An astonishing forest on a limestone plain. The Forêt de Sainte-Gemme, whose origins date back to the Neolithic period, is home to 200-300 year-old holm oaks.


The Forêt de Sainte-Gemme is one of the few forests in the Vendée to extend over limestone soils, giving it a particularly original flora. It is a coppiced forest, with large oak stands at various stages of development, beautiful undergrowth and lawns that flower abundantly in spring.

There are some interesting pedunculate and pubescent oaks. Added to this is the presence of rare species that are found here at the extreme limits of their range.

Mountain parsley, a member of the Umbelliferae family, thrives here. Marshmallow lights up the paths with its pale mauve corollas. Black kite, common buzzard and European sparrowhawk, all formidable birds of prey, use the area as a hunting ground, while wild boar and badger take advantage of the thickets to stay hidden and come out at nightfall...

The forest already existed when the sea stretched its arms around Sainte-Gemme. It was also used as a refuge by Neolithic man, as attested by the many flints, axes and carved arrows found in various places. Much later, a Celtic tribe, the Pictons, settled in the Vendée. Keeping to their rites and customs, they made the Sainte-Gemme oak grove a sacred place where the druids came into contact with the divinities...

Fauna & flora to observe: remarkable holm oaks, wood carabid, great rhinolophus, bee ophrys, false hemp mallow...

  • Animals acceptance : chiens tenus en laisse


  • Sensitive natural area

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