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Marais Poitevin

The Marais Poitevin, situated to the west of Niort, is a 'grand site de France' and the second largest wetland in France.   Often referred to as the 'green Venice', it actually comprises three distinct areas - the wet marsh, the dry marsh and the bay d'Algiron.  The area makes for a lovely day out where you can rent flat bottomed boats or canoes for self-exploration, or just relax on a guided tour.  You can also rent bicyles or just stroll through the many pathways.  

Situated in St Hilaire la Palud, there is an interesting bird sanctuary, with over 8 acres which can be visited on foot or by barge.