Visit the Marais poitevin
Welcome to the famous Marais poitevin !
Get on board !
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.
UNDERSTAND THE MARAIS POITEVIN MARSH
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.
Visits and activities for families in the Marais Poitevin
Restaurants along the river in the Marais poitevin
Accommodation in the Marais poitevin
Things to do in the Marais Poitevin
What to do when it's raining in the Marais poitevin
Exploring Green Venice by boat
Riding a bike in the Marais poitevin
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...