France Summer Holiday – Regrets, I Had A Few…

My requirements for a holiday start off simple:
* Waves

My requirements for a perfect holiday are a lot more picky:
+ Big waves
+ Waves every day
+ Different beaches (with waves)
+ Sunshine is good
+ Good food is erm… good
+ Pleasant company is nice

We travelled around the Vendee region of France on the Atlantic coast which on the face of it ticked most of the boxes but waves were hard to find.

There were far too many other people trying to enjoy the sun, the sea and the sand for the infrastructure available but everywhere we went there was a friendly family atmosphere which was a pleasant surprise given my previous experience of both the Vendee and France in general. My guess is the locals have finally figured out which side their bread is buttered and with so many non-french speaking visitors from all across Europe they’ve finally suspended hostilities and were genuinely helpful and pleased with our dismal efforts to parlez their lingo.

We did find several surfing beaches which I enjoyed to the max but it was so dissappointing to visit beach after beach where there were no waves to play with and I won’t be making that mistake again next summer.

On the up side the weather was perfect. With light breezes, low humidity and temperatures between 25 and 36 degrees it really did enhance our enjoyment of the beaches and food. Yummy french bread and local seafood washed down with a nice bottle of red wine really helped me forget the lack of waves – well after the second bottle.

Restaurants were a major problem. I don’t mind a BBQ if that’s what we’ve decided to eat but if I want to eat out I expect to be able to do so. In some areas there were nowhere near enough places to eat out which meant that at 19.00 hours every evening there’s a mad dash to get a table. One evening we couldn’t find a table anywhere and after driving around for hours ended up eating at Macdonalds (packed with other Brits) which is definitely not what we had in mind and was far too stressful. I won’t be making that mistake again next summer.

Of course we all took our mobile phones with us and once again we got shafted. After our trip to Jersey a couple of months ago I’d done some research into mobile phone roaming and intended to get a local PAYG SIM card but we booked our holiday on Friday to travel the following Tuesday so there was no time to order a local SIM card from the internet and I couldn’t find anywhere selling them in France – there were several shops selling them in Prague so that’s a business opportunity for you free of charge 😉 I won’t be making that mistake again next summer…