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Marais Poitevin – the Vendée marshlands

Posted on January 23, 2016 by Alison Shawcroft in Gites in France, Vendee things to do

Marais Poitevin – the Vendée Marshlands

 

A lush, green marshland with a network of canals and rivers – an eco-tourism hotspot. Rent a riverboat, bike or canoe and explore!

 

Yet another hidden gem of France, introducing the Marais Poitevin! The second largest wetland in France, after the Camargue, and less than an hour north of La Rochelle. Stretching from the west of Niort through the south of the Vendée and the north of the Charente Maritime towards the Atlantic coast.

The marshland is split into three areas: the Wet Marsh, Dry Marsh and Bay de l’Aiguillon. With the Wet Marsh being known as the ‘Green Venice’ of the Vendée. The network of waterways are covered in green duckweed, hence the name Venise Verte (Green Venice).

Enjoy a guided tour in a traditional flat-bottomed boat (self guided also an option), or horse-drawn carriage; paddle your own canoe along the canals; or hire bicycles to explore miles of marked, level towpath trails.

There are excellent restaurants and cafes both alongside the waterways and in the centre of riverside villages such as Coulon, Arcais, Damvix and Maillezais. Specialities are eels, frogs and local pike fish – real french delicacies!

The traditional boats used are punt like vessels which can be hired from various locations along the waterways and in the villages, from just an hour or two, to the whole day.

A haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers, it’s an ideal spot for outdoor adventures and family holidays. We have a great selection of Gites in Vendée from which to explore this fantastic region of France.

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BIO

Moving to France in 2006 and leaving corporate life behind, we started running gites and then created a Chambre d’Hote.

Almost ten years on, the family has grown to include a daughter and while still running gites, the Chambre D’Hote specialises in welcoming cyclists from around the world.

LoireLife provides a place for others to advertise their gites in the Loire Valley, without the high commissions that larger holiday lettings websites charge.

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