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Circuits and maps

Cycling across the Marais poitevin with the “Vélo Francette” bike route

Cycling across the Marais poitevin with the “Vélo Francette” bike route

Home > Blog > Cycling across the Marais poitevin with the “Vélo Francette” bike route

23 August 2019

The “Vélo Francette” bike route is a big success and perfect for those who want to discover the Marais poitevin with family or friends. You cycle across the Natural Regional Park, from Niort to the coastline of Vendée, through the typical villages of the Marsh. The secure bike paths are the nest choice for a calm ride to relax and enjoy authentic landscapes and charms of the Marais poitevin.

Focus on the “Vélo Francette” bike route

Logo de la  Vélo Francette

From Ouistreham in Normandy to La Rochelle in Charente-Maritime, the “Vélo Francette” route allows you to discover France in a different way, contemplating the landscapes for a unique road-trip. Through 12 journeys and 630 kilometres of marked itinerary, it gives you an exceptional panorama on the “Petite France” area, hence the name “Vélo Francette”. Watercourses, rivers, “guinguettes”, “Accueil Vélo” services are all along the bike route and strengthen this timeless spirit of freedom that you can feel during your ride.


The “Vélo Francette” bike route in the Marais poitevin

This bike route offers different journeys in the heart of the Marais poitevin. From the doorsteps of Niort to the Atlantic Ocean, you discover the Marsh villages of the Green Venice and the Aiguillon Bay. A land where nature is protected and promoted, the Marais poitevin is a true green bower for a calming bike ride. As you follow the Sèvre niortaise River, a true guide of the route, you discover the different and particular modes of operation of hydraulic structures that have given a rhythm for the inhabitants for centuries. The 8,000 kilometres of channels and watercourses spreading across the territory of the Natural Park are all places for discoveries. The flat landscape is perfect for less sportive people as well as young ones. A family excursion with picnic for lunch is a must-do for all nature lovers.

Bridges, gateways, towpaths or even white roads: The “Vélo Francette” route mostly takes secure pathways and green lanes where the absence of motor vehicle gives the travelled places a calming character.

Cyclists taking the Vélo Francette along the Sèvre niortaise

Cyclists taking the Vélo Francette along the Sèvre niortaise

The Marais poitevin by bike in four steps

Cyclistes sur une passerelle à Niort dans le  Marais poitevin

Cyclistes sur une passerelle à Niort

Following the “Vélo Francette” route in the Marais poitevin will take you from the hold of Niort harbour to the doorsteps of the Atlantic coastline in Marans:

  • 20 kilometres from Niort to La Garette: on pathways longing the Sèvre niortaise River. The wooded Marsh, the angelica, an emblematic plant of the Marsh, the bridges and locks lead to the heart of the Green Venice and its small channels bordered with ash trees.



  • From Damvix to the Island of Charrouin, on a 14-kilometre route, you discover the locks of Bazoin, a true crossroad of watercourses and a symbol of the core issue that represent the control and regulation of water in the marsh.


  • Final effort before standing in water, from Charrouin to the gateway of Brault (20 kilometres), the landscape is slowly changing. The air is getting saltier, you can feel salt spray on your face. The Sèvre niortaise River, which has become familiar as the kilometres go by, has reached its destination: the Aiguillon Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. At the crossroad of pathways, the “Vélo Francette” route joins the “Eurovelo” cycling route #1, the Vélodyssée route to continue your adventure to the Ocean and La Rochelle and then reaching Norway or Portugal!


Whether on foot, bike or boat, the Marais poitevin offers many possibilities to wander and discover the region for the whole family and for all ages.

Discover this authentic and natural area at your own pace!


If you need to book a bike, you can do it online!



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