Thursday, 8 September 2011

Brittany: The Big Sea and the Little Sea

One of the things I was most looking forward to doing during our trip to Brittany (the other being eating galettes!) was going to the seaside. And so we did. Multiple times. (We ate galettes multiple times too.)

We went to the beach in the south, on the Côte Sauvage on the Quiberon peninsula ...

And in the north, at Val André.

We walked to Cap Fréhel one evening and watched the sun go down...

But best of all, we fulfilled my long-held dream and visited the Golfe du Morbihan. (Mor bihan means “little sea” in Breton.)

Almost entirely enclosed by the arms of two peninsulae which curve protectively around it, the Golfe du Morbihan is home to dozens of tiny islands dotted around in a sparkling sea. It was frustratingly difficult to take photographs of, because the land is so flat and the vistas so wide, but it was every bit as beautiful as I had hoped. We took a ferry to the Ile d'Arz, one of the smaller of the non-private islands and hired bikes for the afternoon. 5 hours was just enough to cycle around, eat lunch, admire some prehistoric remains and have a dip in the sea before catching the boat back to Vannes.


  1. Your lifelong dream was to visit the Golfe de Morbihan?? How come? Not that I'm knocking it, it's a great gulf - I'm just surprised. Most people want to go to a bit more well-known places.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the Ile d'Arz though, I used to go there on a regular basis - especially in the off-season when the tourists were gone. And I almost taught English one year on the Ile aux moines (the bigger island). How cool would that have been to take the boat to work every day??

    Did you get a chance to visit Vannes at all? That is where I lived for five years, it's a lovely town (if you go to the good parts lol).

    The côte sauvage in Quiberon IS one of my favorite places in France though. It's too bad I didn't know you were going there, I could've given you some tips (including directions to a secret abandoned German bunker camp!)

  2. When I say long-held dream, I really mean that I saw some pretty pictures in a tourist brochure a year or so ago and have been wanting to go ever since. But I guess what I liked about it was that geographically to me it seemed unique. All of the Breton coast is gorgeous but only the Golfe du Morbihan has that protected lagoon feel with all these tiny islands.

    It's a question of perspective I guess - if you lived next to it for 5 years it probably just seemed normal to you!

    We did go to Vannes and I really liked that too. It's so pretty, and felt much bigger and more buzzing than you would expect for a town of that size. Maybe not in the depths of winter though!