Boating to the ile aux moines © Y. The Gal

ILE AUX MOINES

You'll feel like you're in a different country after a short five-minute boat trip, that's guaranteed. This is the effect that Ile aux Moines, pearl of the Gulf of Morbihan, has on people! As soon as you set foot on this island surrounded by the Mare current, deemed to be the strongest in Europe, you will be transported to another Brittany, more like the Greek islands. Just like the Greek islands, you will find a jumble of little white fishermen's houses, winding alleyways opening onto gardens full of flowers with a view of the sea and a way of life that's only found on islands. The bicycle is king, so we have some advice: do like the locals do and hire a bike straight away to explore the little streets and the 14 kms of tracks. Sometimes you may need to descend from your mount and continue on foot to reach an inlet where you can sit on the sand facing the elements and think poetic thoughts.

  • Dolmen de Penhap © F. Galivel

    The Dolmen de Penhap

  • Vélo sur l'île aux moines © E. D'Herouville

    Bike on the Ile aux Moines

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if you prefer archaeology to poetry, go south, where you will find the Dolmen of Pen Hap as you head along the path." It is a sign of the time when the island was still attached to the mainland and this megalithic monument is thought to be five to six thousand years old! Which is a way of saying that it's seen a lot of things in its time.

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When you feel like a drink, let your instincts guide you and take a seat at one of the tables in the middle of the oyster fishing area. Get to know a little better and oysters taste them straight from the sea with a glass of chilled white wine. It's OK, no need to close your eyes or pinch yourself, you are actually there! You are getting a real taste of the simple and refined spirit of the Ile aux Moines.

  • Vue aérienne de l'île aux moines © Y. Le Gal

    Aerial view of the Ile aux Moines

  • Vieux gréements près de l'île © Y. Le Gal

    Old sailing boats near the island

THE MUST-SEE COASTAL SITES

The almost southern climate which the Ile aux Moines enjoys, contributes to great diversity of vegetation on the island. 350 plant species have been found there and you won't need to go far to enjoy this diversity. Here, Asphodelus Rubus stands proudly next to Gilbert with its coconut scented flowers. The thick vegetation and bushes make the perfect home for the local sparrow population. The Ile aux Moines, in the heart of the open wide natural space of the Gulf of Morbihan, is the preferred stopping-off place for many birds looking for rest and food. As you walk along the tracks, you will see changing landscapes, from sheltered coves to rocky headlands. You will find the best way to explore the island is by bike or on foot. Makes sure you keep going until you get to the tip of Pen Hap headland to the south of the island where you will find the construction of Guip which specialised in the construction and restoration of traditional boats and small yachts. You could also head north to the tip of Trec'h and its famous calvary. The big beach is edged with beach huts and is near the wood of love … which is an invitation to a romantic interlude. A round trip of the island covers less than 20 kms … enjoy its rich in utter peace!

HIGHLIGHTS CULTURAL LIFE OF

Although the sea has left deep marks on the history of the Ile aux Moines which can be seen in its heritage, the islanders still live to the rhythm of the sea and sailing, and sea festivals offer a way to meet the locals. Moreover, what would you say to a few oysters in Pierre Martin by the water's edge? !

It's just a five-minute boat trip to the Ile aux Moines and that's all it takes to feel like you're in a very different place! The Izenah cruise company offers regular crossings several times a day from the landing stage at Port Blanc in Baden. In the tourist season other shipping companies also offer trips to the island: the Ferryman of the Islands, the Compagnie Maritime Latitude 56, Navix-Compagnie des îles and the stars of the Gulf, from various ports around the bay. Any boat owners who want to land on the island will find several options for visitors at pontoons and moorings. Additional information is available from the town hall or the company's Ports in the Morbihan.

It's just a five-minute boat trip to the Ile aux Moines and that's all it takes to feel like you're in a very different place! You will come across cars on the island, but like the other islands, it's better to explore by bike or on foot. It takes about four and a quarter hours to cover the 17 km round trip of the island via the footpath. This will give you a unique chance to see the fine detail of the islands heritage and take in the fabulous views of the Gulf of Morbihan. If you don't have a bike, it's easy to hire one on the island.