The Puy du Fou theme park

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Puy du Fou theme park
Knights on horseback puydufou
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Buying tickets 2017 Pays de la Loire

The Puy du Fou historic theme park

Location:  near Cholet , Vendée    Region: Pays de la Loire
First opened: 1978
Nearby attractions and other places: Nantes, les Sables d'Olonne, and other seaside resorts of the Vendée coast.
Nearest airports to Puy du Fou: Nantes, Poitiers, la Rochelle.
Access from Calais: Route via A 16 > A28 Rouen  Le Mans > A11 Angers and A86
Awards: Thea Classic Award, 2012 

Chariot race Puy du FouThe second most visited theme park in France, after Paris Disneyland, le Puy du Fou historic theme park is the major tourist attraction in the Vendée area of western France. In March 2012, at a ceremony in Los Angeles, it was awarded the prestigeous "oscar" of the theme park industry, the Thea Award, as world's best theme park for 2012.  

   Founded in 1977 by a young local aristocrat with a passion for history, Philippe de Villiers, the theme park has developed from its original concept as a stage for son-et-lumière type pageants, to become a multi-attraction historic theme park providing a trip back in time to different ages and times of the past.
     The theme park is located in the extensive grounds of  the ruined 16th century castle of Le Puy du Fou, which was bought by the Vendee council in 1974, with the hope of developing it into a tourist attraction. That hope has been more than fulfilled.
    Unlike many theme parks, le Puy du Fou is not part of a large corporate enterprise, but is a joint effort run by a grouping of local businesses and non-profit associations – and is thus a self-financing venture that is firmly anchored in local life.
    A visit to the Puy du Fou theme park takes in a series of action-packed shows – involving hundreds of actors, horsemen, swordsmen and volunteers – and a discovery of the park's various historic reconstructions, from Roman times to the Belle Epoque of the nineteenth century.
    Unlike Disneyland, le Puy du Fou – while making sure that the attractions all provide a great visitor experience – also takes pride in ensuring a fair degree of historical accuracy. The sets and the shows are evocations of the world as it really was... with a few special effects added in.  A Roman arena, where gladiators fight it out and charioteers race; a mediaeval village attacked by a Viking longship, an 18th century village, or on a rather more fanciful note, the large indoor stage presenting the swashbuckling show called "Richelieu's Musketeers". There is also a unique falconry display called the Dance of the Phantom Birds, with over 100 trained birds of prey swooping down out of the sky. And lots more.... in all fourteen shows and four historic villages, an evening display of dance, light, water and music, plus other attractions as well.
     In the summer holiday period (June to mid September), climax of the day is the famous "Cinéscénie", the original event around which the Puy du Fou theme park has subsequently developed and expanded. This magnificent after-dark spectacular of light, fireworks, sound and action,  set against the backdrop of the old Château du Puy du Fou, has been seen over the years by over 10 million spectators, and is  the world's biggest night-time show, lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes, involving 1200 actors and extras, and performed over a 50 acre stage.

Cinescenie - Puy du fou

Puy du Fou  practical visitor information

Open from the start of April to the end of September.

Puy du Fou ticket prices at the gate  - 2017
► Entrance to the site, with daytime shows

One day: Adult: € 38  Children 5 - 13 :  € 27
Two days: Adult: € 60  Children  5 - 13 :  € 43
► Entrance to the site,  daytime shows + Cinéscénie (Fri. Sat. from 9th June to 15th September - must be booked in advance)
One day: Adult: € 54  Children 5 - 13 :  € 36
Two days: Adult: € 71  Children 5 - 13:  € 48
Children under 5 : Free
Motorhome parking:  Daytime - free - Overnight: 5 €

TIP : Up to 25% discount on tickets if bought in advance on the official site (click the following image  . 
Copyright © About-France.com 2008 - 2017 except where otherwise stated.  Note that details of shows and pricing may change: for latest information consult the Puy du Fou website.

Holidays in western France

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Hotels near the Puy du Fou theme park
This link lists accommodation in order of distance from the Puy du Fou, from nearest to furthest (30 km).

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The Puy du Fou historic theme park in Vendée is winner of the worldwide Thea Classic award in 2012 - world's best theme park.

Puy du Fou - Vikings
Plenty of action, as a Viking longship attacks a riverside village.

Tickets and information packs for Puy du Fou  2016

To avoid queues and the risk of disappointment, tickets for the Puy du Fou theme park can be bought online in advance on the Park's website. Aditionally, there are big savings on advance booking.
Click this image:

Knights on horseback puydufou
Some other French monuments and tourist attractions you might like to visit

Photo credits :
Viking attack by Papdo.
Charioteers by Nath 21.
Licenced under Creative Commons
Photos Cinéscénie and Knights on horseback   © Puy du Fou