One of the paths leading away from le Moulin du Chemin, photographed on a glorious spring morning

Hundreds of miles of appealing paths, tracks and lanes meander through gentle rolling countryside in South-West France

Le Pays de Gâtine has hundreds of miles of appealing paths, tracks and lanes meandering through gentle rolling countryside – it is a veritable paradise for walkers and hikers. Not many people know about le Pays de Gâtine (except the folk who live there) so here is an introduction– especially for walkers and hikers….

A rural paradise off the beaten track, but easy to reach

The Pays the Gatine lies in western Europe, yet it is remote and undiscovered. Off the beaten tourist trail but easy to reach. This is le Pays de Gâtine – just 75km northeast of the bustling Medieval port city of la Rochelle on the Atlantic coast of France.

Trees growing among massive boulders

An inviting landscape to explore on foot

Le Pays de Gâtine is marvellous rural paradise with hundreds of miles of little-used paths, tracks and lanes inviting exploration of an unspoiled and varying landscape. Green rolling hills are occupied by timeless cattle pastures, pan-tiled farmsteads, deciduous woods, ponds and orchards, criss-crossed by ancient hedgerows and clear flowing streams – a terrain compellingly diverse to people who love to walk and hike.

Abundant nature and wildlife

wildflowers growing below a large tree

A wealth of spring and summer wild flowers invigorate the verges and hedgerows with fantastic colour. Multi-coloured butterflies in many varieties large and small, as well as damsel flies and dragonflies are ubiquitous in summer.

A pair of blue butterflies on a stalk of grass

The songbirds’ dawn chorus starts in earnest in beginning of May through to early June and there are a lot of bird species to be seen during spring, summer and autumn. Walk quietly through the countryside and see wild creatures such as edible dormice, red squirrels, martens and deer to name but a few.

Three photos showing some of the wildlife in le Pays de Gâtine

A garden landscape, touched only lightly by mankind

Unadopted fruit and nut trees in hedgerows of the byways allow passers-by the opportunity to sample, in season, apples, plums, apricots, cherries, meddler, hop, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Set of 4 photos of fruiting trees

The abundance of wild flowers, butterflies, birds and other creatures is thanks to the particular local terrain which lends itself to small fields and a style of farming where intensive use of herbicides and insecticides is unusual.

A field surrounded by autumn coloured forest

Come visit this inviting hidden gem in France

Le Pays de Gâtine is south of the Loire Valley where spring, summer and autumn are blissful, with average 2,250 hours sunshine annually.

We’d love to show you this beautiful area, for more information, see our listing on

About Peter Roche

Moulin Celebrated Holidays

Peter runs Moulin single-centre walking holidays together with Carolynn. Their holidays are based at the celebrated Moulin du Chemin. Peter and Carolynn believe walking holidays arebest enjoyed starting from the same place every day.

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