Photos, Reviews, Maps,
The Green Venice, Venise Verte
The Green Venice or Venise Verte as it is called in France is really the more tourist intensive part of the Marais Poitevin.
It is that part of the Marais Poitevin that was the last to be drained
and is called the Marais mouille or wet marshes. It is world renown by
artists who come here for the light and its juxtaposition with the
water, the variety in the innumerable shades of green and to capture the
magic of this enchanting corner of France. This lazy landscape is
criss-crossed by a system of canals lined by willows and poplar trees.
The slow flowing rivers of the Sèvre Noirtaise and the Vendée
meander across this fen-like landscape with it's essential dyke systems
which are necessary 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, which are a delight for the artist and tourist alike. These
marshlands support a variety of flora and fauna, many of which are rare
and unique. Much of this is best viewed either from the flat bottom
boats on hire all along the canals or by taking a stroll along the many
quiet footpaths. There are nature reserves at several places on the
Often referred to as the capital of Green-Venice this pretty village is
on the banks of the Sèvre Niortaise river at the eastern end of the
Green Venice, 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 multi-person family sized
bicycles. There are excellent restaurants and cafes both alongside the
waterways and in the centre of the village.
The Ancient church is of great interest.
small charming village has a square with a church and interesting shops
and restaurants. From the square you can take one of many small winding
lanes with their interesting old cottages or you can take the main road
down to the river and harbour which is overlooked by a small château.
Boats are available with or without guides to explore the small canals
and their wild life.
Damvix, Just down-stream from Arcais is Damvix
and as you approach it on the road beside the River Sèvre Niortaise you
will see the 15th century church of Damvix dominating 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, and the
restaurant boat leaves from here offering dinner cruises during the
Maillezais, This town is best known for its ruined abbey. It
was once the home of the Benedictine monks who were responsible for
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 at a stroke Maillezais was 19 kilometres from
the sea. During the holiday season the abbey hosts a variety of events
including night time spectaculars.
Boats can be hired from a couple of locations near to the abbey.
The town of Maillezais has a 12th century church which predates the
abbey. There are numerous restaurants and cafes in this pretty little
town. Read more on Maillezais
at the crossroads of the D25 and D15 and on a loop of the river Sevre
Niortaise,this attractive little village rarely gets a mention in most
guides, but it has all the elements that make for a great detour on any
The village has a very attractive main street which includes a church
with beautifully sculptured Romanesque porch, old buildings and
leads to the port de Maille complete with picturesque bridge,
locks and centre for hiring motorboats for discovering this corner of
the Marais Poitevin.
The village also has an attractive windmill and the workings of one of marvels of marshes, that of the l'Aquaduc de Maille built in 1654.
Benet. On the edge of the Marais this small town grew wealthy from the trade brought in by the local harbours of Azire and Courdault
The Green Venice is the most tourist intensive part of the Marais
Poitevin but is less than 1/3rd of the size of this intriguing area.
Find out more about the rest of the marshes, its history, its nature and
its importance to the area of the Marais Poitevin
Return to find more Attractions of the Vendée
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