The Marais Poitevin by bike

Explore Niort and the Green Venice in a star shaped tour

Highlights

The Natural Regional Parc of the Marais Poitevin
The "Green Venice" in Coulon and Arçais
A rich architectural heritage
Boat trips in the middle of the canals
The towpaths with the secure route
St-Hilaire-La-Palud, the capital of the "Wild Marsh"

Good living along the Sèvre Niortaise

From Niort, getaway in the enchanting setting of the Marais Poitevin.

Along the canals and the Sèvre Niortaise, you will discover the beauty of the Marais Poitevin and Green Venice by bike while enjoying the calm and the good living characteristic of these bucolic and authentic places.

A rich historical heritage is waiting to be discovered. In Niort, you can particularly visit the emblematic dungeon of the city. Further in Maillezais,the Abbey of Saint-Pierre opens its doors.

Through the villages of D’Arçais, Coulon, Maillé, Saint-Hilaire-La-Palud or Maillezais, you can enjoy the peacefulness and charm of these cities of character. For the more curious, admire the omnipresent nature and wildlife and explore the numerous dungeons and abbeys.

Hop on your bike and let yourself be guided along the water in the heart of the Marais Poitevin!

Niveau EasyEasy or Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1

NIORT

Free arrival in Niort.

Day 2

NIORT, BOUCLE DÉCOUVERTE DE NIORT ET DE SA CAMPAGNE 47km Niveau Loisir

Start your journey by bike by exploring the donjon of Aliénor of Aquitaine in Niort and enjoy the view on the old town. Then go for a ride to discover the surroundings of Niort.

Day 3

From NIORT to ARCAIS 34km Niveau Loisir

Follow the Vélo Francette to Coulon, the capital of the Green Venice and the highlight of the Poitevin Marsh. Stroll around the banks of the Sèvre Niortaise and the harbour. Make a pause at the House of the Marsh (Maison du Marais) to discover the history of the Marais Poitevin. Try to find the numerous landing stages of the village and go on a boat ride to enjoy a peaceful moment of the water. Then ride towards the wild marsh and the village of Vanneau-Irleau, then continue towards St-George-de-Rex and its wildlife park. This day ends with your arrival in the village of Arçais: the heart of the wet Marsh and of the natural regional park of the Marais Poitevin.

Note: If you explore the Marais Poitevin in the end of July, experience the famous Floating Market on the river of the village of Vanneau Irleau. This event takes place each year on the last Saturday of July.

Day 4

ARCAIS, BOUCLE DU MARAIS SAUVAGE 39km Niveau Loisir

When you leave Arçais, ride towards St-Hilaire-La-Palud: the capital of the wild Marsh of the department of Deux Sèvres. Take the opportunity of being in this village to visit the ornithological park Les Oiseaux du Marais Poitevin. Then, head towards Courçon, located at the southern edge of the Marais Poitevin and visit its unusual Church: the fortified church of Notre-Dame.

Day 5

ARCAIS, BOUCLE DE LA VENISE VERTE ET DE L'ABBAYE DE MAILLEZAIS 37km Niveau Loisir

Leave Arçais towards Damvix and follow the 19th century floodgates of Bourdettes. Ride your bike towards Maillé and visit this emblematic village of the Green Venice. The place is the symbol of the former lifestyle in the Marais Poitevin. Here, witness the famous transport of cows on the boats and admire the rich hydraulic heritage and wildlife. Then head to Maillezais and its famous benedictin Abbey of Saint-Pierre. The loop eventually lead you to the wild Marsh between St-Sigismond and Le Mazeau to end back in Arçais.

Day 6

From ARCAIS to NIORT 30km Niveau Loisir

Your journey by bike is coming to its end and it is time to head back to Niort. Follow the direction of Coulon and then La Rousille and enjoy the country charm of the Marais Poitevin.

Day 7

NIORT

End of your bike trip after the breakfast.

chambre gamme essentielle

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.


Starting from 460€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Chambre confort Hôtel Londres

Comfort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.

Accommodation example

Starting from 675€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Chambre avec parquet et cheminée La Maison Jules Chambre d'hôte à Tours

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.


Quote on request | Contact us

Homemade and fully tested itineraries
  • Routes selected for their cycling and touristic interest entirely tested and away from traffic
  • Accomodations selected for their hospitality, atmosphere, services and quality meals
  • A flexible organisation to suit you needs and wishes: You choose the date you want to you leave on! We check the availability of each accomodation to make sure it is possible.

Close assistance
  • One of our guides greets you on your first day. He will hand out all the needed documents for the trip (hotel vouchers, maps of the area,GPS, practical guide), get you settled on your bikes (for rental bikes).
  • Phone assistance, you can reach the Abicyclette team whenever you need
  • A Luggage transfer service which respects your hours of rest (we pick them up after 10:00 and deliver them before 16:00)

Follow your itinerary anyway you like – modern, practical, traditional

GPS for cycling trips

  • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)
  • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day, topo maps, and touristic information)

 


You can also

 

On our guided tours (for groups on demand), we accompany you every step of the way
  • One of our state qualified instructor and professional cycling guide accompanies you every step of the way
  • Full board (all meals covered unless asked otherwise)
  • A picnic buffet set up for lunch with a wide choice of fresh and local produce

We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.


Hiking Bike (woman)

ARCADE ESCAPE

28″ wheels
Two frame sizes
21 gears
Aluminium frame
Luggage rack

The lightweight, practical and comfortable travel bike.

Supplied equipment per bike

  • Two luggage carrier bags (capacity 20L per bag)
  • Lock
  • A handlebar bag
  • A repair kit (pump, light tools, puncture kit)

Hiking Bike (man)

ARCADE ESCAPE

28″ wheels
Two frame sizes
21 gears
Aluminium frame
Luggage rack

The lightweight, practical and comfortable travel bike.

Supplied equipment per bike

  • Two luggage carrier bags (capacity 20L per bag)
  • Lock
  • A handlebar bag
  • A repair kit (pump, light tools, puncture kit)

Ebike

Several models of ebikes available with :

28″ wheels
At least 3 levels of assistance
Minimum range of 50 km
Maximum range 90-100 km
7 gears at least
Central motor in the bottom bracket
Aluminium frame
Luggage rack

A great alternative to travel more kilometers a day and support your efforts.

Supplied equipment per bike

  • Two luggage carrier bags (capacity 20L per bag)
  • Lock
  • A handlebar bag
  • A repair kit (pump, light tools, puncture kit)

Children Bike

6 gears
20″ or 24″ wheels
Aluminium frame
Mountain bike or Hybrid bike model

Recommended for children from 6-7 years old for a maximum height of 145 cm.

 

 

 

Children trailer

Two places
Maximum charge : 40 kg

 

Follow me

Intermediate solution
No obligation to pedal for the child
Attached to the saddle of a man or woman bike

Recommended for children between 5 and 7 years old.

 

Getting here

Meeting Point
Niort, Deux-Sèvres (79)

Niort by car*
From Rennes by the N137 et A83 (261km 2h56)
From Paris by l’A10 (412km 4h09)
From Lyon by l’A89 (550km 5h48)
From Bordeaux by l’A10 (192km 2h02)
From Toulouse by l’A62 et l’A10 (423km 4h13)

Niort by train*
Train station at Niort

Niort by plane*
Airport from La Rochelle

Airport from Bordeaux

Airport from Poitiers

Recommended equipment

Bike

  • Trekking or hybrid bike
  • 21 to 30 speeds
  • 26 or 28 inch (700) wheels

Clothing and equipment

  • Helmet (included with the rental)
  • Clothing suitable for cycling
  • Warm jacket (eg fleece)
  • Rain proof jacket
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 pair of cycling shoes
  • 1 small backpack or panniers
  • 1 or 2 water flasks (included with the rental)
  • 1 lock (included with the rental)
  • Our reccomendation for optimal comfort:
    • 1 pair of gloves
    • 1 special pair of pants (shammy leather)
    • 1 night see fluorescent vest

Bike maintenance

  • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
  • Daily use kit: cloth, brake pads, oil

Other

  • Suitcase (for transporting personal effects in luggage transfers)
  • Change of clothes for the evening
  • Warm jacket for the evenings
  • Set of toiletries
  • Mobile phone and charger

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