Vouvant is a classified 'most beautiful village in France', on a small hill in a pretty setting overlooking a river.
In part still surrounded by ramparts, Vouvant is entered by original gates in the walls. Within the village, narrow streets, lined with well-preserved medieval houses, lead to the central square and the Notre-Dame Church.
On the edges of town, don't miss the 14th century stone bridge across the river, or the Tower of Melusine (the remaining part of a chateau that once stood here).
Opposite the Tower are two delightful Bar/Cafes which are perfect for relaxing after a walk.
There is also a small Priory Garden, representing the plants grown in a medieval garden - vegetables; practical plants (eg for making dyes); medicinal plants; and flowers grown for the church decoration.
The village is associated with the fairy Melusine, an important legendary character in Europe, who was said to be from this region.
Perfect harmony between forest and water, the sleepy-contoured Mervent forest (the largest area of woodland in the Vendee) attracts walkers, ramblers, horse-riders and mountain-bikers.
The 200 kilometres of marked paths lead you from rocks to rivers, copses to forest clearing, through oak woods, chestnuts, beeches and pines.
Other activities have been developed such as canoeing and sailing which give everybody a chance to discover the rich natural heritage of the forest.
The Vendee River, which is damed, so it provides a lake which you can swim You can swing through the tree tops on suspended walkways at the "Aventure Parc" and the "Parc de Pierre-Brune" amusement park offers attractions for children of all ages
Visit the"Parc Zoologique Paysager de Mervent"
The delightful village of Mervent offers restaurants, bars, hairdressers, a small shop, tourist information and the "Vendee Chippy" on a Thursday.
Being only a half four drive from the Cottage at least one visit to The Mervent Forest and the beautiful village of Vouvant is a must.