Vire is a short drive (10/15 mins) from us here at our Sourdeval base. This town has everything you need and more! And with the added bonus of sprawling countryside on your doorstep. So where to start…
Amongst the English speaking community, if a town has a Noz (think TK Maxx/Wilko combined in the UK) then you have arrived. Love it or hate it – this is where you will find bargain basement items and things you may not be able to get anywhere else.
Well Vire does have a Noz! Along with all the other major retail chains such as Action, But, Gifi, Jardiland, Bricomarché etc. Not to mention all the individual boutique shops around the centre and by the impressive porte horloge, which you will see opposite the main roundabout. Let us not also forget the weekly Friday market which sells food, clothing and more.
Speaking of which, this roundabout is a work of art in itself and a great deal of effort goes into the latest design.
Be it take-away Kebab, Pizza (of which there are plenty) there are also some high quality restaurants as well as good standard French cuisine at affordable prices.In addition there is International cuisine such as Indian, Chinese, Senegalese, Cambodian and Japanese. There is something for all tastes
Activities – Cinema/Swimming/Bowling
Vire has a lovely cinema that often shows films in VO (version originale) so you can watch a popular film in English. Although please do check that the original version was, in fact, in English! Otherwise you may find you are watching a Polish film. There is also a very nice bar/cafe opposite.
A little further down the road, there is an excellent full sized swimming pool with sauna, jacuzzi, slides (indoor and outdoors) and a play park area with skate park. Further along from that, you have the bowling alley that often holds karaoke, football screenings and children’s parties. There is also a very good restaurant inside. If you are feeling full from all this eating, you can join one of the many gyms that are dotted around Vire. There are also many clubs you can join – Badminton, Rugby, football – whatever takes your fancy.
Over 60 walking guides
It may not be immediately obvious but there are some beautiful walks you can take in and around Vire with spectacular views of the town and can be obtained from the town hall. And don’t forget the castle remnants!
Lac de la Dathée
Just outside of Vire you have Lac Dathée that has a man made beach area, a lovely (more or less flat) 6km walk surrounding the lake and an 18 hole golf course. You can also hire pedalos, canoes and there is a sailing school. In the summer months music events are held every Wednesday. Which leads me to..
This town will often host events eg concerts, grand picnics, fireworks for Bastille Day and also the yearly Christmas parade.
Trotting at the Hippodrome
If a day at the races is your cup of tea, then just a little outside the main town, is the Hippodrome (this also hosts big events) where you can bet on the trotting. I am not sure how it works but you always seem to win a great deal from a 2 euro each way bet!. A great afternoon’s entertainment on a Sunday and you can also pick up sausage and chips on the way out or eat in the restaurant upstairs.
Further Education For Adults
Vire has an further education centre called Greta. Here you will be able to retrain or find a course that suits you. You do not have to be a French national to enrol on one of these courses but will have to have a residency permit.
Vire also has other initiatives whereby you can hire an electric bike for the day at a cost of 1 euro, and an electric car for a day at a cost of 10 euros which can be picked up at various access points, one of which is the train station and speaking of which….
If you decide not to pick up your electric hire car courtesy of the maire of Vire – you could take the 9.30 am train to Paris which gets in at 12 pm at Montparnasse.
Incidentally one of my favourite songs features this in the lyrics – Il est 5 heures, Paris s’éveille by JACQUES DUTRONC
Simply leave you car outside in the FREE parking outside and away you go or take the train to Granville if you fancy a beach day out. Either way, should you decide to stay in Vire or leave, you will not be disappointed.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into Vire.