Discover the Marais, located in southern Vendée and organize your ‘green’ holidays. Find the right addresses to prepare your stay in the heart of ‘Green Venice’ : holidays rentals, B&Bs, hotels, campsites, restaurants, and to plan your activities such as canoeing, biking, boat tours, fishing, and visits to must-see tourist sites.
Top 3 reasons to visit the Marais Poitevin :
1 – A unique site in Europe
2 – Activities for the whole family
3 – An ideal place for your holidays, 1 hour away from the Puy du Fou, the Futuroscope, the beaches of Vendee and La Rochelle
The Marais Poitevin: From Green Venice to the Ocean
It required 2000 years to create the Marais Poitevin as we know it nowadays. This territory stretches over 95,000 hectares and covers 3 departments– the Vendée, Deux-Sevres and Charente-Maritime. This area is listed as the second largest wetland in France, after the Camargue.
8 000 years ago, the Marais Poitevin did not exist. The sea covered the entire region up to Niort and formed the Gulf of the Pictons. Over time, the ocean retracted leaving behind a vast swamp. The monks of the 11th century were the first to dig the canals in order to dry the ground and cultivate it, precursor to the current Dry Marsh.
Many centuries and wars later, the inhabitants of the eastern part of the marsh, tired of being subjected to the floods every winter, undertook to dig new canals. All along the years, a maze of channels, conches and ditches was formed into the Wet Marsh. This mysterious labyrinth of water canals has become known as ‘Green Venice’.