23 September 2018
The Marais poitevin along the waterside
What better way to fight against hot summer temperatures than a boat trip in the Marais poitevin? The meeting was planned at the jetty of the Green Venice in Le Mazeau, in Vendée for a guided ride. Now boarding!
The jetty of the Green Venice, the authentic Marsh
Located on the border of the Deux-Sèvres and Vendée departments, Le Mazeau is the perfect place for those who want to discover the Marais poitevin by moving away from tourist attractions. The easily accessible jetty has a car park just a few metres away. A few tables complement the site for a picnic break before boarding or just to stop and enjoy the freshness of the river banks. The restaurant “Au Bord de l’Eau”, located on the same site, offers specialties from Vendée and seasonal menus at great prices. You can even bring the packed lunch to the boat!
Green Venice jetty in Le Mazeau
“Pigouille” pole, “plate” boat and fire on water
With his pigouille pole, our boatman, Julien, boards us in his world for the very first metres. “Pigouille”, what an incongruous word. The pigouille, a big pole carved in ash wood, is an emblem of the Marais poitevin. It is used to manoeuvre the boat which has a flat bottom, also known as the “plate”. And it is to say that he is a professional based on his technique. Through his explanations about the Marsh, including its history, its fauna and flora, his passion and respect for this site are undeniable. Julien is passionate and shares his love for the Marais poitevin. During the boat ride, each question has its answer or is even expected. We learn as much as we enjoy the landscapes, the freshness and the surrounding quietness.
Landscape of the Marais Poitevin seen during a ride in a boat.
Fire on the water in the Marais poitevin.
The “fire on water” moment is the must-event part of the ride. With his paddle and his lighter, Julien literally puts the water on fire. As surprising as it is, this moment will be the high point of the ride! You can’t miss it!
The jetty of the Green Venice benefits from its quiet location and the wild “conche” canals surrounding it. During the whole ride, we meet only one canoe, reinforcing this feeling of being alone in the heart of nature, escorted by dragonflies and damselflies. A tranquillity reinforced by the smooth and silent navigation of our boatman. All the ingredients are here to spend a rare moment in the heart of a Marais poitevin where quietness and authenticity surround us!
The boat ride can also be narrated, done at sunset or in the early morning for the bravest, with or without a guide; it is up to you!