11 September 2021
An initiative by the Green Venice Cycling Club
Cyclists taking a break admiring the house with blue shutters
The Marais poitevin is cycling heaven, for both occasional and regular cyclists! Sunday cyclists have 800 kilometres of loop itineraries at their disposal across the Marais poitevin region, enough to keep everyone happy.
For seasoned pedallers, there’s now an itinerary to take them all the way around the Marais poitevin Regional Natural Park: 236 kilometres on a mostly flat itinerary to take cyclists from Niort to Longeville-sur-Mer via Marans or Saint-Michel-en-l’Herm.
This route approved by the French Cycling Federation is registered under reference no. 349/20.
A cycling itinerary around the Marais poitevin Regional Natural Park
This route was designed by the Green Venice Cycling Club based in Coulon. The club’s members had cycled on other permanent routes in France and wanted to see something similar in the Marais poitevin. Hence, the “Tour du Parc Naturel Régional du Marais poitevin” was created!
This cycling itinerary reveals many of the riches of this unique region which is one of the biggest stretches of marshland in Europe. The Marais poitevin is packed with outstanding but fragile habitats, and is home to some remarkable fauna and flora.
Coulon, start of the itinerary around the Marais poitevin Regional Natural Park
It also boasts a wide diversity of architectural features, from the picturesque villages with typical pale stone walls and tiled roofs to the abbeys behind the creation of the Marais. From Green Venice to Aiguillon Bay, via the dry marshes, this richness thrives amid a patchwork of manmade landscapes that have evolved over the last ten centuries.
Along these paths and waterways, the full beauty of the marshes unfurls:
- the wet marshes (officially a “Grand Site de France”), also known as Green Venice, an enormous green haven with a whole maze of waterways;
- the wide open landscape of the dry marshes;
- Aiguillon Bay, one of nature’s gems and a heavenly sanctuary for birds; the vast ocean beaches.
Scenes of the Marais poitevin on the permanent cycling itinerary
A logbook to prove your achievement
Cycling for 236 kilometres is no mean feat! So to show off to your friends and other cycle club members, you’ll need to have your logbook stamped at certain checkpoints and sent to the organising club who will ratify your achievement and send you a certificate.
To obtain full details of the itinerary, contact the Green Venice Cycling Club, who will provide you with the exact route and various other items, including tourist information in case you decide to stop along the way to visit a reserve, take out a boat, or go for a swim in the sea!
You’ll also be given contact details for accommodation and restaurants.
This itinerary can be followed by cycle tourists whether or not they are registered with a club. Considering the distance, however, we highly recommend regular training! To give you an idea, here’s the route!