Vouvant travel guide

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Visit Vouvant (Pays de la Loire, France)

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Vouvant is a village 12 kilometres north of Fontenay-le-Comte in the Vendée department of Pays de la Loire, on a small hill in a pretty sett surrounded by a bend in the Mère river.

Vouvant is listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.

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France This Way review: a significant part of the charm of Vouvant comes from its setting, with a river surrounding the village crossed by a footbridge and a stone arched bridge, and with nicely maintained gardens to be seen along the side of the river.

Roman style church and gardens in Vouvant

In part still surrounded by ramparts, you can enter Vouvant through one of the original gates in the fortified walls, called the poterne. As you pass through the gate remember that it was at this place, in 1557 during the Wars of religion, that more than 200 people were killed in a terrible battle.

Within the village centre narrow streets, lined with well-preserved medieval houses, lead to the central square and the Notre-Dame Church.

The church is mostly in the roman style dating from the 12th century. You willnotice a semi-circle of ornate carvings featuring animals, characters and various biblical events around the entrance (the higher part of the facade is a later addition, in gothic style).

On the edges of Vouvant, don't miss the 14th century stone bridge across the river (cross the bridge to see the town washhouse) to the east, and the Tower of Melusine to the north - the remaining part of a chateau that once stood here and called the Fortress of the Lusignan, the Mesuline tower was the castle keep and watchtower.

The open area next to the tower, the Place du Bail, was once the courtyard of the castle.


Note: The village associates itself with Melusine, an important legendary character in Europe, half-fairy half-snake, who was said to be from this region and to have built the castle in Vouvant during the course of a single night. You can learn more about the history and legend of Mesuline in a display at the Vouvant tourist office.

There is also a small Priory Garden, representing the plants grown in a medieval garden: vegetables; practical plants (e.g. for making dyes); medicinal plants; and flowers grown for the church decoration.

After exploring the centre of Vouvant you can follow the footpath around the edge of the village, between the ramparts and the river.

View along the river and ramparts in Vouvant

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Attractions nearby

Vouvant tourist office suggests several walks of varying difficulty starting from Vouvant - ask for details in the village.

The countryside around the village is a land of deep forests and lakes, and the marshes of the Marais-Poitevin are to the west. A landscape that has attracted, and still attracts, numerous artists to the town, drawn by the contrasts, the light and the natural beauty.

You can find more travel ideas in the Vendee guide and the Pays de la Loire guide.

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Map of Vouvant and places nearby


Visit near Vouvant with France This Way reviews



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Nieul-sur-l'Autise guide
Maillezais abbey

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Maillezais abbey guide


Established since 2000 years agio, Coulon is now a centre for exploring the Marais-Poitevin marshes

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Marais Poitevin

Marais Poitevin

The Marais-Poitevin is a region of canals and marshes, an unusual environment best explored by boat

Marais Poitevin guide


Lucon is a quiet Vendee town, usually visited for its imposing cathedral and public gardens

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... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vendee

Tourist classifications for Vouvant

Vouvant is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Vouvant, Châtaigneraie, Fontenay-le-Comte, Pays de la Loire, 85120, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.573, longitude -0.768

Plan your visit to Vouvant, Vendee

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Eglise de Notre-Dame (Vouvant): religious monument
  • Natur'Zoo de Mervent: zoo or wildlife park (7 km)
  • Fontenay-le-Comte: recommended detour (12 km)
  • Abbaye Royale (Nieul-sur-l'Autise): religious monument (18 km)
  • Jardins du Bâtiment: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • Abbaye Saint Pierre et Eglise de Saint Nicolas (Maillezais): religious monument (23 km)
  • Eglise de Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Maille): religious monument (26 km)
  • Eglise de Saint-Eulalie (Benet): religious monument (26 km)
  • Marais Poitevin: grand site of france (28 km)
  • Jardins de Chaligny: remarkable garden (28 km)
  • Coulon: most beautiful village (31 km)
  • Baie de l'Aiguillon: site of natural beauty (31 km)

The French version of this page is at Vouvant (Francais)