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A town planned with military precision

The town of La Roche-sur-Yon, the capital city of the Vendée department in western France, was planned and built by Napoleon I. It was an attempt to pacify the people after the terrible uprisings and bloodshed of 1793, and to provide a new type of environment for non Royalists. The town was built from scratch in 1804, and is notable for its precision planning, with arrow straight streets and a carefully designed grid pattern based around a large central square. La Roche-sur-Yon lies on a plateau, and has superb views over the lovely River Yon which flows below. Neo classical architecture completes the picture of a town with history, elegance and interest.

Everything you need… and more!

The town of La Roche-sur-Yon can provide everything you could ever need… and much more besides. There are some superb restaurants in the town where you can sample the specialities of the region, not forgetting the fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean which is practically on the doorstep. Shopping in the town is a joy, with everything from little craft and speciality shops through to large supermarkets and household stores. Should you wish to see a larger city, then you will find Nantes is only a short drive away, and this beautiful and historic city is certainly worth a visit.

What to do in La Roche-sur-Yon

The town offers plenty of variety for both its residents and its visitors. For culture buffs there is the excellent museum, which houses not only some fascinating archaeological finds from the area, but also collections of 19th century and contemporary art. If you prefer to occupy yourself in a more active fashion, the town and its environs will not disappoint you.

Out and about

The fabulous Vendée coast is close at hand with its long sandy beaches and warm sea. Numerous sports are available at the coast, with swimming, sailing and kite flying among them. The coastal towns such as St Jean de Mont are also well equipped to keep the kids happy, with amusements and child-friendly cafés. Visit the Island of Noirmoutier, or indulge in a round or two of golf at the Florida inspired Golf de la Domangere, with a full complement of water hazards to test your skill!

How to get there

If you want to travel by air, the excellent rates and routes now offered by budget airlines means that this method of travel is an easy option. You can choose to fly to Nantes (GB Airways, Ryanair, Aer Arann) or to La Rochelle (Ryanair, flybe, easyJet). The town has a TGV stop, making train travel also a good option, as you can travel direct from Paris on the super fast train which takes only two and a half hours.

Property prices and availability in and around La Roche-Sur-Yon

The price of property in La Roche-sur-Yon has risen in recent years due to increased interest particularly from British buyers. The town is an ideal base for families who wish to explore France from a locality which has all the modern amenities (good schools, health care etc) yet is near to the coast and other attractions. Types of property vary, but in the countryside close to the town you can find some premium quality country houses at quite reasonable prices, if you look carefully!

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La Roche-sur-Yon AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS La Roche-sur-Yon?

La Roche-sur-Yon is located in the west of France, in the north of the Vendée department and close to the Atlantic coast.

La Roche-sur-Yon Property Map


Pays de la Loire Guide

Pays de la Loire Property Map


Vendée Guide

  Vendée Map

Population: 53,000

Access: By air: Fly to Nantes with GB Airways, Ryanair, Aer Arann or to La Rochelle with Ryanair, flybe or easyJet. By rail: There is a TGV station at La Rochelle which is reached in around two and a half hours from Paris.

Economy: The two major economic factors in La Roche-sur-Yon are transportation and agriculture, with a growing industry in the manufacture and supply of automobile parts.

Interesting fact: The town, having been founded by Napoleon I for non Royalists, was originally named Napoleon Vendée.

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