A weekend in a guest house in the Marais Poitevin

If, like me, you’re a fan of chilling out, but you also like to keep active, meet new people and discover new things, then a stay in a guest house in the Marais Poitevin is just for you!

Slow Tourism in the Marais Poitevin

A place where peace and quiet reign, where guests can escape from the noise and stress of their daily lives and leave renewed and refreshed: that’s what a real guest house should be like!

This accommodation is also ideal for couples wanting to get away from it all. From your base in the heart of the pays d’Aunis region and the Marais Poitevin regional nature park, you can get to know the area’s lifestyle, leisure activities and great local food and drink – at your own pace.

When you get back from your walks, you’ll find your guest house to be just the perfect place to relax and wind down.

The Marais Poitevin by bike

What’s the best way to explore the surrounding area? Well, taking to the cycle paths of the Marais Poitevin, more specifically, La Vélodyssée or La Vélo Francette, will open up opportunities to see a multitude of different landscapes, not to mention the canal system, once the principal way of travelling between different villages…

Park your bikes for a lunch-break and make the most of some delicious local food: eel fricassée with parsley and garlic, or what about one of several must-try desserts made with garden angelica, a sweet-tasting plant which is especially common in the Marais region.

800 km of signposted cycleways stretch from the ‘marais mouillé’ part of the Marais Poitevin all the way to the Baie de l’Aiguillon. A tour of the Marais Poitevin will reveal some real gems as you wend your way slowly up and down the network of towpaths, through narrow village streets and along the harbourside in the town of Marans.

Boat tours in the Marais Poitevin

Take it easy and let a local guide take you on a journey through the secret life of the Marais on their ‘plate maraîchine’ (a traditional flat-bottomed boat) with the help of his ‘pigouille’ (wooden pole). These guides know the area better than anyone and can relate local legends and maybe even show you places where the water ‘goes on fire’ – you’re sure to be amazed by the spectacle!

You can join one of these boat tours from most riverside villages, including from the jetty in Bazoin. Along the canals you’ll maybe chance upon an otter, an eel, a coypu, dragonflies, frogs and tadpoles, as well as the many birds who call this peaceful, lush, marshland habitat their home.

Foodie walks

Get a foretaste of your stay here with an ever-so-easy recipe for the REAL ‘galette Charentaise’ also called ‘Goulebenèze’, a shortbread-like cake. It differs from its Breton cousins, having a softer, creamier texture and a subtle hint of Garden Angelica (a plant that grows in the Marais Poitevin region).

Ingredients: 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk; 400g of flour; 150g of salted butter; 220g of sugar; 60g of candied Angelica; 1 packet of baking powder; a pinch of salt; some milk

Preparation: soften the butter; beat the 2 eggs with the salt, add the sugar, continue beating. Sieve the flour and add it a little at a time. Add 125g of softened butter then add the candied Angelica, cut up into small pieces. Knead the mixture. Grease the cake tin or baking tray and dust with flour. Pre-heat the oven to 200C°. Pour out the mixture into the tin and spread it out, smoothing the top and drawing a fork over the surface to create a criss-cross pattern. Mix an egg yolk with a little milk in a bowl and brush the mixture over the galette for a nice golden finish. Bake in the oven until a golden-brown colour…

Time to get baking!

A

Parc Régional du Marais Poitevin

Parc naturel régional du Marais poitevin, Rue de l'Église, Coulon, France

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B

Baie de l'Aiguillon

National Nature Reserve of the Bay of Aiguillon, Ferme de la Prée Mizottière, Sainte-Radégonde-des-Noyers, France

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