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