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France, Deux-Sèvres (79), le Marais Poitevin, la Venise Verte, Coulon, labellisé Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, maison maraîchine typique au bord de la Sèvre Niortaise ©B. Gardel/hemis.fr

France, Deux-Sèvres (79), parc interrégional du Marais Poitevin labellisé Grand Site de France, Niort, site de la Roussille ©B. Gardel/hemis.fr

Coulon, France - July 27, 2011: Coulon, France. The image shows pleasure boats and a family of visitors rowing along the River Sevre in the village of Coulon in the Marais Poitevin region of France. The area is close to the city of Niort and is criss-crossed by waterways. It has therefore been named La Venise Verte (Green Venice). Coulon is known as the capital of the region and is a very popular with tourists. ©Petegar/iStock

Coulon, France

Vieux port de La Rochelle ©PictureReflex/iStock

Vieux port de La Rochelle, France

Niort, France, July 16 2017: A view of the historic town of Niort and St Andre's church, on the Sevre Niortaise River. Niort is large town in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France with a population of 60,000+. ©Imladris01/iStock

Niort, France

France, Charente-Maritime (17), Parc Interrégional du Marais Poitevin labellisé Grand Site de France, Marans, port de plaisance sur la Sèvre Niortaise ©H. Lenain/hemis.fr

France, Deux-Sèvres (79), Arçais, Marais Poitevin, l'écluse des Bourdettes sur la Sèvre-Niortaise (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Damvix, le village et la Sèvre-Niortaise(vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

France, Vendée (85), Damvix, le village et la Sèvre-Niortaise(vue aérienne)

The Marais Poitevin by bike along the Vélo Francette®

From Niort to La Rochelle

  • Bicycling
  • Nature & Discovery

A vast man-made construction, the marais poitevin was born from an impenetrable swamp that monks resolved to exploit by digging an inventive network of canals. Today, it is a magnificent labyrinth of waterways, navigable by boat, which thoroughly deserves its “Green Venice” nickname. Come and enjoy pedalling this little lush haven! Via marked trails from Niort to La Rochelle, passing Damvix and Marans, and soaking up the beneficial tranquility of the Marais Poitevin.

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Customize your trip

Niort La Rochelle

Day 1 - Niort - Damvix

It is in Niort, along the Sèvre, that your journey begins. Between small roads and towpaths, your circuit follows the meanders of the river in multiple loops. It passes through La Roussille and the village of La Garette where you can take a well-deserved bucolic stop. Return to your bikes to enter the heart of the marshlands and stop at Coulon, labelled one of the ‘Plus Beaux Villages de France’. After Irleau, you will find your way out of the marsh by following the Sèvre Niortaise which you left when entering. After the Bazoin locks, you will arrive in Damvix for the evening.

  • Distance : 27 km
  • Duration : 0h34
  • Altitude + :75 m
  • Altitude - :3 m

Day 2 - Damvix - Marans

Damvix offers one of the main docking facilities in the Marais Poitevin. Why not rest your legs and put your arms to use with a boat trip, either guided or on your own, weaving between the pretty canal banks. Resume your descent of the Sèvre Niortaise and the wet marshlands via cycle paths that rub shoulders with places such as Nouveau Béjou and Pomère canals. The small port of Marans has retained all the charm of its former position as guardian of the estuary, contrasting with the futuristic modernity of its church steeple. In the evening, you can relax on one of the port’s terraces after your long ride.

  • Distance : 26 km
  • Duration : 0h32
  • Altitude + :13 m
  • Altitude - :1 m

Day 3 - Marans - La Rochelle

Admire this beautiful shady stretch that opens the way to the cycle paths. As you depart from Marans, tall trees liberally line the banks of the canal that goes straight out to the sea. On this physically undemanding route, you will be captivated by the charm of this preserved nature before your arrival in La Rochelle . Make sure you leave enough time to visit the rebel city and its architectural treasures before heading home.

  • Distance : 27 km
  • Duration : 0h36
  • Altitude + :31 m
  • Altitude - :1 m

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