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The Marais Poitevin

Just 50 minutes by car from La Rochelle, set off on a wonderful journey to the heart of the Marais Poitevin, also called “La Venise Verte” (Green Venice). A Regional Natural Park and Grand Site de France, the Marais Poitevin is a 100,000 hectare preserved area, inhabited by people since the Middle Ages. 

Picture yourself in a rowboat gliding over a marshy green waterway, revelling in a relaxing, zen-like atmosphere – this is what to expect from the Marais Poitevin! From one of the many landing points dotted along the waterways of this marshy area, hop aboard a “plate” (traditional flat-bottomed boat) and get lost amid these green surroundings. Discover the lush vegetation of this marshland, with pollarded ash trees, willows, and alder trees. You’ll also pass by pastoral land where you can discover the diversity of local agriculture.

However, a boat ride is not the only way to discover the Green Venice of the Marais Poitevin. You can walk or cycle along the paths, enjoy a picnic along the banks, or even take a stroll through the villages. Indeed, the ways to explore the Marais Poitevin are endless.

loser to La Rochelle and just a 20 minute car ride, at the national nature reserve of the Marais d’Yves you can come into contact with a rich, rare and preserved natural environment throughout the year. A major natural site in France located along the Charentais coast between La Rochelle and Rochefort, it is home to a wide variety of environments, with the likes of muddy foreshores, flat and dry dunes, marshes and reedbeds, wet meadows, tamarisk hedges, groves and thickets. 
The Baie d’Yves is one of the most important sanctuaries for migratory birds in Continental France. In winter, the reserve plays host to 20,000 waders, 1,500 ducks, and several hundred greylag geese. In total, no less than 250 species of bird frequent the bay.

The nearby islands
Fort Boyard