A weekend combining cultural visits to Niort, a bike ride in the Marais poitevin, massage, spa, sauna and swimming pool.
Relax and unwind !
Saturday is market day in Niort, at the edge of the Marais Poitevin, just 45 minutes from La Rochelle. We strolled among the lively stalls in the Baltard-style covered market, located beneath the Donjon, then through the narrow streets in the old town. We decided to have lunch on a terrace, in the shade of the plane trees, in the main Place de la Brèche. What a good choice! For dessert and to refresh ourselves we had an ice-cream from the famous Ernest, sitting on the grass in the sun. From there, we were just a stone's throw from the Bernard d’Agesci musuem. Located in a majestic building, it houses diverse collections: natural history, paintings, conservatory of education, cabinet of curiosities... It was fascinating. Late in the afternoon, we returned to the hôtel La Grange where a charming room and a massage with a relaxologist were waiting for us. The spa, sauna and this massage... What a wonderful way to finish the day.
All aboard for the Green Venice !
We took advantage of the swimming pool nestled in the peaceful Mediterranean-style garden, to swim a few lengths before breakfast. It felt great to take some time in the morning. Back in the town centre, we hired two bikes from ‘Le beau vélo de Robigo’ for a ride along the banks of the Niort Sèvre as far as the Marais Poitevin, passing Port Boinot, the Quai Métayer and la Roussille. We had no idea that Niort was home to such places and that the cycle paths are all completely flat. In la Roussille, circuit no 7 took us to Coulon, capital of the Marais Poitevin. We had lunch in a restaurant, le Central, which we really wanted to try and which we rate 100%. We explored Coulon, a pretty Marais village labelled Petite Cité de Caractère®, and then Magné, a village known for its International Painting Festival, which was charming, before returning to Niort. Riding between river banks and hamlets filled with flowers and typical Marais houses, this is a perfect route to explore Green Venice off the well-trodden paths.
WHERE TO SLEEP AND EAT, WHAT TO DO?
Enjoy some relaxation with your loved one !