A family vacation to Deux-Sèvres is a must-do! Take an excursion with a flat French ‘gondola’ with or without ‘gondolier’, through the labyrinth of the canals in the ancient swamp area of Marais Poitevin. The ‘Green Venice’ is known as the most beautiful part. It is situated between Maillé and the capital Niort.
The Marais Poitevin is a protected nature reserve. The vegetation is unique: as a bird breeding area, the marshes are of great importance. There is a direct link with the Atlantic Ocean, which is 200 km away. Formally the ocean reached a huge bay up to Niort, through the Gulf of Poitou. Over the centuries, the water receded and the inhabitants began to plunge the area. The numerous drainage channels that were dug for this are forming the basis for the current system of canals. Which make it possible to sail peacefully through the beautiful nature reserve. A huge different to the dynamism of Niort, known for its Donjon, loved for its covered market halls. Learn all about the origins of the delta in the ‘Maison du Marais Poitevin’.
The department of Deux-Sèvres is named after the two rivers that flow through it: the Sèvre Niortaise and the Sèvre Nantaise. The first river is an important tributary of the Loire. The Thouarsais is a beautiful medieval provincial town, with its Romanesque church, its Renaissance castle, its sumptuous residences and pleasant shopping streets. You will find regional wines in the Pays Thouarsais. The red, white and rosé wines of Anjou and Saumur originate from this region, but also the sparkling wine Crémant de Loire.
Everyone knows that wine and cheese goes well together. The most famous goat cheese is named le Chabichou du Poitou and it’s made at ‘Maison de la Chèvre’. In a melodious town Celles-sur-Belle that has a magnificent abbey. Goat cheese is the basis for the famous Tourteau Fromagé, which is created in the Deux-Sèvres - a tasty cheesecake. Another recommended dessert is the SCOFA; it is made out of layers of puff pastry with cream and almonds. It combines perfectly with L'Angélique, a light regional liqueur.
Deux-Sèvres is just like all regions that are part of the Pays de la Loire. There are many beautiful castles are spread in Deux-Sèvres. The castles of Oiron, Saint-Mesmin, Amailloux, Beaulieu-sous-Parthenay, Bressuire, Cheveux and Thouars are worth mentioning. It is nice to wander through the beautiful cities with churches such as the Argenton Church, Argenton-les-Vallées and Bouin. The old Parthenay Gate, once a brave fortress, is also interesting to see.
The excavations of the Gallo-Roman site of Sanxay will surely impress anyone who loves ancient history. The friendly zoo "Mouton Village’’ is a must-do with kids. Wander aimlessly during your stay through the hilly landscape with its many fields, meadows and waterways.