Poitevin marsh

Marais poiitevin

The charm of rides flat on conch Marsh also called « Green Venice » between Niort and MAILLE, but also discovered the marsh on foot, by bike or by caravan.

Recognized « International Biological Heritage and Major Interest », the Poitevin marsh second largest wetland in France after the Camargue, the first wetland in coastal marshes of western France and fifth wetland of Europe from its surface. The  Poitevin marsh is 1 / 3 of the 300 000 ha of Atlantic coastal marshes. It shows its importance across the Atlantic Europe.

Its territory extends over 70 km from west to east (from Niort Bay Osten), and 30 km from north to south (the plain of limestone hills of the Vendée Aunis). Located on the borders of three departments (Vendée, Deux – Sevres, Charente Maritime) and two administrative regions (Poitou – Charente, Pays de la Loire). The Poitevin marsh covers over 100,000 hectares. Surrounded by four cities: Luçon, Niort, Fontenay le Conte and La Rochelle, with a hundred square kilometers with a population (100000 inhabitants live there besides Niort). The rural area of the Poitevin marsh is most influenced by this proximity and the phenomenon of peri – urban development around the towns of Niort and La Rochelle.

The  Poitevin marsh is a set of great ecological and agro-ecosystem of high biological value, or wet grasslands and water networks are undoubtedly the major interest for flora and fauna specific environments malaria, both by the diversity of environments that comprise it, especially in its property of « wetland ». In France wetlands are relatively rare compared to other media (less than 5% of the country) and has a heritage, landscape and ecology. The Poitevin marsh is located at the crossroads of several climatic zones and at the interface of land and the Atlantic Ocean, that – it provides sites for migratory birds. Located on a major migration corridors between Europe and Africa, the  Poitevin marsh is a reception area essential for migratory birds.

Former marine gulf, this space has been progressively transformed by the combined effects of natural evolutionary processes and especially human development. It is above all the strong presence of man, and continuous efforts since the Middle – Age to organize the Poitevin marsh, which gave it its present appearance. All work was intended, the water control, and agricultural development. The huge gulf sea called the Gulf or Gulf of Poitou Pictons, was then filled by the accumulation of alluvial and marine waterways. Only a few islands, which are located the villages today, have resisted this process. At the time when Christianity was thriving, local lords conceded wetlands to the Benedictine monks of the Cistercian abbeys and the  Poitevin marshes and surrounding areas. From the twelfth century, large areas were surrounded by levees and canals have been traced in the nearest part of the Atlantic Ocean. The work delineated two zones: the marsh Dried, contained, and Marsh Wet, flooded. The Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion will undermine many books.


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