Visit the Marais poitevin

Welcome to the famous Marais poitevin !

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Just a stone’s throw away from Niort, Coulon is the best known and most visited village in the Marais – straight off a postcard. Not far from there, stroll around the ravishing village of La Garette; choose a riverboat and sail on the conches (narrow canals), to watch the water being set alight by the combustion of methane. In Saint-Georges-de-Rex, have fun searching for the four old washhouses; in Arçais, stroll along the port before taking the tow path; in Irleau, set off on a lovely walk to Le Vanneau, where a picturesque floating market is held each year in late July.

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Insolite marais poitevin : Marché sur l'eau


In  Marais poitevin

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A Natural Monument Sculpted by Man.

The Marais Poitevin marshland of today arose from the desire to turn a swamp into a liveable and usable area. Forged by monks in the 13th century, it was modernised in the 16th century by a Dutch engineer, who was commissioned by Henry IV. In the 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte undertook a campaign of major works, which were to give the wet marshland the aspect we know today. This Green Venice, or “Venise Verte” as it’s known in France, the second largest wetland in France just after the Camargue, has obtained the “Grand Site de France” label. Here, you’ll encounter rare, and even unique species, such as yellow iris, the Maraichine cattle breed, angelica, or ash tree pollard. The wealth of the Marais goes beyond the shape of its landscapes and the architecture of its villages – it can also be experienced during charming encounters with the locals. Make the most of their warm welcome while visiting the marshland.

Read more on Marais poitevin website



Visits and activities for families in the Marais Poitevin

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Restaurants along the river in the Marais poitevin

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Accommodation in the Marais poitevin

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Things to do in the Marais Poitevin

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What to do when it's raining in the Marais poitevin

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Exploring Green Venice by boat

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Riding a bike in the Marais poitevin

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Visit the Marais Poitevin in a Thousand Ways

For a start, you can stroll around the narrow streets of typical villages and along the canals. The jetties are never far away and there are many small boats. Punts, canoes, paddle boats, etc., are your best allies for exploring the mysteries of the Green Venice. And, why not try out hiking with a donkey (“rando’Âne). Your kids will love the experience! Finally, pedal power will enable you to complete your discovery of the marshland in a lovely way.

Must do's in the Marais poitevin

Boat, bike, visits to understand this incredible landscape...

Maison du Marais poitevin

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Parc ornithologique "Les Oiseaux du Marais poitevin"

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Du Coq à l'Ane - Rando'Ane

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Magné et son Festival international de peinture

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Arçais et son Grand Port

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Coulon, capitale de la Venise Verte

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Donjon de Niort

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Le Vanneau-Irleau et son marché sur l'eau

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Croisière déjeuner dans le Marais poitevin