En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez l'utilisation de cookies à des fins d'analyse et de confort de visite sur ce site. En savoir plus

  • en
    • fr
Circuits and maps

The Rallye du Marais

The Rallye du Marais

Home > Blog > The Rallye du Marais

23 August 2019

The biggest canoeing event at night, the Rallye du Marais (Rally of the Marsh) is an event that gathers each year thousands of spectators and participants in the heart of the Marais poitevin. A colourful event, the Rallye du Marais is celebrating this year its 45th edition on the 29th and 30th June. Once again this big event will bring a lot of animation in the small village of Coulon for a summer weekend.

Canoes, kayaks and puzzles on the channels of Coulon

It has become one of the most popular festive events of the Marais poitevin. Each last weekend of June in Coulon (Deux-Sèvres), in the heart of the Green Venice, hundreds of crews embark on a crazy night. The Rallye du Marais is more than a simple race on the water, it is a big celebration. One of its particularities is the recommendation to wear a disguise as well as the disguise of the boat. Over the editions we can meet Captain America, Wonderwoman, a team of people wearing a “bigouden” (the traditional headdress from Brittany), a team of pirates, the Raving Rabbids, etc.

Rallye du Marais, a night-time canoeing event in the Marais Poitevin

Rallye du Marais, a night-time canoeing event in the Marais Poitevin

The “Canoë-Kayak Niortais” canoeing club organises and manages with a steady hand this festive event that attracts each year more and more participants and onlookers who come to see the originality of the crews and enjoy the unconventional yet friendly atmosphere.

A festive mood in the Marais poitevin for a weekend

Departure of the Rallye du Marais on the Coulon docks in the Marais poitevin

Departure of the Rallye du Marais on the Coulon docks

But what is this Rallye du Marais about?

In teams of minimum three canoes or four kayaks, participants enter a maze of big and small channels, at night and looking for checkpoints. In order to find those checkpoints disseminated around Coulon, they must solve puzzles that are given at the start of the race. At each checkpoint, an image helps to find a keyword. Once all the keywords have been collected, the teams can find out the annual theme of the rally. Teams have to complete the rally within five hours, or they face penalties. The ranking is done based on the time spent by the teams, the number of checkpoints found by the teams and the accuracy of the theme the team has found.

A true paper chase, the Rally is a unique experience for participants as well as spectators who come each year to see the crazy paddlers’ exploits.

Once a year, the car park of Autremont, in Coulon, looks like a giant fair. Everybody warms up, gets ready for the race and look for some warmth after hours on the water.

This giant demonstration, at the same time sporting, touristic and cultural, equally rewards the team with the best score of the race as well as the team with the most original disguise (rewarded by a jury).

But you can also take a boat trip in a more traditional way! Or take the time to visit museums and castles or stroll through the villages. Here are 12 things to do in the Marais poitevin.

To know all that is happening in the Marais Poitevin throughout the year, do not hesitate to consult the agenda.

Book now your boat trip or your entrance to a site visit.




My last articles

Circuits and maps

The brand Accueil Vélo in the Marais poitevin

27 April 2020

The national brand Accueil Vélo guarantees a high quality experience on cycle routes in the Marais poitevin. During your cycle rides to discover the various landscapes of the Green Venice of the shores of South Vendée, you can have what you and your bike need to enjoy any halt. What is the brand Accueil Vélo? […]

Keep reading


The Royal Abbey of Nieul-sur-l’Autise – a Treasure in the heart of the Marais poitevin

19 December 2019

Located twenty minutes away from Niort, the Royal Abbey of Nieul-sur-l’Autise is a true piece of cultural heritage. In Vendée, at the edge of the Marais poitevin Natural Regional Park, it offers a calm and timeless place to visit. The Abbey of Nieul-sur-l’Autise through the years On each side of the road from Niort to […]

Keep reading


Let’s discover the Bernard d’Agesci Museum in Niort

29 November 2019

Built by Niort Chief architect Georges Lasseron at the end of the 19th century, the Jean Macé High School for Girls is currently home of the main museum in Niort, the Bernard d’Agesci Museum. The multidisciplinary art collections are at the same time didactic and historical, because we can visit the Fine Arts section, the […]

Keep reading