Boarding at Quiberon. 45 minutes with your nose in the wind, your gaze riveted on the continent which is slowly receding. The siren sounds, here you are Bellilois for an escape. The sweetness of island life is yours!
How beautiful is this island!
The first step on an island is always the promise of an adventure. Barely disembarked in the port of Palace, take the time to climb to the heights of the city. You will enjoy a superb view of the continent and the two neighbors of Belle-Île: Houat and Hoëdic.
And it is true that this island is aptly named! The legend says it was born from the crown of flowers of the queen of the fairies of Brocéliande. The largest of the Breton islands (17 km long by 9 km wide) is the jewel of the Gulf of Morbihan, with its rolling countryside, its moors, its beautiful beaches, its Wild side, its small ports and its adorable villages.
While it is better to avoid the busy hours, the bustling little port of the Palace is worth a visit. Located at the bottom of an old estuary, The palace is dominated by Vauban citadel, former royal fort. This is where half of the island's 5 inhabitants live. His museum, which focuses on the history of the island and its illustrious hosts, is worth a detour.
Coves, dunes and fine sand
It is at the Palais that you must choose your means of transport. The coastal path will delight hiking enthusiasts. It goes around the island, or 82 km in total (4 to 5 days of walking for the more adventurous), a superb and extremely varied route.
For those who prefer to walk only a few stretches, you can take the bus network to reach the main points of interest. The bike is also the best way to go for a walk on the island, which is dotted with several well signposted routes. Get ready to build your calves: it goes up and down!
Last option to get an overview of the whole island if you are staying for a short time, rent a car. It's better than coming with your own vehicle (reservation well in advance necessary and passage not given).
Belle-Île, 20 km long, offers an impressive diversity of landscapes. For a trip to the beach, you will be spoiled for choice: the island has 58! From Le Palais, you can reach the Bordadoué beach with fine immaculate sand or the Gros Rocher cove, which is accessed by a narrow path from the place called Kerviniec.
If you opt for a swimming break between Le Palais and Crozon, the Port-Fouquet beach is ideal. From there, for those who like to trudge, continue the coastal path for 300 m towards Sauzon to reach a superb cove, perfect for playing Robinsons at the foot of the cliffs.
To appreciate the diversity of the coast, nothing better than a kayak excursion. A few paddling strokes at the bottom of a cave, a swim in an inaccessible on foot cove ... At the water's edge, you will discover another facet of island life, in particular the local flora and fauna.
On the rocks, you will be surprised to see surprising crustaceans that look like raised fingers: the inch-feet. Very popular with the Spaniards and the Portuguese, this small animal is the subject of rigorously regulated fishing in Belle-Île.
Foam clouds on the wild coast
If the south-eastern facade of the island exudes tranquility and the sweetness of life, the wild coast, exposed to the ocean, is much rougher. You can start your walk at Port-Coton needles, impressive rocks known to have inspired a painting by Claude Monet.
Heading west, the coastal path winds along vertiginous cliffs. After a good hour's walk, you arrive at Donner, a dune beach frequented by surfers. If the sight of these rollers makes you want to taste the joys of sliding, Ty School offers surf and bodyboard lessons.
To measure yourself against the immensity of the ocean, head for the Pointe des Poulains, at the north-western end of the island. Clouds of bubbling foam, roaring waves crashing against the rocks… The panorama is majestic.
The island of the Poulains, on which the lighthouse is located, is connected to the island by a sandy path, the tombolo. Be careful, at high tide, this passage is submerged. Don't get caught up!
This grandiose site had conquered Sarah Bernhardt. In 1894, the tragic actress bought a small military fort at Les Poulains and had two villas built to accommodate her relatives. These buildings, which are now the property of the Conservatoire du littoral, are now open to the public.
Le away, furnished and decorated as in 1904, plunges visitors into the atmosphere of the actress' Bellilois summers, while the Villa of the Five Parts of the World devotes a museum space to it.
After the harshness of the Pointe des Poulains, the calm of the port of Sauzon, bordered by greenery, lends itself perfectly to a stopover on the terrace. Nestled at the mouth of a river, this charming village will give you only one desire, to miss the boat and extend your getaway.
Please note, you are 17 km from the Palais pier, do not extend your stopover too much on the lively quays of Sauzon!
Belle-Île-en-Mer Tourist Office
How to get there ?
Departure from Quiberon for Le Palais or Sauzon: several crossings per day, remember to book! Round trip: € 31,65. Cycling: € 17,90 off season, € 19,40 in season Tel. : 0 820 056 156 Site: www.compagnie-oceane.fr
In season, connections from the Vannes, Port-Navalo or Locmariaquer ferry terminal with La Compagnie du Golfe (02 97 67 10 00) and Navix (02 97 46 60 00).
- The Hotel du Phare: Quai Guerveur, Sauzon. It is the essential terrace of the port of Sauzon. People come there to drink an aperitif while nibbling a plate of shrimp at the foot of the lighthouse. Correct value for money menu (€ 22). Breathtaking view and reservation required!
- Creperie Chez Renée : 21, rue Sarah Bernhardt, Bangor. Phone. : 02 97 31 52 87. Golden pancakes, warm and smiling service, a welcoming garden, games for children: the Chez Renée crêperie is absolutely worth a stop in the village of Bangor! In season, remember to book.
- Palace Market: Place de la République, Le Palais, every morning. Every day of the year, there are fruit and vegetable stalls and a few stalls of local designers. Fishmongers also sell local fish products, the opportunity to taste the famous barnacle!
- Liber & Co: 2 rue des Remparts, Le Palais. A stone's throw from the pier, facing the sea, this lively and charming café-bookstore offers a fine selection of novels. Meetings with writers are held there regularly.
Vives Eaux sea kayaking school
Belle-Île-en-Mer Historical Society
Garden Eden of the Traveler
Regular bus lines