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Fleur d'OR 2013 - ville fleurie

Leisure and activities

A wide choice of leisure activities

A wide choice of leisure activities.

Saint Benoît offers a wide choice of activities for sporty people and for those who love the Outdoor: treetop course, pony rides, mountain biking, rowing boats, tennis, canoeing….. All the things children ever wanted to try, without moderation, on land and on water! And not forgetting the different parks and gardens….

Download map and leisure activities

 The Loisirs Nature Pass offers reductions on five of Saint Benoît’s proposed activities: rowing boat and mountain or e-bike rental, Gravion Adventure, Viaduct Adventure and Ticky Park. This pass, free for all those who live in Saint Benoît (proof of domicile required) and valid for 2 years, may be obtained from the town hall or tourist information office.


Historical route

Discover the history of the town through a dozen or so information panels in the town centre. Starting point, the town hall.

The Abbey of Saint Benoît

Included in the Routes of the Abbeys of Haut Poitou the listed XIth century Romanesque abbey of Saint Benoît houses two cultural chambers – the chapter house with its finely sculptured capitals and the Monks’ Dormitory on the floor above, with its vault which resembles the inverted hull of a boat.

Intimate concerts and exhibitions are held here throughout the year.

The abbey church of Saint André

The ancient XIth and XIIth century abbey church is today the parish church of Saint André. This beautiful Romanesque-style building with its Gothic spire, has an XIth century façade and single nave. Inside the church there are murals, a XVth century recumbent statue, XIIth century sarcophagi, a painting of Saint Cyril and an early XIIIth century golden enamelled crosier.

The abbey lodging house

Exceptionally-well restored, the lodging house is the cultural centre of the priory and houses the municipal library, the IT club and holds many activities organized by different associations.

The Parigny Arches

Ruins of the Gallo-roman Basse-Fontaine aqueduct (1B.C.) which supplied water to Limonum (ancient name of Poitiers) may be seen from the Ermitage complex.

The Viaduct

328m long and 20m high, this ancient steam tram line between Poitiers and Saint-Martin-l’Ars, is a pedestrian walkway offering superb views of the Clain valley.

The paper mill

There was already a paper mill here at the end of the XVth century; this building dates from 1869 and belonged to the abbey. The oldest part of the paper mill now houses the canoeing centre.

Parks and gardens

Les jardins de Bayou

A pedestrian walk which has been created along the banks of the Clain river. Information panels show the flora and fauna to be seen.

Download brochure (pdf. 2400ko)

 Parks of the Clain valley

The valley du Clain park river banks stretch over 5km., from la Varenne to the Passelourdain caves, which Rabelais wrote of.

Parks and green havens

Do not forget to visit the numerous parks in the town: Cookham gardens with its children’s play area, the adventure Parc du Gravion and its outstanding turn of the century manor house. Also, Parc de Strunga, the Clain islets, the golden triangle park, Tourterelles square and Varenne park from where Poitiers may be reached via a footbridge.

Shows and Events

La Hune : theatre

Each year, the theatre puts on quality shows of national dimension thanks to the savoir faire of the Organisation Hune Évènement association (OHE). The shows appeal to the public at wide.

Le Dortoir des Moines – Monks’ Dormitory

A listed building, the Romanesque abbey of Saint Benoît houses a cultural centre with exhibitions and concerts. On the ground floor, the chapter house with its finely sculptured capitals is ideal for exhibitions and workshops whereas the Monks’ Dormitory on the first floor, with its beautiful windows and vault which resembles an inverted ship’s hull is just the setting for the more prestigious exhibitions and intimate concerts.

Nature and hikes

Walking trails

There are three waymarked trails in Saint Benoît. Each is shown on three totems to be found at the entrance of Saint Nicolas Park.

Miosson valley trail is marked in green. It runs along its namesake stream up to Fontarnault et returns via Puy-Joubert, le Petit Saint Benoît and the Gravion. 8km or 2h30mins.

Clain valley trail is marked in blue. It follows the Clain river through the Bayou gardens to the pumping station then back via the viaduct. It then continues along the Clain to Mérigotte before returning to the starting point through the Gravion. A trail of 9km, which may be split into two. (3h).

Jean Lebon trail, marked in yellow. The trail crosses the villages of Flée, La Cadouillière, la Minière, then through the Clos des Groges and rejoins the Miosson valley trail by the Berlonnière. A trail of 16km (4h).

 Trail routes may be purchased for 1 euro each at the Tourist Information Office of Saint Benoît.

 Children’s Mystery Trail

A family trail, aimed at children, is a 13 riddle trail of one and a half hours which ends at the Dormitory. Set off to discover the history of Saint Benoît town and the most eager of the group will be rewarded at the end. Start at the Tourist information office with the trail route.

This is an additional trail, which all adults will find as enjoyable as the former ones, as will their young adventurers.

Leisure and Activities

Activ’Eté workshop : fashionable activity for young people. (for a fee)

The town’s Loisir-Nature activity continues through the summer holidays with this four and a half day “Activ’Eté” workshop for children aged 8 to 15. Activities include climbing, adventure, canoeing and riding.

This “sport-adventure deal” includes all meals and camping at Saint Benoît’s campsite, with tips on how to make the most of the fun experience.

Information & reservations :

27, route de l’Ormeau - 86180 Buxerolles
Tél.: - fax:
Mail :
Site web Gravité :

Office de Tourisme
Rue Paul Gauvin - 86280 Saint-Benoît

Canoeing (for a fee)

The Ecole Française de Canoë-kayak (***) is open all year round. Activities include 2, 3 or 4 hour paddling runs down the Clain river, possibility of nocturnal outings, private tuition, mini group workshops… All levels are catered for with or without professional support. During the High Season it is preferable to book in advance, directly on the Internet site.

Information and reservations:

Tél. : ou
Site web:

Rowing boats : (for a fee)

Boats may be hired at the “Mon Repos” port on the islet opposite the canoeing centre. Booking and hire on site in July and August on Saturdays and Sundays from 2p.m. to 8p.m. as well as on public holidays. There are six boats each for 5 persons maximum. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Safety jackets are provided and must be worn. I.D. is necessary when booking.

Fishing (free)

Anglers may fish to their heart’s content along the 5km of Clain river (2nd category) but must hold a fishing licence.

Gravion Adventure (for a fee)

Three circuits from over 535m at 3m high for the youngest aged 6 to 13, to more than 20m high for adults. The courses are safe and are supervised by specialist firm Gravité. It is possible to book a nocturnal course (9.30p.m. to 11.30p.m.) for people aged 8 and over.

The park is open every day throughout July and August from 2p.m. to 7p.m. In April, June and September it is open from 2p.m. to 6p.m. during school holidays, weekends and public holidays. Also open during autumn half-term holidays from 2p.m. to 6p.m. and, prior to booking, throughout the year.

Information and reservations :
au ou

Viaduct Adventure (for a fee)

Aerial trails for those aged over 8 years and measuring more than 1m20 (3ft 9inches) supervised by Gravité. Starting point at Gravion park. The course includes: swing jumping, via ferrata, zip wires, climbing walls, abseiling…..

Information and booking
au ou

TICKY-PARK : play areas and leisure (for a fee)

TICKY-PARK is an outdoor play area of some 7000m² near the Varenne stadium. ( 18 different inflatable structures, go-karting, trampolines….) with picnic areas. All you ever wanted to spend a great day out!

There are 3 distinct areas according to age, for security reasons.

  • Ludi park is for children aged 1 – 4. The equipment is specifically aimed at this age group to develop their motricity with small bouncy castles and pedal go-karts.
  • 5 – 12 year olds enjoy a different area with inflatable structures, slides, giant obstacle courses, magic castles, trampolines, pedal go-karts, human baby-foot and panna football.
  • Adolescents enjoy the thrill of giant inflatable structures, pedal go-karts, sporting inflatable structures and a panna football pitch.

There is also an on-site café with snacks, hot and cold soft drinks, crêpes, waffles and ice-creams. Seating and picnic tables available.

Download TICKY-PARK flyer (pdf. 6.59Mo)


Open-air or indoor tennis (for a fee)

Information and booking :
Tennis Club

Pétanque (bowls) place Théba (free)

Poney rides (for a fee)

Meet at: the Clos des Groges, 3 route de Saint Flée, Saint Benoît.

Information and booking :
Tél. :
Web site :

Mountain and e-bike rental (for a fee)

Information and booking :
Tourist information office, Saint Benoît

Givray-Ligugé childrens’ day camp

Situated in Ligugé, at the Givray site, the day camp is run by the Communauté de Communes Vonne and Clain. It is open on Wednesdays and during the school holidays and offers children aged between 3 and 14 a wide choice of recreational activities. The town of Saint Benoît sees to transport and supervision of the children to and from the day camp at no cost to families living in Saint Benoît.

Information and booking :
Ligugé (

Bois de Saint Pierre day camp

Situated in nearby Smarves. The day camp is run by the city of Poitiers for children aged between 6 and 12 during the Easter and Summer holidays.
Further information to be found on Mairie de Poitiers Internet site.

Saint Benoît multi-sport day camp

Children aged between 6 and 13 are supervised by the state registered manager and monitors. Saint Benoît multi-sport centre is managed by the Comité de la Vienne de Volley-ball and is largely based on sporting activities. Open during all school holidays but closed in August.

Information and reservations :
Tel: 05 49 54 87 15
Download registration slip (bulletin d’inscription) (pdf. 1Mo)
Brochures and registration slips available at town hall.

ANCRE : Association Nature, Culture, Rencontres, Echanges

Founded in 2003, the association welcomes youngsters aged between 12 and 18 during their leisure hours. It aims to provide them with activities and outings at reduced rates. However, ANCRE does expect its members to be active in raising money for the association as well as taking part in various youth projects; a dynamic and friendly atmosphere to be shared by the members.

Opening times:

  • Term time: Wednesdays from 2p.m. till 6p.m.
  • Holidays: from Monday to Friday, 1.30p.m. till 6.30p.m. + two evenings per week from 8.30p.m. till 11.30p.m.

ANCRE contact :
Pierre Coquillaud
13 route de Poitiers

Information and reservations :
Tel :
e-mail :
Blog :

« Eclat de Bulles » ALEPA day camp.

The day camp is run by ALEPA, a leisure and activities association for autistic children and adults. It opens Saturday afternoon, some Wednesdays and during school holidays.

ALEPA – Eclat de Bulles
Contact : Virginie Martin and Elsa Bouteloup
35bis, route de Ligugé, 86280 Saint Benoît

Information and reservations :
Tél : 09 50 14 96 22 ou 06 76 36 65 68 - Fax : 09 55 14 96 22
Email :
Web site : ALEPA