Top 5 things to do in Vouvant


Visiting the Vendée? Discover the best things to do and see in Vouvant, a charming bucolic village.

Vouvant is a charming little commune in the Vendée region of Pays de la Loire. Situated in the south of the Vendée bocage and close to the Poitevin marshes, it’s a nature destination par excellence. But a visit to Vouvant also means discovering one of France’s most beautiful villages. Situated on a hilltop on the banks of the River Mère, Vouvant is the only fortified town in the Vendée to have survived.

So, if you’re looking for something to do in Vouvant, you’ll be spoilt for choice. As well as being surrounded by nature, in the heart of the magnificent forest that bears its name, the village is also a haven for artists and craftspeople of all kinds. So, would you like to visit Vouvant? Just follow the guide!

1. The Mélusine tower

Tour de Melusine

Photo credit: Wikipedia – SeeSchloss

One of the best things to do in Vouvant is to visit the 13th-century Tour Mélusine. Mélusine was a legendary local fairy whose legs turned into a snake’s tail on Saturday nights. She is said to be the ancestor of the Counts of Lusignan, who ruled Vouvant for centuries.

The Tour Mélusine is all that remains of their castle, which Mélusine is said to have built in a single night… Inside, you’ll find a small museum of local history, as well as the Tourist Office. After asking the Tourist Office for the key, climb the spiral staircase to the top. From its 45-metre height, you’ll have a perfect view of the Vouvant-Mervan forest and the village.

2. Theodelin nave

Nef Théodelin

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Ludovic G.

But you can’t visit Vouvant without passing by the Théodelin nave. Formerly attached to the church, it is now a temporary exhibition space.

Every year, from April to October, exhibitions by various local artists are held here, promoting contemporary art in rural areas. The events held here are generally free of charge, so don’t miss out on a great discovery if you’re looking for an inexpensive activity to do in Vouvant.

3. Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church, Vouvant

Eglise Vouvant

Photo Credit: Flickr – thierry llansades

Just off the nave, you’ll find the Eglise de Vouvant. Dating back to the 11th century, it’s around 1,000 years old! Romanesque in style, it has been destroyed and restored several times over the course of history.

It has been listed as a Monument Historique since 1840. Today, when you visit Vouvant, you can still admire the choir and apse before continuing your tour.

4. Vouvant gardens

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity in Vouvant, why not explore the town’s gardens? There are several, all different, and you can walk from one to the next. A great opportunity to see the village from every angle when you visit Vouvant!

The painters’ garden

Village des Peintres

Photo Credit: Facebook – Vouvant village de peintres

The garden was created in 2008 by Vouvant Village de Peintres, the association that manages the Théodelin nave. Located close to the town’s multi-purpose hall, exhibitions and events are held here regularly.

The priory garden

Behind the church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption, you’ll find a small garden reminiscent of a monk’s garden. In several plessis squares, you’ll discover vegetable and medicinal plants. It’s also a very quiet place to enjoy a short break before continuing your walk.

The public garden

Jardin Commun

Photo Credit: Flickr – SYGAL 93

When visiting Vouvant, be sure to start your walk in the public garden. It overlooks the town’s poterne and ramparts, and offers a privileged view of the river Mère, which surrounds this most beautiful French village on three sides.

The garden of the senses

Since 2010, this garden has been introducing visitors to medicinal, aromatic and dye plants grown according to agroecological principles.

In 2016, it was classified as a « Refuge LPO », which means that it is maintained using techniques that respect biodiversity and the environment. If you visit Vouvant, you may be able to take part in one of the many events held there.

Le jardin du Fournil

Jardin Fournil

Photo Credit: Flickr – thierry llansades

This garden is part of a lovely walk in Vouvant. Located near the old Romanesque bridge and the 17th-century bakery, it is a French-style garden. You can stroll through the box hedges and topiaries, or stop for a picnic.

5. Les Ateliers de la Mère eco-museum


Photo Credit: Facebook – Vouvant village de peintres

Here’s an original activity to do in Vouvant. In this eco-museum, you can admire a collection of old tools that have belonged to the same family of carpenters and joiners for three generations.

But that’s not all! The aim is also to create a dialogue between craftsmanship and art. Paintings are displayed among the tools, either permanently or temporarily, for sale. An off-the-beaten-track place to see when you visit Vouvant!

How to get to Vouvant

Want to visit Vouvant? Follow the guide!

By car

The car is undoubtedly the most practical way to visit Vouvant, as there are no buses serving the town.

  • From Poitiers: approx. 130 km and 1h30 travel time. Take theA10 andA83 motorways. Exit at junction 7.1 and follow the D206 ;
  • From La-Roche-sur-Yon: approx. 70 km and 50 minutes. Take the D948 and theA83;
  • From Niort: approx. 40 km and 40 minutes. The quickest way is to take the D744 and D31.

By train

If you decide to visit Vouvant by train, the nearest station is Fontenay-le-Comte, 15 kilometers away. From there, you can take the 292 bus to Les Orettes.

Where to stay in Vouvant

Do you have lots to do in Vouvant and want to stay for a few days? Accommodation is available on site, but bear in mind that this is a small village. The supply is therefore limited.

Nevertheless, there are a number of gites, hotels and B&Bs to choose from. Don’t hesitate to use a hotel comparator to find the best rates.

So pack your bags and head off to visit Vouvant!

Map of hotels and accommodation – Pays de la Loire