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France, Deux-Sèvres (79), parc interrégional du Marais Poitevin labellisé Grand Site de France, Magné, bateau à chaînes pour faire passer l'embarcation d'une rive à l'autre ©H. Lenain/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Damvix, la Sèvre Niortaise, Marais Poitevin (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Fontenay le Comte (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Fontenay le Comte (vue aérienne)

France, Vendée (85), Nieul-sur-l'Autise, vue générale ©E. Berthier/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Nieul-sur-l'Autise, vue générale

France, Vendée (85), Chaillé-les-Marais, le village (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Chaillé-les-Marais, le village (vue aérienne)

France, Vendée (85), Mervent, le village entouré de la rivière la Mère (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Saint-Michel-en-l'Herm, l'île de la Dive et la Pointe d'Arçay (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

Maillezais is an abbey in ruin of the blazing Gothic type. It is in VendAe (France). ©bermau/iStock

Maillezais abbey

view of sunset over beach of l'Aiguillon sur Mer and the lagoon of nature reserve Casse de la Belle Henriette, Vendee, Franceview of sunset over beach of l'Aiguillon sur Mer and the lagoon of nature reserve Casse de la Belle Henriette, Vendee, France ©Cloud-Mine-Amsterdam/iStock

sunset over beach of l'Aiguillon sur Mer, Vendee, France

Pays de la Loire

Exploring the Marais Poitevin

From Mervent to Longeville, exploring the canals in the heart of nature

  • Nature & Discovery
  • Weekends

Discover the two great facets of the Marais Poitevin, before ending your stay by the sea. Your trip begins with a dip in the middle of nature, in the Mervent-Vouvant Forest. From Vix, you can explore both the Marais Mouillé  (‘Wet Marsh’) to the east, also known as the “Green Venice“, as well as the Marais Desséché (‘dry swamp’)  to the west. Enjoy the region’s cultural and heritage wonders, before ending your stay along the Atlantic coast, for some sport or relaxation – depending on your mood!

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Customize your trip

Mervent Longeville sur Mer

Day 1 - Forêt de Mervent - Vix

Located between plain and grove, the charming village of Mervent is an ideal starting point. Take a scenic walk or cycle ride through the Mervent-Vouvant Forest, before exploring a heritage steeped in history: the abbeys of Fontenay-le-Comte and Nieul-sur-l’Autise can be found at the southerly entrance of the Marais Poitevin. Deeper in the heart of this aquatic and untamed kingdom, the ruins of the abbey of Maillezais offer an exceptional spectacle. Don’t miss the superb projection of the refectory, dedicated to its remains, before winning Vix.

  • Distance : 46 km
  • Duration : 0h56

Day 2 - Le Marais Mouillé

Leave your belongings in Vix to enjoy a grand tour of the Marais Mouillé  (‘Wet Marsh’). Ride through the “Green Venice” to Coulon and take a boat trip to enjoy the beauty and mysteries of its canals, before heding down to Amuré. Its 12th century church includes amazing Poitevin style limestone tombs. Don’t miss the two megaliths, renowned for their healing power, in the second cemetery at 300m. Finally, go to the old fishing village of Damvix before heading back.

Day 3 - Le Marais desseché

Head west this time, towards the marais desséché (‘dry swamp’) and the sea! Heading towards Chaillé-les-Marais, you can admire the wide open landscapes of Petit Poitou. From the belvedere, Place de l’Église, look out for the old islets of Aisne and Sableau on the left. Push on to Champagné-les-Marais for lunch, before heading down to the sea at Dive, at the Aiguillon bay. Go along the coast, making a quick detour to the small town of Angles and finish your journey in the resort of Longeville-sur-mer.

  • Distance : 81 km
  • Duration : 1h42

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