Attraction in the Vendee.
draining of the ancient gulf of Poitou by the Benedictine monks from the abbey
at Maillezais in medieval times the inter-regional park of the Marais Poitevin
This lazy landscape criss crossed by a system of canals lined
by willows and popular trees. The slow flowing rivers of the Sevre Noirtaise and
the Vendee meander across these fens with it's essential dyke systems neccesary
to control the water levels. The myriad canals are covered with green duck weed
which gives it its name of Verice-Vert or Green Venice,dotted along the banks
are many pretty little stone cottages.
These marshland support a variety of
flora and fauna many rare and unique,these are best viewed either from the flat
bottom boats on hire all along the canals or by taking a stroll along the many
quite footpaths. There are nature reservers at several places on the Marais
Coulon, a pretty village is on the banks of the Sevre
Niortaise river at the eastern end of the Green Venice. It is probably the most
touristique part and here you can hire boats and canoes with or without a guide
to explore the many canals nearby.
Bicycles are also available for hire
including family sized ones.
There are excellent restaurants and cafes both
along side the waterways and in the centre of the village.
The anchien church
is of great interest.
Arcais, This is a small village of great charm with a
village square with church and interesting shops and restaurant, from here you
can take one of many small winding lanes with interesting old cottages (or the
main road) down to the river and harbour which is overlooked by a small
Boats are available with or without guilds to explore the small
canals and their wild life.
Just down stream from Arcais is Damvix, as you approach along the road beside
the river Sevre Niotaise you will see the 15th century church of Damvix that
dominates the landscape. Crossing the bridge you enter into the village where
you can hire boats or bicycles.
There are several good restaurants and cafes
here,also the restaurant boat leaves from here for diner cruises during the
Maillezais, Best known for its ruined abbey that was once
the home of the benedictine monks who were responsible for the draining of the
gulf of picton. It is said that in 1460 the waves were lapping at the foot of
the abbey (which was then on the coast) when the bells for vespers were ringing,
at the end of prayers the tide had gone out never to return and maillezais was then 19k from the sea.
During the holiday
season the abbey host a variety of events including night time
Boats can be hired from a couple of locations near to the
The town of Maillezais has a
12th century church which predates the abbey.
There are numerous restaurants
and cafes in the pretty little town.
Venice is the more Touristique part of the Marais Poitevin and is less than
1/3rd of the area of this intriguing area, find out more about the rest of the
marshes, its history, its nature and importance to the area of the Marais Poitevin
in the vendee