Malaria comes from Latin palus meaning swamp. Stretching in front of the Broue d’Arçais, the street villages of the River (name linked to its belonging to the world of water) and Montfaucon are qualified at the beginning of the 18th century de considerable by the king's ordinary engineer and geographer Claude Masse also reporting an important river trade. Their houses have a double exposure: on the river leading to the marsh and towards the cultivated fields. As for the hamlets of Névoire, they recall with their old large buildings covering ovens and dryers the brick and tile making tradition very active in the town for a long time. Formerly dedicated to agriculture and crafts with the trade in wood, milk and tiles, the capital of the Marais Sauvage is today focused on tourism with le Ornithological park The birds of the Marais Poitevin (8 hectare site presenting in their natural environment 350 birds of 70 different species), its 15 km of marked trails et more than 100 km of navigable waterways.
Every last weekend of July, the Conches & Rigoles association organizes the 24 hours of the boat, a traditional boat endurance race in the heart of the malarial Amazon!

What to see in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud?

01. The street villages of Rivière and Monfaucon

The majority of the houses date from the Second Empire, a time when the wet marsh is drained, wooded, cultivated and pastured. The farm, called a cabin, is structured between the street and the water path. Rural architecture is linked to the local geology (limestone stones of the hillside, poplar framework, so-called “boot stem” tiles, etc.). Under the same low roof, the building is divided into two approximately equal parts (residential house and farm house made up of the stable, the hayloft and the shed called balet).

02. The ornithological park “The birds of the Marais Poitevin”

It’s a preserved natural area of 8 hectares crisscrossed by watercourses covered with green lentils, in the heart of wild swamp, in which more than 70 species of birds from the Poitevin marsh (elder, night heron, white stilt, oystercatcher, etc.), as well as domestic animals created over the centuries in the Poitou (Poitou donkey, mule draft horse, Marans chickens, etc.). In order to recognize all these animals and discover the secrets of each of them, information panels and initiation modules to ornithology are at your disposal throughout the discovery trail. In the shade of pollarded ash trees, you will also learn to recognize wild trees and plants wet marsh. More than thirty are listed with information on their various medicinal and culinary uses or their toxicities. At the end of the visit, a film shown on the big screen will take you over the magnificent landscapes of the Poitevin marsh and you will discover the birds of this region in their intimacy.

Since 2011, a labyrinth punctuated with fun and educational panels on migration (story of the journey of more than 5.000 km of the flycatcher Momo born under the pencil of the comic strip artist Bloop).

Track games and children's play area. Boat or canoe trip with or without a guide. Provision of numerous picnic and rest areas. Snack bar and souvenir shop.

Other curiosities to see:

  • Saint-Hilaire church from the 19th century (the highest in the canton of Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon)
  • The castle of Sazais from the beginning of the 19th century (registered and private)
  • The three municipal ports
  • The La Névoire railway bridge from the end of the 19th century
  • The towpath renovated during the Major Works of the Marais Poitevin
  • The black locust tree on the town hall square classified as a remarkable tree of Deux-Sèvres
  • The associative cinema of the Green Venice (information at and films showing at

A secret of the Marais Poitevin

Discover Arnaud's secret, farmer and brewer of the region. He delivers to us his favorite walk Poitevin marsh and more precisely to place called Le Lidon, located in the town of Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud.

Listen to why…

Green Station Label

Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud labeled “Station Verte”

Station Verte is a national tourist label created in 1964 by the French Federation of Stations Vertes, in order to develop rural tourism while participating in the preservation of local areas and their economic dynamism. It works with its 500 municipalities to preserve the land and the quality of life of its inhabitants, while contributing to their economic dynamism. It is the 1st ecotourism label in France.

The town's tourist tools

The communication department of the Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud town hall has set up tourist tools for visitors. The activities, the shops, the hikes, the Sunday market… Everything is explained via a flyer or the application CityAll.

Major events not to be missed in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud

The 24 hours of the boat

The “Conches & Rigoles” association, founded in 1985, organizes the last weekend of July this endurance race in a traditional boat : a sporting and cultural event to try in the heart of Green Venice, an Amazon in miniature!

Was this content useful to you?