La Roche-sur-Yon is the capital of the Vendée, chosen by Napoleon I in 1804....
Laval is a delightful town to explore on foot.
You can wander through the narrow alleys of the old town and down to the Perrine Gardens on the Mayenne River. It is a town built by the water which has always been an important part of its history. You can hop on board the bateaux-lavoirs which are old floating laundromats!
Visit the château of Laval, built on a rocky spur in the 11th-century and rebuilt in the 16th-century. The castle still overlooks the river, with superb views of the old town. Inside is one of the world’s finest museums of folk art and a reproduction of local artist Douanier Rousseau’s studio.
If you leave town via the towpath, you soon reach the peaceful Basilica of Notre-Dame d’Avesnières. The town itself hums with activity: cosy cafés and enticing boutiques await on the Rue du Pont de Mayenne!