To the Conquest of Haut-Poitou!
Not far from Poitiers, Haut-Poitou unveils a authentic terroir off the beaten track of the Vienne. Here, we take our time. We awaken to nature while hiking. We savor the culture through the small heritage. We give pride of place to gastronomy while tasting. In short, we are off to conquer Haut-Poitou!
Haut-Poitou natural version
Haut-Poitou is above all a green and rural land with which man has been able to compose to get the best out of it. If the human footprint is visible, this little piece of the Vienne preserves authentic landscapes and unspoiled nature that is good to discover.
What does Haut-Poitou look like?
Before or after your visit to Poitiers, take the side roads to discover the great expanses of Haut-Poitou.
The vineyards extend as far as the eye can see on the hillsides, while in the valleys, the water waters the plains, giving a very bucolic side to the villages it crosses. It is thus very pleasant to walk in the valley of the Dive and in the valley of the Auxance, punctuated by washhouses and stone bridges. In the countryside, the small local heritage, made up of mills, dovecotes or huts, reveals the soul of the territory. Finally, the forest of Vouillé-Saint-Hilaire constitutes a real haven of freshness in the south of Haut-Poitou.
Where to hike in Haut-Poitou?
Who says beautiful nature, says hiking! Haut-Poitou is no exception to the rule with its countless trails. From the short family walk to discover the arboretum of Neuville-du-Poitou, to the 2 rivers trail of 20 km around Chiré-en-Montreuil, the choice is vast.
Among the most famous routes you will find:
• The way to Saint-Martin : from Ligugé, 170 km long, it retraces the epic of Saint Martin, evangelist and bishop of Tours. The stone markers that trace its course criss-cross the Poitevin countryside to discover charming villages, churches or even heritage. On the route, gîtes and covered accommodation welcome you for your rest periods.
• There Chouppes bird hike : family walk par excellence, this 7 km course, through fields and forests, reveals, among other things, the secrets of a cave mill. Explanatory panels give all the keys to recognize local birds. Can you distinguish the song of the blue tit from that of the common quail?
• In the villages with Tèrra Aventura : several routes take you through small charming villages, to reveal their secrets. Vouille, Mirebeau or Cherves: to visit with the geocaching application of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 100% free!
Authentic version of Haut-Poitou
To pierce the soul of a territory, nothing beats an immersion in its places of memory where the heritage alone reveals many stories and legends. Direction the villages of character of Haut-Poitou!
Haut-Poitou is also a territory of flavors. In the region, farmers and producers work to awaken our taste buds. Some share their passion with pleasure in the markets or on their property. Do not hesitate to meet them!
Mirebeau, fortified town
With its 2000 inhabitants, Mirebeau is located ideally halfway between Loudun and Poitiers. This strategic position once earned it a strong economic potential that allowed the city to develop. In this old fortified city built on a feudal motte, a walk invites you to discover its heritage: its covered passages, its bourgeois residences, its fortified tower, its mansions and its religious buildings.
A beautiful walk to take the real pulse of Haut-Poitou!
Complete the visit with the course “Too strong these Mirebalaises! » on the geocaching app Tèrra Aventura.
Vouille, rural village
25 km west of Poitiers, Vouille is a small flowery town in which life is good. Bathed by the Auxance river in which the fortified gateway to the city is reflected, Vouillé was the scene of a battle between Franks and Visigoths, an important stage in the history of Gaul. From a free application created by passionate inhabitants "Vouillé, a village steeped in history", you walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and discover the history of Vouillé.
The app journey Tèrra Aventura "Sans Clo ni Vis..." also allows you to explore the city while having fun.
Finally, a discovery of Vouillé is not complete without a walk in its vast national forest where the Fairy Wonder needs help. Thanks to a course of puzzles and skill, you will have a great time with your family! To do this, download the application "On the Trail of Wonder" on Google Play (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the App Store.
Lavausseau, city of tanners
Lavausseau, a small village of 800 souls on the banks of the Boivre, is known for its leather working tradition. For nearly 1000 years, leather tanning was the main activity of the town. Despite the cessation of activity in 2015, it is now possible to experience an original activity: the Kiddi Leather workshop. After a guided tour of the old tannery where you can touch the materials and exercise your sense of smell, you work on your own piece of leather. You leave with a unique souvenir item. An activity rich in sharing and learning that pays tribute to the know-how of an entire territory! One of the Expériences Famille will also take you on an original adventure: the escape game "Kleber's Revenge".
Haut-Poitou gourmet version
Bike and cheese route: move and savor
Succumbing to gluttony without feeling guilty, this is in a way the program offered by the Department of Vienne throughout his career “Bicycle & cheeses”. The Haut-Poitou itinerary, 48 km long, includes 3 cheese stops as well as other gourmet breaks in the villages crossed. The loop passes through a Natura 2000 protected area where you will certainly have the opportunity to observe some beautiful birds between 2 tastings.
Haut-Poitou products not to be missed
La Vienne is a terroir with multiple flavors. From the starter to the dessert, including the main course, the products of Haut-Poitou accompany you throughout your meal.
La Vienne is a country of cheeses. His speciality ? Goat's milk cheeses and more particularly the tasty Chabichou, protected by an AOC.
In Haut-Poitou, head for the Turpeau cheese dairy or the Coudret cheese dairy to visit authentic farms. You will discover all the stages of cheese making and can even watch goats being milked.
With goat cheese, nothing beats a small glass of wine. For this, head for the vineyards of the AOC Haut-Poitou. White, red or rosé, the wines of the region are generally fruity. They go just as well with local cuisine as with exotic dishes. Many estates open their cellars to visits and tastings. It would be a shame not to push their door!
Fruity, exotic or traditional flavors
Among the local products not to be missed, you will find, throughout the region, the Haut-Poitou melon. Fourteen producers devote their best clay-limestone plots to the production of fragrant, juicy and sweet fruit. Great for summer picnics!
Finally, less typical of the region, but just as tasty for festive meals, the foie gras from Maison Mitteault is one of the local jewels. Some chefs have the audacity to combine it with a few grams of saffron from Boivre-la-Vallée for an original floral touch. Would you be tempted?
Haut-Poitou original version
In addition to revealing an authentic character, Haut-Poitou also knows how to be original and atypical! Among the unusual discoveries, here are 2 that could please young and old alike.
By Car Simone, on the roads of Haut-Poitou in a vintage combi
Have you ever dreamed of treating yourself to the luxury of a private chauffeur-driven tour? It is possible in Haut-Poitou. But not just any trick! At En Voiture Simone, there are no limousines or fancy cars, but rather a Volkswagen combi from the 1970s. Marie, your private driver, and Simone, her vintage combi, symbol of freedom, will take you on the secret roads of Haut-Poitou for an original experience. You can choose from gourmet addresses, castles or wine estates. Whatever the season, don't hesitate to call on the services of your devoted Simone!
La Tourette troglodyte caves, an unusual underground visit
Not everyone knows it, but the Vienne has many troglodyte sites. Among them, there is one in Haut-Poitou even more particular than the others. Originally, the Tourette troglodyte site in Saint-Martin-la-Pallu was for agricultural use. Composed of 20 rooms served by a vast network of galleries, it was used to store crops between the XNUMXthth and the XVIIth century. There is even an underground dovecote in perfect condition.
This rare set bears witness to all the ingenuity of medieval men, while reminding us of the precariousness of their daily lives. A very unique visit to make in Haut-Poitou!
Despite its small geographical area, Haut-Poitou offers you a getaway rich in activities. No need to travel miles to quench your thirst for discovery! Moreover, speaking of thirst, did you know that the fame of Haut-Poitou wines already went beyond the French borders in the XNUMXth century?th century ? Come quickly discover the history of this ancestral vineyard by visiting the estates of AOC Haut-Poitou !