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The River Sèvre Niortaise

Sud Vendee.. Haut Bocage.. Coastal Region.. Marais Poitevin.. Marais Breton.. Bas Bocage.. Plaine.. Marais Olonne..
The river Sèvre Niortaise has its source at Sepvret in the Deux Sèvre Department at 150m above sea level, it flows 158kms westerly passing through Niort before briefly forming the border between the Vendée and Deux Sèvre Departments at La Village de la Sèvre near Le Mazeau. It enters the Vendée as it passes through Damvix and then remakes the border between the Vendée and the Charente-Maritime Departments at le-noeud-hydraulique-de-bazoin. From Maille on towards L'Ile-d'Elle the river meanders along the border with the Charente-Maritime except that there are several canals which straightens the flow. After L'Ile-d'Elle it is joined by the River Vendée as it leaves the Vendée, then continues through Marans before once again forming the border between the two departments near Brault for its final journey into the Anse de l'Aiguillon.
The Sèvre Niortaise is best known for its association with the Marais Poitevin as it is the river that forms the heart of the drainage system which controls the water level and removes excess water by way of the myriad of canals from the southern and eastern section of the Marshes that make up the second largest marshland in France.
The eastern end of the Marais Poitevin known as the Marais mouille (wet marshes) or Green Venice is an area that attracts thousands of tourists each year, it is especially attractive to artists who come to capture this picturesque landscape with its multi-shades of green and delicate patterns of light. Coulon is known as the capital of the Green Venice and has many interesting attractions including an ancient church, waterside cafes and restaurants and many places where you can hire boats or bikes to discover the quiet and enchanting natural world of the region.
As the River enters the Vendée at the Village de la Sèvre near Le Mazeau there is a road that follows the course of the river into Damvix again here you will find both refreshments by way of Restaurants and Cafes and the chance to Hire boats and cycles to explore the local byways. From Damvix you can continue along the riverside road to La Barbee where the River l'Autize joins the Sévre Niortaise as does the canal which leads north to the ancient ports of Courdault and Azire, the road then follows the river on the north side to the lock complex at Bazoin. Alternatively from Damvix you can follow the canal that straightens the flow of the river again arriving at Bazoin. The river and the roads continue on to the bridge at La Croix des Mary and from here it is possible to follow the slowly meandering river on the south side passing by Maille. Alternatively you can visit the village of Maille where powered boats are available for hire and follow the river on the north side by road. For part of the way the road sits between the river and the large Canal de Vix which is one of the major drainage canals of the Marais Poitevin. It is here that you leave the Marais Mouille behind and enter the Marais Desseche (dry marshes) these are the polder lands, these large fields almost devoid of trees that seem to stretch forever.
Finally the river reaches l'Ile d'Elle where it is joined by the River Vendée and leaves the Vendée for a while as it passes through the town of Marans before again forming the border between the Vendée and the Charente Maritime at Brault. The Ecluses du Bault is an important point on the river for it is here that the last sea gates are positioned that control the levels of water along with the locks that allow boats to navigate out to sea. It is also the stretch of the river where all the major canals that drain most of the Marais Poitevin enter the river, the river then has 4 or 5 kilometers to flow before it enters the sea.

Tributaries. L'Autise. The river Autise rises in the Deux Sévre Department and enters the Vendée east of St.Hilaire-des-Loges, it then cuts its way through the eastern end of the Lucon-Fontenay Plaine before passing through the village of Nieul-sur-l'Autise with its royal abbey, it skirts around Bouille Courdault, St.Pierre-le-Vieux and Maillezais before entering the Sèvre Niortaise at Maille.

Vendée River. See page on the Vendée River

Attractions along the Sèvre Niortaise river.
Attractive village with water front cafe's & restaurants.
Nieul-sur-l'autise. Royal abbey and working water mill are amongst the attractions here
Maillezais. This town is best known for the ruined abbey of St.Pierre and the 11th century church of St.Nicolas.
Green Venice. This is an outstanding area of natural beauty, ideal for walking, cycling, boating, painting or just admiring the variety of landscapes.

Campsites on the Sèvre Niortaise River.
Camping la Venice Vert.178 route des Bords de Sèvre. Tel.05 49 35 90 36
                      Manicipal Niquiere. Tel.05 49 32 82 75

Camping les Conches. Les Cabanes. Tel. 02 51 87 17 06.
      Marans. Camping du Bois Dinot. Route de Nantes. Tel.05 46 66 02 65
      Mazeau. Camping Municipal. Route Sèvre. Tel.02 51 52 93 23.
      L'Ile d'Elle. Le Petit Booth, 79, rue Nationale. Tel. 02 51 52 00 67

Photos of the Sèvre Niortaise River

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The River Sevre Niortaise at Damvix in the Vendee
Sevre Niortaise at Bazoin
Photos of the Sevre Niortaise River
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The River Sevre Niortaise as it enters the Baie de l'Aiguillon
Vendee Guide en Francais
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