Discovery of the Sèvre Niortaise and Marans riverside

Marans
Share Discovery of the Sèvre Niortaise and Marans riverside
Discovery of the Sèvr ...

Charente-Maritime is full of picturesque treasures and in particular small, beautiful villages. 30 minutes north of La Rochelle, discover the small village of Marans with unrivaled charm , nestled between land, marsh and ocean, at the gates of the Marais Poitevin Regional Park. Marans is in particular the starting point for cruises on the Sèvre Niortaise aboard small private boats, without a license and in complete autonomy. A beautiful promise of escape. Change of scenery guaranteed !

Marans, a port village between the Atlantic and the Marais Poitevin

Marans Marans

The village of Marans and its quays full of charm

If they "deserve the detour" according to the expression of the famous green guide, certain villages are really interesting to explore as soon as you take the time to stop there. This is the case of the small river city of Marans which spans the two banks of the Sèvre Niortaise . 159 km long, crossing Niort then the Marais Poitevin of which it is the main hydraulic artery, the river serves as a delimitation with the neighboring department of Vendée. The port of Marans is thus located less than ten kilometers from the Aiguillon bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This very particular geographical situation forged the fate of Marans, as a river and seaport at the origin of the development of the city from the Middle Ages until the middle of the XXth century. Today, its ponds and quays bear witness to the intense activity of its port in the past. However, Marans is no longer a commercial port but essentially a marina, which can accommodate up to 180 boats.

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Another important detail, this time for our cycling friends: the Vélodyssée and Vélo Francette cycling routes intersect in Marans and make it a very pleasant stopover.


What to see in Marans?


Marans Church

The original Church of Marans

Marans

The small streets of the city center

A privileged meeting point for maritime and river navigation, a small heritage to discover, relaxation along the quays and a boat trip on the Sèvre Niortaise combine perfectly. While strolling along the quays and in the old districts, you can come across beautiful mansions, sumptuous 17th and 18th century mansions, small typical Charente houses and some heritage curiosities not to be missed. The bell tower of the Notre-Dame des Marais church in Marans is an atypical monument which cannot be overlooked because of its structure combining materials such as stone, glass and metal. Dating from 1988, it is resolutely contemporary, enthroned on a neo-Gothic style nave. Its particular history dates back to the middle of the 19th century. The works started in 1900 but the money running out, the church will still be consecrated and inaugurated in 1902 without its bell tower. It was only in 1988, thanks to the donations of Mr. Barthélémy Fabbro, a citizen of Marandais, that the bell tower was born. It was built by a local company specializing in the construction of masts , hence its appearance to say the least… original!

Marans

The fish market in Marans

Do not fail to admire the astonishing hall built in 1822. Converted in 1910 into a "fish hall", rehabilitated in 2000, this building is today a space for cultural and commercial activities. You can also taste the charm of the City Hall Garden during a small bucolic stroll. This remarkable garden is distinguished by its wide variety of plants, including 300 species of flowers and foliage , some very rare.



Cruise on the Sèvre Niortaise river from the pier

Marans

The hut at the pier

Cruise to Marans

Today turned to river tourism , the undeniable attraction of Marans lies in its pier on the other side of the stone bridge which offers the possibility of exploring the meanders of the Sèvre Niortaise aboard boats without a license. Our afternoon is thus devoted to a cruise of a few hours on the water! Meet at the little green cabin along the Joffe quay with Céline and Giuseppe, the owners of the boats. The couple, passionate about nature and navigation, warmly welcome us to take control of our boat. Electives and classic motor boats are available for hire. In season, if you want to opt for the electric, remember to book your boat in advance.

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Marans Marans
Marans Marans Marans


Immediate boarding for a 2.5 hour stroll along the old Sèvre . Several options are available to visitors, from a simple one hour walk around Île aux Bois (8km) to the full day for 45 km to discover the island of Pomère, the island of Charouin, the island of Chate and Bois Dinot. A leaflet given by Céline at the start presents the multiple sailing routes to be completed according to your desires and the time available to you.

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Do you like to stroll along the water?


In Marans, also discover the pier and the services of Marais Plaisance!
Opt for a motor boat, easy to pilot that can accommodate up to 10 people. No permit needed, everyone can have fun!

At Marais Plaisance , you can also rent canoes, family kayaks, stand-up paddle, pedal boats and traditional boats, it's up to you to choose the boat that best suits your family and your desires! The right idea? The “stroll-aperitif” formulas, with picnic!
On the spot: shaded terrace to enjoy ice cream or cold drinks "Café du Repos".
----> Visit their Facebook page!

Marais Plaisance boat trips in Marans

Photo credit: Facebook page of Marais Plaisance

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We leave the pier. Quickly we leave the village behind us to sink, little by little, into a green setting. Our boat glides slowly along the serene canal . Some beautiful typical Charente buildings are still strung along the shores while we meet the angling enthusiasts hoping to make some nice catches. The increasingly dense vegetation of the banks has great heritage value through its corridor effect between the Marais Poitevin and the ocean. It guarantees a diversification of natural habitats for a large number of birds and animals. During our navigation, we have the chance to observe several otters , a semi-aquatic mammal emblematic of the Poitevin Marsh as well as herons, ducks, swans which give a wild and bucolic side to our cruise. The landscapes follow one another like a postcard which alone is worth the trip: wooded areas, vast fields of grain stretching to infinity, meadows, wet marshes ... A real feeling of escape and return to the sources!

Marans

Marans Marans
Marans Marans


And to prolong the pleasure or simply share convivial moments with friends or family, Céline invites you to embark on an evening trip with an aperitif tray on board .

Marans


Back at the pier, we continue our discovery on foot. Strolling along the quay, shortly after the lock, we reach the terrace of the restaurant "Au bout du Port" to savor oysters, langoustines, whelks and mussels . The fisherman's plate is a real treat, accompanied by a fresh "Tête de Mule", a very popular Charente craft beer. A superb epicurean day on the water to recommend!


Did you like our report? Do not hesitate to go and see others on our BLOG.

Follow us on the Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page and we are also on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime

Photos and article prepared by Lesley Williamson.


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