Tales and legends abound in this green and magical place which, together with the departments of Vendee and Vienne, once formed ancient Poitou. Medieval stories tell of the fairy Melusine who flew and built towns and castles all over the province including Parthenay castle.
In Niort, find out more of the battle between a warrior and a winged dragon now used as the town’s tourist symbol. The legendary giant Gargantua from around Thouars features in stories by French Renaissance writer Francois Rabelais.
Let your imagination run riot in the Jardin des Chirons at La Moreliere, Largeasse, where huge granite boulders in fantastical shapes become a night-time meeting place for elves, giants and witches. It is said the huge balancing ‘Rocher Branlant’ can only be made unsteady by the touch of a cheating wife’s hand! Contact (00 33) 5 49 72 02 44 for more details about the garden.
A new legend was created in the little village of Pougne-Herisson in 1990 by French actor and comedian Yannick Jaulin. Find out about its bi-annual festival on www.nombril.com
5-13 July 2019
This festival has been running for more than 30 years in the village of Brioux sur Boutonne. There are free shows and concerts hosting dance, street arts, theatre and circus performances. With 25 companies doing over 50 events, this is one of the busiest village festivals.
10-21 July 2019
Computer and other games Fair in Parthenay Congress Hall. Outdoor venues with themed ‘villages’ and streets lined with up to 300 hand games which you can participate in. Also boardgames and organised team games in Place du Drapeau. Contact Parthenay Tourist Office for details.
28 July 2019
A fun festival celebrating its 68th anniversary this year in Saint Maxire. Daytime events include live music and magic shows. Decorated boats take to the water at 4:30pm and 10pm, turning on their lights for the parade.
Please check precise details and dates with event organisers before making your holiday and travel arrangements.