This lovely village sits astride the Aven River as it descends from the Montagnes Noires to the sea, turning the town's mills along the way (there were once 14; now just a handful remain). A former artists’ colony, Pont-Aven is where Paul Gauguin lived before he headed off to the South Seas—and where he left dewy, sunlit Impressionism behind for a stronger, more linear style. After exploring the town, you can seek inspiration (as so many painters did) in the Bois d'Amour or cool off on a boat trip down the estuary.


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