Sitting on a hilltop overlooking two rivers, Poitiers is a country town with a unique
charm that comes from a long and sometimes influential history, as the seat of the
dukes of Aquitaine for instance, discernible in the winding lines of the streets
and the breadth of civic, domestic and ecclesiastical architectural fashions represented
in its buildings. Its pedestrian precincts, restaurants and pavement cafés, and some
wonderful central gardens, make for comfortable sightseeing.
The Marais Poitevin
The Marais Poitevin (Poitevin Marsh), also known as Venise Verte (Green Venice) is
a marsh region in Western France, a remnant of the former Gulf of Poitou. With a
surface area of 970 km², it is the largest marsh on the Atlantic coast and the second
largest of the whole country. It is situated north of La Rochelle and south of the
Vendée region. Although the area was declared a parc interrégional (interregional
park) in 1979, the unique region is still endangered. Tourism includes boating in
traditional barques, which is a form of punting. There are several 'embarcadères',
from which boats can be hired. The myriad canals are covered in green 'weed' (hence
the nickname 'Venise Verte') and the drained marsh land is home to a varied fauna,
best seen from the boats.
Il De Ré
A half-hour drive west from La Rochelle, the Île de Ré is a low, narrow island some
30km long, fringed by sandy beaches to the southwest and salt marshes and oyster
beds to the northeast, with the interior a motley mix of small-scale vine, asparagus
and wheat cultivation. All the buildings on Ré are restricted to two storeys and
are required to incorporate the typical local features of whitewashed walls, curly
orange tiles and green-painted shutters, which give the island villages a southern
The Parc du Futuroscope is a French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic
and audio-visual techniques of the future. It has several 3D cinemas along with other
attractions and shows, some of which are the only examples in the world.
Vallee Des Singes
This animal park is unique in France. Walk amongst more than 350 monkeys roaming
free in the vast grounds. There are plenty of activities for children and even a
mini animal farm.
La Rochelle is one of the most beautiful places in France. There is an old port which
still has the towers which used to protect it. The center is particularly beautiful,
with pale stone used for the majority of the buildings and many of the walkways.
There are 2 basins in the old port which now have a large number of pleasure boats