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Cycling Routes

By bicycle

Niort, ville par nature

+ 47 km, 4 hours, average

Le Donjon de Niort côté SèvreNiort is intimately linked to the river Sèvre Niortaise. Its keep, one of the most beautiful Romanesque twin keeps in France, proudly overlooks the river. Behind the fortress are the hills of Notre Dame and Saint André, each of which have their own elegant church. At the foot of the old district are the "Pilory", the ancient court of justice, and the Baltard-style Market Halls, a contemporary image of Niort, a town which was once a trading town. Since the 60's and 70's, 4 communes have joined the main administrative town of the county to form the outlying districts of Greater Niort. Souché, a former rural village built at the foot of Saint Maixent church, invites you for a country stroll along the banks of the Lambon. Sainte-Pezenne, from the name of its patron saint who has been worshipped since the Middle Ages, has a listed Romanesque church nestling on a green hillside. Saint Florent, the former small workers' city, today boasts the race-course and Niort's golf-club. Tomorrow it will be a modular platform making the town into a logistics crossroads for freight trains from the Paris area and from La Rochelle. Saint-Liguaire, the eastern gateway to the Marais Poitevin has conserved one of the first locks with a chamber in France, and the biggest lock between Niort and Marans, the lock-keeper's house dating from 1808 and the old Rousseau chamois leather glove works.

Itinerary "Niort, ville par nature" (in French, soon in English)

Le Chemin communal du IIIème Millénaire (Niort)

70 km, 8 hours, average

Totem du Chemin communal du IIIème Millénaire de NiortNiort's green ringroad was born in 2000. It is a belt of rural pathways which are signposted with 1400 trees of 200 different rare varieties and totems in the form of a leaf. This peri-urban pathway is made up of 9 itineraries, each of between 3 and 9 km. These circuits which you can walk or cycle along, take you through a landscape of plains, valleys, wooded areas and marshes and allow you to discover the different animals and plants as well as the history of the old villages. They make the most of remarkable views. The bravest or the fittest can continue on their bikes along other pathways through the Marais Poitevin towards the ocean.

Itinerary "Chemin communal du IIIè millénaire" (in French, soon in English)

Au fil de la Sèvre Niortaise… (Echiré)

60 km, 5 hours, average

Le château du Coudray-Salbart (Echiré)The river Sèvre Niortaise meanders like an eel. Crossed by the GR 36 hiking route, its green valley, with its shady banks dominated by wooded hillsides, brings peace and coolness to walkers. It is a mosaic of colours - blue, yellow, green .. - open to the sky and gentle landscapes. The "Blue Gold" of the Niort area is one of the rivers of France which has the most fishes. Moreover its name comes from a Celtic word meaning nourishing energy. The pathways invite you to discover discrete little monuments with a countryside market town soul. From Chauray, Saint Gelais and their temples to Saint-Maxire and its flower boat festival, through Echiré (reknowned throughout the world for its butter) the walker can discover welcoming villages with delightful churches. The peaceful river is punctuated by a necklace of different castles. Coudray Salbart, one of the largest military fortresses from the beginning of the XIIIth century in Europe. The Renaissance manor in Mursay, the childhood home of the Marquess of Maintenon.

Itinerary "Au fil de la Sèvre Niortaise" (in French, soon in English)

Entre vallées humides et sèches : un paysage de contrastes (St-Maxire)

39 km, 3 hours 15, average

Le château-mairie de Villiers-en-Plaine - OTNMP 2012On one side the green undulating valley of the Sèvre Niortaise from which watery sihouette arise from time to time small country castles, sleepy wash-houses, bridges, footbridges and multicoloured fishermen's huts... Then on the other side, the vast plain which horizon is the azure blue sky which bathes the large towns with light, fields of rape-seed, romantic windmills and huge grain silos.

Itinerary "Entre vallées humides et sèches" (in French, soon in English)

Entre Lambon et Guirande (Vouillé / Aiffres)

+ 40 km, 4 hours, average

La croix hosannière du cimetière d'AiffresClose to Niort, the market villages of Vouillé and Aiffres, sometimes towns, sometimes villages, are both crossed by the meanders of a river. The Lambon and the Guirande, two tributaries of the river Sèvre Niortaise, present a diversity of landscapes with a palet of colours composed of chalky plains, small wooded hillsides, isolated copses, fords and cultivated fields. Discovering Aiffres and Vouillé is appreciating the Romanesque architecture (churches and triumphal cross), its small castle of the XIXth century, its rural architecture (ancient farms in stone and dry stone walls).

Itinerary "Entre Lambon et Guirande" (in french, soon in English)

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