Port of Sauzon © Y. Boelle

belle-île en mer: "the aptly named one"

"belle-Ile-en-Mer, Marie-Galante, …"-sound familiar? Well perhaps not if you are not French! (It is the title of a song by the French singer-songwriter Laurent Voulzy.) Nevertheless, the reason Belle-Ile is so easy to hum to is because its scenery has the power to enchant you. Whether it is for just a weekend or for a longer period, come and pretend you are Robinson Crusoe for a day, or maybe forever …


belle-île en Mer, has preserved natural environment

Belle-Ile's 85 square kilometres, extending north to south and east to west, make it the largest of France's Atlantic coast islands, and it is probably the most impressive too, thanks to the wide variety of scenery it offers. From the fine sandy dunes of the beach at giving to the sculpted cliffs at Taillefer point and tip of foals , Belle-Ile offers a remarkable spectacle and it is one that has been immortalised by numerous artists, painters and poets: here we have the Aiguilles de Port Coton (a group of sea stacks) rising up against the Atlantic and over there we see a colony of black-legged kittiwakes and herring gulls, defying the sea spray, then, further in the distance, stands the Fortification by Vauban (a famous French military engineer who died in 1707), offering a fine lesson in architecture. And alone, faced with the immensity of it all, the artist stands spellbound …

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A weekend on Belle-Ile will get your mouth watering: it will take a stay of a longer duration to satisfy your appetite." So why not spend a whole holiday here?

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The island is rich enough in history, heritage and culture to offer something for all tastes. In fact, that brings us nicely to the matter of the taste buds. From "The well named" cookies to sardines, and not forgetting the beer, the honey, and the salt butter caramel, Belle-Ile's gastronomy is as good as any found anywhere, and it keeps visitors coming back for more.

  • Port de Sauzon

    Sauzon's port

  • Randonnée à Belle-île-en-mer

    Hiking in Belle-île

Richly varied architecture

So, feel like a holiday? Well that can be easily arranged: Belle-Ile lies just a stone's throw from Quiberon. Start out from the port at the Palace and the island will be yours to explore. You can head north towards Sauzon, with its archetypal, photogenic at this fishing port; South towards Bangor, where the moors, heathland and beaches are wilder; Gold head further east to the outskirts of Locmaria, the island's oldest settlement and an area strong in agriculture. Using the four urban centres mentioned as your base, take advantage of your stay to explore this exceptional island, where dreams and reality merge:

climb to the top of the large Phare de Kervilahouen (also known as Goulphar lighthouse) and you will be "the king of the castle"; step inside Sarah Bernhardt's strong and pretend you are acting in a 19th century play; Nestle down at the apothecary and you will become a passionate ornithologist in no. time; or let yourself be pampered and enjoy a special moment at the Thalassotherapy (sea water therapy centre). Belle-île offers as many roles to play as it does different facets to explore. Without any doubt, this truly is a beautiful island. With its eighty kilometres of coastline, you will need more than just a day to walk the whole circumference - a longer stay perhaps?

  • La côte sauvage © X. Dubois

    The wild coast

  • Plage de Donnant © Y. Legal

    giving's beach

  • Port de le palais © X. Dubois

    the Palace's beach

So don't wait a second longer, and embark for a weekend escape or the holiday of your dreams as soon as you can. And when night falls, it will be time to return to the warmth of your hotel or to the closeness of nature at one of the island's many campsites . You can find information to help you organise your trip on the Morbihan Tourist Board's website. The residents of Belle-Ile are ready and waiting to offer you a warm welcome.

aiguilles de port Coton © M. Schaffner

port cotton's needles

TO DISCOVER IN BELLE-ILE-EN-MER

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