Vouvant, The Vendée, France by A. Lamoureux, Vendée Expansion Pôle TourismeThis fortified village is known as one of the most beautiful in France © A. Lamoureux, Vendée Expansion Pôle Tourisme

The mythical Mélusine awaits you in this pretty, fortified village.

With its postern gate and cobbled streets, this attractive fortifed village steeped in legend and dotted with little art galleries could almost be a film set, and richly deserves its title of one of the most beautiful villages in France. As if one accolade is not enough, it is also designated a ‘petite cité de caractère’ and a self-styled ‘village de peintre’. High on a promontory in a crook of the River Mère, Vouvant is surrounded by stout defensive walls from which you can look down on the meandering waterway below, and is filled with allusions to the region’s most famous inhabitant, the mythical Mélusine – a fairy who, according to folklore, built the village’s ancient watchtower in 1242. Crowds throng here in the summer to drink in the medieval atmosphere, to admire the façade of the church, to wander in and out of artists’ studios or to attend some of the many special events.

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