The Puy du Fou Park is unlike anything you have experienced -- short of starring in Spartacus or Ben Hur. Well-known in France and the 4th most important French theme park, it's open from April to September 25th in the Vendee, western France between Nantes, Poitiers and Bordeaux.
I blogged it last year but can't resist doing it again as it brings you up close to a swash-buckling interpretation of history, and there's a great new attraction. Just go onto the website to see the section on the Vikings and I guarantee you'll be captivated. The whole website is great, with lots of interaction and Vikings popping up all over the place, so imagine what the real thing is like.
The enormous park includes medieval cities and villages, forests, a fort and 19th century town.
There are spectacles as well in the main showground, and new this year is Le Signe du Triomphe (Triumph's Sign). It takes place in the magnificent Gallo-Roman Stadium, a replica of the Roman Coliseum and takes you into the 3rd century A.D. when Gallic France and Rome were at loggerheads. The action is about prisoners who have to win the circus games to save their lives. There's music and action galore -- gladiator fights, chariot races, wrestling with wildcats and parades of exotic animals. All the participants are dressed up; you could try that yourself but you might be dragged into the action by mistake and unless you know how to fight with a broadsword I would not recommend it.
That's the daytime entertainment, but how about the evening? There are two shows, Les Orgues de Feu which is an enchanting water and light display, and La Cinéscénie. The show seems to have a cast of thousands, but it's a mere 1,200 actors who produce what looks like an animated Renaissance painting. It's absolutely gorgeous.
This is a wonderful family event and the really enthusiastic can go the whole hog and book in one of the hotels for a different experience.
Ticket prices are very reasonable, running from 27 euros to 44 euros per person depending on the package you choose (Park only, or Park with evening show). They also have special packages including hotels, again very reasonable and running from 48 euros per person for 1 day and 1 night with special childrens rates as well.
30 rue Georges Clemenceau
Tel.: 00 33 (0) 820 09 10 10