A break in nature
Aunis Marais Poitevin
From sea to marshes, you will be amazed at the richness of the natural and cultural heritage of these places. Here, you are cordially invited to this natural area where time trickles by and invites you to slow down and unwind. You can also celebrate the relaxed rhythm of life in Aunis Marais Poitevin !
Visit Marais Poitevin, the heart of an incredible site that has been labelled the “Grand Site de France” since 2010. Discover all the richness and diversity of its natural landscapes and see thousands of migratory birds in Baie d’Aiguillon that stop and rest there every year. Set off along the “Green Venice” canals in the traditionally flat punts that are steered by using a quant pole for a magical boat ride.
The wet marsh
The wet marsh that we also call the “Green Venice” is criss-crossed with loads of canals that are lined with rows of trees. These canals were excavated in the 19th century by market gardeners to establish communication links in these marshlands that were flooded for most of the year. Trees were planted along the banks to bind the soil together with their roots.
Therefore, little by little, the wild marshlands gave way to a wooded marsh where gardens, meadows and market gardening crops thrived. Enjoy a boat trip in the shade over this green duckweed-covered water, where time stops and where peace and quiet rule over the land.
The dry marsh
The dry marsh that can be seen just beyond the wet marsh in the east and the west overlooks Charente-Maritime and Vendée and offers a chequered landscape of linear canals that separate big meadows. The part of the marsh that is right next to the sea used to be dotted with lots of limestone islands, with some of them developing hamlets and villages like Marans.
In the 18th century, important drainage work was carried out to improve farming. However, the water is still used to irrigate the crops, which is managed by dams, deep water ports and locks, like the Brault locks. Today, these hydraulic structures shape the landscape of these lands.
“Fire on the water”
Secrets of the marsh...
There are lots of piers where you can discover the “Green Venice” by boat or canoe. Don’t skip the guide because they will tell you all about Marais Poitevin’s history and secrets and you will be amazed at the “fire on the water” demonstration where they make a flame appear on the surface of the water...
You can choose your next boat trip right now
Visit Abbaye de Maillezais (Maillezais Abbey)
After a lovely boat trip, fans of geology and history can discover the Abbaye de Maillezais’ impressive ruins. A powerful fortress, a Roman abbey, then a Gothic cathedral, Maillezais excelled for centuries in the worlds of religion, finance and art. Events, shows and dramatised tours are provided to tell you all about the history of this incredible place.
A special gastronomy
During your walk in the Marais Poitevin, do not hesitate to try the local specialties with snails, stuffed poitevin, Charentais cricket, frog legs, cheese cake ... there is something for everyone!
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