Marans, the capital of the dried-up Marais, is an important watchtower.
Marans is a sweet little town known locally as capital of the dry marshes; it stands west of the main Marais Poitevin wetlands. Marans’s soaring church acts as a great viewing point over the wider area.
With the Sèvre Niortaise River running alongside the town, opportunities abound for getting about by boat as well as on foot.
Places to stop along your way around town include the marina, the historic centre with its secretive lanes, the 19th-century covered market, the vestiges of St Stephen’s Church and Notre-Dame Church, the latter given a striking tower built in glass and steel when it was reconstructed in 1988.
Don’t hesitate to leave your bike for a few hours to enjoy a gentle boat trip. There are two further interesting sights to visit if you have time:
- the Bois Dinot Park , a public garden with a botanical trail of almost a mile called ‘Les Sens et les Essences’, focusing on different species and your senses;
- the Beauregard Mill, a mill dating back to the 17th century, but open now as a working mill that can be appreciated by tourists and schoolchildren alike.