Les Sables d'Olonne, a seaside town with its large beach facing south and protected from the winds, for the greatest pleasure of young and old. But it has other assets with a rich and varied seaside heritage, to see the seaside villas of the 19th and 20th century on the waterfront with many styles chalet, art deco or 50's.
Remblai is the name given to the long walk along the beach of Les Sables d'Olonne.
It is in fact a succession of walks originally built to protect the city from the onslaught of the sea and silting up. It will gradually become the promenade of the waterfront. At the end of the 19th century, some architects gave free rein to their imagination with the creation of villas typical of seaside architecture.
The inauguration of the Remblai promenade took place on August 6, 1950. The recent redevelopment (2008-2013) of the embankment is a significant event in the history of Les Sables d'Olonne, we now speak of the "Old Embankment" and the "New Embankment".
The new embankment, the result of long discussions and consultation with users, is characterised by the priority given to pedestrians, bicycles, seaside vegetation (e.g. holm oak, pittosporum, tamarisk, etc.) and commercial terraces, to architectural choices that are both bold and respectful of the history of the area.
In the narrow alleys, it will take you from the docks to the ocean or to the city centre. You will discover the typical fishermen's houses with windows at the roadway level, old shipowners' houses built at the time when Les Sables d'Olonne was the first cod port in France.
A break is particularly important at the Halles market in the "Pavillon Baltard" style.
This small district was known under the Revolution as the "Lost Island". The name Penotte, whose origin remains mysterious, appeared in the 19th century to designate a street that has now disappeared. This pretty, picturesque and fun pedestrian district is named after an island, while it is nestled in the city centre, behind the Remblai, at the bend of narrow and biscornual alleys. In the middle of the hollyhocks, the houses are decorated with mosaics made of multicoloured shells. All these decorations are the work of a local resident and artist Danièle Arnaud-Aubin: the "Lady with shells". She is inspired by mythology, fairy tales, fantastic tales... She makes them with shells: whelks and winkles, oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and exotic shells.
District between the quays of the Port and the ocean and the city centre of Les Sables d'Olonne. Now the heart to go out, find restaurants and bars!
The district of La Chaume is the oldest in the city. The maze of alleys running down towards the port, the small low houses with narrow windows, contrast with the more modern urban planning of Les Sables d'Olonne.
This district of fishermen, with its narrow streets lined with low houses painted with lime, is undoubtedly the oldest district in Les Sables d'Olonne. Despite centuries of rivalry, La Chaume was annexed to Les Sables d'Olonne in 1753. It is currently a picturesque and dynamic neighbourhood.
To visit the thatch district, from Les Sables, board the maritime shuttle bus located on the port to cross the mythical channel, now famous all over the world, by the skippers of the Vendée Globe.