Second largest wetland in France, the Marais Poitevin is often referred to as France’s ‘Green Venice’, a unique landscape that has been created, shaped and maintained by water across the centuries. Once covered by the ocean, the marshes were first drained in the Middle Ages.
The Inter-regional Nature Park of the Marais Poitevin lies less than hour’s drive north of La Rochelle and is shared between Poitou-Charentes and, to a lesser extent, the Pays de la Loire.
One of the key areas in France for birdwatching and nature holidays, it’s a magical location in any season for a romantic short break, outdoor adventure or family holiday. Choose from charming small hotels, friendly guest houses and eco-friendly campsites.
The marshland is split into three zones– the Wet Marsh, Dry Marsh and Bay de l’Aiguillon, each with its own distinct personality. Learn the full story of the landscape, lifestyle and traditions at the four themed discovery centres, the Maisons du Parc.
Enjoy a guided tour in a traditional flat-bottomed boat or horse-drawn carriage; paddle your own canoe along the canals; or hire bicycles to explore miles of marked, level trails. And be sure to try the area’s food specialities for a real taste of the Marais Poitevin.
More about Marais poitevin
Wall of fame
Upcoming events in Marais poitevin
- Nuits Romanes – across the region through June, July and August Free concerts and shows showcasing the region’s Roman heritage More
- Highland Games in Bressuire – 8-9 June 2013 Traditional Scottish games with a continental twist More
- Maraisthon – the Marais Poitevin marathon, 15-16 June 2013 Get set, go – discover the beautiful Marais Poitevin from a new perspective More
- Marché flottant – the floating market – 27 July 2013 A market with a difference in the heart of the Marais Poitevin More