (a group of rocks), you can discover the Cinq Pineaux while breathing the fresh iodized air and admiring the beauty of this rocky coastline with its small creeks that stretches over 3 kms.
The Cinq Pineaux symbolize the ancient island of Ré, still resisting, after thousands of years of fighting, the assaults of the ocean and erosion. These rocks have had several names, such as Pierres aux moines (Monk’s Rocks) or the Five Monks. They are favourable to the rest of the birds of the sea, in particular the Great Cormorant which spreads its wings to dry them after its fishing.
From the end of the 19th century, the districts of Sion and Pineau became holiday resorts for the practice of sea bathing. The villas or cottages, shown in the old advertising posters, testify to this craze. Let’s not forget to mention the municipal basin built in 1950 to retain sea water at low tide. It was used by the beach club of the lifeguard Bouvier, which was open from 1950 to 1988, where many children from Hilairo and other holidaymakers learned to swim.
The legend of the Five Pineaux in Saint Hilaire de Riez
Around the Cinq Pineaux, two legends were born that evoke the arrival of these Five Rocks isolated in the ocean.
Near Notre Dame de Monts, in front of the rocky place called the Pont d’Yeu, there lived in the Bois Martin a hermit named Martin who sought to go to the Ile d’Yeu to bring the good word of the Gospel. Not finding a boat, Satan proposed a deal: build, before the morning at the crowing of the rooster, a bridge connecting the continent to the island against delivery of the soul of the first person who would pass there. He set to work, mobilizing goblins, leprechauns and witches. The enterprise not going fast enough to his liking, Satan thought it good to intoxicate the rooster to delay his awakening. The rooster, completely disoriented and excited by the wine, began to crow in the middle of the night. Then it was a big debacle. Everyone ran away screaming, dropping stones here and there, including the Five Pineaux.
According to the second legend, the devil would have been imprisoned in the ledge because of the great crash that can be heard during the big storms at the place called the “hole of the devil”. Five monks, who became the Five Pineaux, were petrified in order to watch the devil.
Sightseeing and activities in Saint Hilaire de Riez
Come and discover the Bourrine du Bois Juquaud and its annexes, an eco museum in Saint Hilaire de Riez. Built in 1818 with earth and reeds, it is located in the marsh and represents the traditional habitat. It was inhabited until 1967, then from 1985, it was restored by the city of Saint Hilaire de Riez.
Visit the Marais Salants de la Vie in Saint-Hilaire-de Riez and discover how salt is harvested in the heart of the marshes.
With your family, spend an adventurous day at the Feeling Forest amusement park in Saint-Hilaire-de Riez for moments of relaxation and thrills. Located in the heart of the forest and near the beaches, enjoy the 11 tree climbing courses for all ages with different levels.
Share good times and good evenings at 201 Forest Avenue, bowling and laser game in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, facing the ocean. You will find a bowling alley with 12 lanes, a laser game of 400 m², a restaurant with a view on the sea, a bar and games…