The Vélodyssée and the Vélo Francette
Crossed by two internationally renowned cycle routes: the Vélodyssée and the Vélo Francette, the Aunis Marais Poitevin is an essential stopover for cyclists. Zoom on these two bike routes.
The Vélodyssée, along the Atlantic
The largest of the French cycle routes, the Vélodyssée, allows you to follow the entire Atlantic, from Roscoff to Hendaye! On the Les Sables – La Rochelle section, we invite you to take two bucolic stages. After crossing the Vendée, head for Aunis Marais Poitevin and La Rochelle, passing through Marans.
Marans and the Marais
The landscapes of the Vendée parade before our eyes… Once past the pine forests by the sea, here we are in the so-called “dried” marsh of the Marais Poitevin. Here, the large expanses of meadows and crops are bordered by canals and locks. Pedaling on his bike, we surprise the flight of a heron and perhaps even that of a Montagu's harrier.
We then arrive in Marans for a well-deserved stopover. A tour of its quays allows you to appreciate its tranquility and the sweetness of life. Tasting of a good meal at the water's edge, cozy night in a charming bed and breakfast, and we set off again in the direction of La Rochelle.
Stroll along the Marans-la Rochelle canal
The Marans-la Rochelle canal, initially dug in the XNUMXth century to allow the passage of goods by waterway, is now nothing more than a natural site with preserved landscapes. The only souls encountered are fishermen and walkers on foot or on horseback, who take advantage of the green banks of the canal.
The Saint Léonard tunnel, a tunnel over 800 meters long completed in 1850, is one of the curiosities of this stage. The arrival in La Rochelle along the Rompsay canal offers you a splendid view of the famous towers of La Rochelle. So, ready to get on your bikes?
La Vélo Francette, from Normandy to the Atlantic
This route starts from Ouistreham in Normandy, and ends in the heart of the city of La Rochelle. Three stages in Aunis Marais Poitevin, allow you to follow the Sèvre Niortaise and discover all the facets of the marsh.
Discovering the Marais Poitevin in three turns of the wheel
Departure from Marans by bike, after a nice visit of the place: the atypical bell tower of the Notre-Dame des Marais church, its old halls and the lively quays hold no secrets for us. We follow the Sèvre Niortaise, the backbone of the Marais Poitevin, for these beautiful stages of the Vélo Francette, towards Niort! The fishermen, installed at the edge of the water or on their pontoons, take advantage of the tranquility of the place. The market houses and the bridges leading to the Vendée are then strung out.
As you go along the paths and small country roads, you sink deeper and deeper into the so-called “wet” part of the Marais Poitevin. Green reigns supreme, and we enjoy a real moment of disconnection... The Coulon-Niort stage immediately plunges into the atmosphere of the Green Venice with its labyrinth of canals and paths. A stage in the village of Magné, allows you to immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the market garden villages.
A route accessible to all, not to be missed to appreciate the different landscapes of the marsh!
The opinion of the local counter
We take advantage of a stop at the locks of Bazoin to discover the marsh from the water. For the more athletic, let yourself be tempted by kayaking, and for the less adventurous, a walk in a maraîchine boat will make you live unforgettable moments!