This article was written by Aurore, GlobeSailor’s Brittany and Spain sailing expert for over 2 years. Originally from the South Finistère, Aurore has been immersed in salt water since childhood. Her latest achievement: a transatlantic race aboard a 60-foot monohull last December!
Discover her recommendations for visiting the most beautiful places in Southern Brittany.
As you probably already know, Brittany is full of fabulous places, some of which are still unknown to tourists (much to the delight of the locals). Here are a few ideas for the must-see stops to make during your cruise in Southern Brittany, from Lorient or La Trinité-sur-Mer.
Head for Groix, l’île aux Grenats (the island of garnets)
From Lorient, Groix is the first island you can stop at. You can moor either directly at the port of Tudy (very popular in summer) or at an anchorage along the coast. In the second case, there are several choices: Locmaria, Red Sands Beach, White Sands Beach, Port Mélite, Port Lay and Port Melun, all of which are equally pretty. The Red Sands Beach and White Sands Beach anchorages are the best known and, therefore, the most popular in summer, as they offer a haven for boats stopping off in Groix. Fun fact: The White Sands beach is the only convex beach in Europe!
After touring the island, a stop at Ti Beudeff, a bar in Port Tudy which has become a real maritime institution, is a must.
Houat Island, off the coast of Quiberon
The island of Houat is a small, quiet island off the coast of La Trinité-sur-Mer, offering sheltered anchorages in all weather. The island is relatively small and can easily be walked around in a few hours to discover its tide mills and forts.
Hœdic & its 200 hectares of greenery
After sailing 4 nautical miles from the island of Houat, stop off at Hœdic, the second wild island off the Morbihan. There are two ports of call: Port de la Croix in the south of the island and Port d’Argol in the north. On this island, you will find long white sandy beaches, beautiful wild creeks and beautiful sea beds for snorkelling.
Enjoy local oysters and white wine in front of a beautiful sunset.
Only 8 nautical miles from Hœdic, Belle-île is the Breton island with the greatest diversity of landscapes: dunes, coastal paths, creeks and cliffs falling into the ocean. There are two large, well-equipped harbours, Sauzon and Le Palais, with several moorings on the dock or the quay. Around the island, the two best-known anchorages are “La grande plage – Treac’h er Goured”, which should be avoided in a North and East wind, and “Treac’h Salus”.
The Glénan archipelago, the Breton Caribbean
A beautiful cruise in Brittany must include a visit to Les Glénan, off the coast of southern Finistère, which is considered the Breton Caribbean. It is an archipelago of white sandy islands surrounded by turquoise water. Drop anchor on Anse du Phare (also called Penfret, after its lighthouse), on Ile du Loc’h (the most popular in summer) or stop off on the island of Saint-Nicolas and have a coffee in one of the only restaurants on the island: La Boucane.
The Glénan is also the most famous sailing centre in France, and many GlobeSailor experts have made their sailing debut here.
Be careful, the archipelago is a very rocky area, so it’s better to be careful and follow your map to avoid damaging your boat!
The island of Sein & Crozon
Finally, for the more adventurous, you can sail along the coast of Brittany to the Isle of Sein, west of the Pointe du Raz, and then to the Crozon Peninsula, further north. These islands and wild creeks known to the greatest sailors are worth the diversion, believe me!