Looking for the best theme park in the world? Look no further than Puy du Fou! Nestled in the picturesque Vendée region, this extraordinary park offers a thrilling journey through time, immersing you in captivating historical spectacles. Say goodbye to cliché attractions and cheap trinkets – Puy du Fou is a place where history comes alive, providing adrenaline-pumping sensations like no other.
Back in time
Imagine this: we find ourselves in the midst of an immersive spectacle in an ancient Roman arena. We are part of the Gallic team, dressed in the “fashionable” outfits of that time, and have been given a place of honor on the elevated podium, right next to the king of the Gauls and his entourage. The atmosphere in the arena is jubilant. Gladiators do their thing, drums thunder, the crowd becomes ecstatic, and we are swept away by the exuberant ambiance. The Gauls face the dreaded Roman gladiators, and things don’t look too good for our heroes. They are brave, but fight like rookies, if you ask me. But then, like a surprising plot twist in a soap opera, the Gauls regroup and teach the Romans a lesson. That’s how it should be: the underdog triumphs, and the arena bursts with cheers, whistles, and applause. People jump up and down, and even we, as the “temporary court” of the king of the Gauls, receive applause and congratulations. What a spectacle!
All of this takes place in the magnificent Puy du Fou, the amusement park where history not only comes to life but where you become part of it. And the emotion we feel in the arena is exactly what Puy du Fou is all about: creating magical experiences that transport us to different times and introduce us to the heroism and resilience of people from the past.
Amusement park without rides
Puy du Fou is an outlier among amusement parks: no roller coasters or other spectacular attractions here, but stunning historical spectacles where thousands of actors and animals, along with unprecedented special effects, provide drama and suspense. And the concept is well-received, as Puy du Fou has been repeatedly awarded the title of the best amusement park in the world. What began in 1978 as a theatrical evening in which amateurs brought the bloody history of Vendée to life in the shadow of a dilapidated castle has become one of France’s greatest success stories.
That success is well-deserved, as we notice. We enjoy a show in which horses literally trot across a lake (how do they do it?), witness a bloody battle during WWII, duck for cover from bombs and grenades in the trenches, and try to save our lives when we are about to go down with a sinking ship. And have we mentioned the Viking raids in a picturesque French village (think: lots of fire and clashing weapons) or the historical bird show where over 200 birds, including falcons, eagles, owls, and vultures, swoop over our heads?
Strolling through the centuries
Although Puy du Fou welcomes millions of visitors each year, you hardly notice the crowds. The forests and beautifully landscaped gardens give the impression of peace and serenity, even when the park is sold out for the day. The atmosphere is simply very “chill”; you don’t have to wait in line anywhere for long, nor is it necessary to rush from one show to another like crazy: in one day, we saw a total of six shows without experiencing a moment of stress in getting from point A to point B.
The main shows last about 30 minutes, and the smaller showscan be completed in just 10 minutes. It’s best to plan ahead and choose the shows you absolutely want to see. You can experience many beautiful spectacles in one day, but at least two, and even better, three days are recommended, especially if you want to attend one of the famous evening shows. And the absolute highlight among those nighttime spectacles is La Cinéscénie, the world’s largest night show. Imagine: on a stage of 23 hectares in front of the Puy du Fou castle, 2,500 actors and dancers bring more than 7 centuries of history to life in breathtaking fashion.
(Tip: planning your day at Puy du Fou is easy through the park’s website and the handy app)
Time for bed
With five themed hotels and a glamping option, you can stay in the Puy du Fou atmosphere even while you sleep. In themed hotels such as Le Logis de Lescure (a typical 18th-century building from the Vendée region), La Citadelle (a medieval fortress), La Villa Gallo-Romaine (a Roman villa), and Le Grand Siècle (the castle of Louis XIV), you can rest your head in a historical ambiance.
Particularly special is the Camp du Drap d’Or, a reconstruction of the encampment during the famous meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I in 1520.
I had the opportunity to stay in one of the stilt houses of the fifth ‘themed hotel,’ Îles de Clovis, and it was a remarkable experience. The site is inspired by the life and times of Clovis, the Frankish king who played an important role in the formation of the Merovingian kingdom (which now encompasses France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of other surrounding countries). The wooden huts with thatched roofs are situated on stilts in the middle of a lake. From the outside, everything seems authentic and primitive, but inside, you are surprised by all the luxury you can imagine. Especially when evening falls over Îles de Clovis, the atmosphere transforms into an oasis of calm and serenity. Perfect for recharging your batteries for a new day full of legends, adventurers and heroes.
Puy du Fou keynotes
1 – 3 days
over 2,2 million
april – novembre
- Puy du Fou is a historical theme park located in Les Epesses, France.
- Given its location, the park is an ideal destination to make a stopover during a journey to and from the south of France or as an addition to your vacation in Vendée.
- The park opened its doors in 1978.
- Puy du Fou has several award-winning shows and spectacles, including “Cinéscénie,” the world’s largest night show.
- On 50 hectares of forests and gardens, historical villages have been reconstructed, including medieval settlements and 18th-century squares.
- The park has its own school, the Puy du Fou Academy, where young artists are trained.
- Puy du Fou also organizes educational programs and workshops for schools and groups.
- The park has its own team of craftsmen who practice traditional crafts such as blacksmithing and weaving.
- Puy du Fou collaborates with local communities and organizations to promote regional culture.
- The park is wheelchair accessible and offers facilities for visitors with special needs.
- Puy du Fou has its own village for artists and employees, where they can live and work during the season.
Puy du Fou is more than just an amusement park; it is a living historical experience.Philippe de Villiers, founder
- Puy du Fou is located in the Vendée department, near the town of Les Épesses, and can be reached via the A87 highway (exit no. 28). The park is 3 hours and 15 minutes from Paris, 3 hours from Bordeaux, 2 hours from Poitiers, 1 hour and 30 minutes from La Baule and La Rochelle, 1 hour from Angers, Nantes, and Les Sables d’Olonne.
- The nearest TGV station to Puy du Fou is Angers. A shuttle service “Angers station / Puy du Fou” is offered up to 3 times a day.
- Le Puy du Fou is 1 hour away from Nantes Atlantique Airport.
- Address: Puy du Fou – CS 70025 – 85590 Les Epesses, puydufou.com