3 - South Vendée and Bocage walk
Head inland and explore the Bocage, another side to the department. From Mont des Alouettes, look out over a landscape of valleys, streams and winding rivers. Further south, the Marais Poitevin offers a labyrinth of canals to walk by, lined with pollarded Ash trees. There are also walks through the Mervent-Vouvant forest.
Walks in the Bocage Vendéen.
The Bocage covers almost two thirds of the entire surface area of the department. During your walks among the Bocage Vendéen, you will discover a variety of unexpected landscapes: sites tucked away among the forests (Aizenay, Grasla and Chaize-le-Vicomte forests), lakes, rivers (the Vie, the Yon, the Jaunay, the Boulogne, the Lay, the Maine, etc.). As you walk across open land, you can observe the fauna, flora and unusual habitat of the Bocage Vendéen.
Stretching from Pouzauges the Montaigu, the Haut Bocage covers the ancient landscape of the Massif Armoricain, undulating terrain with granite outcrops and hillocks, with its high point at Mont Mercure (290 m). The Sèvre Nantaise river, to the east and north, forms a picturesque valley running alongside the neighbouring departments. From the hilltops, the Haut Bocage is notable for its hedgerows that border the meadows and agricultural fields, which almost give the impression of a forest. The Chantonnay region, to the south, features less dramatic terrain.
Themed trails, such as the Chouettes balades and Rando croquis, are the ideal way for families to explore the Bocage in a unique manner.
Also not to be missed: the Jardin de la Vendée.
Walks between the plains and the marshlands
The Marais Poitevin is one of the largest wetland areas in France. It extends from the Baie de l'Aiguillon to the plains to the east and is home to a remarkably diverse selection of plants and wildlife.
The so-called "wet" marsh consists of canals, chain boats and locks and is mostly covered with small bodies of water. Its appearance, like a green carpet, gives it the name "Green Venice". It is bordered by meadows and pollarded ash trees.
The "dry" marsh, meanwhile, consists of farmland surrounded by canals and drainage channels. Trees are scarce in this area.
Walks between the plains and the forest
The Vendée plain stretches between Luçon and Fontenay-Le-Comte, between the undulating terrain of the Bocage to the north and the Marais Poitevin to the south. This limestone region is notable for its vast fields of cereal crops, with small towns and villages dotted about. It also boasts a wealth of natural assets, in the Mervent-Vouvant forest. This national forest covers 5,000 hectares and is traversed by the Mère and Vendée rivers. It is home to a rich variety of landscapes, including steep hills, streams and rivers, valleys and lakes, ancient oaks, and rich, dense vegetation, making it the perfect place for walking.
Along the way, you will encounter remarkable sites such as the remains of water mills along rivers, a former mining village in Faymoreau, the charming village of Vouvant with its legendary medieval heritage, and two villages classed as "Petites Cités de Caractère" (Villages of Character).