Welcome to Paradise ! That of fishermen, oyster farmers, boaters … and nature-loving walkers. The Gulf of Morbihan , an extraordinary place of life where the land and the sea mingle with the variable and unusual landscape. On the outskirts of this real small inland sea, make way for hiking on the coastal paths, bike rides, the Conleau seawater swimming pool, nature reserves for birds, visits to megaliths … the conquest of this magical corner where, according to legend, there are 365 islands!
From ports to ports in southern Brittany
This haven of peace in southern Brittany invites you to explore it through a narrow gully between Locmariaquer and Port Navalo, the limit of the Gulf. Going up the Auray river, at Bono, the old suspension bridge amazes the visitor. Once crossed the ancestral bridge, direction Larmor-Baden, often called “the Key of the Gulf” because of the quality of its waters. This village is a very active oyster farming center, but also a real paradise for lovers of natural sites, wild flora and walks. Leave the center of the village for the old salt marshes of Pen En Toul, now a refuge for a multitude of birds. A pedestrian path, built around the perimeter of the marsh, allows you to admire the magnificent gray herons, stilts, avocets and egrets.
In search of one of the most sumptuous panoramas on the islands, choose Arradon. At the end of the point, sit on this bench which seems to invite you to stroll … Go there preferably early in the morning. Depending on the weather, you will gain a superb sunrise or even mists offering instead a very strange aspect.
Then, Vannes, keystone of the Gulf of Morbihan, has the inestimable privilege of a marina in the heart of the city. We stroll with delight around the ramparts or in the alleys of the old city before taking the road to the largest reserve in Brittany. The Séné marshes represent an area of international importance for waterbirds. In this landscape marked by the history of salt, stilts, egrets, spatulas move freely. The remarkable site offers 8 observatories. Bring binoculars and don’t forget your camera … Along the paths, the walks are wonderful towards the Langle peninsula, the sites of Montsarrac, Bodspernen, or in search of the coves nestled in this setting idyllic.
Continue your way towards Sarzeau and its three large marshes which constitute magnificent spaces for discoveries and visits: the marshes of Landrezac and Penvins, that of Suscinio, a real natural setting on which the feudal castle of Suscinio is placed , and finally the marsh. du Duer, old saltworks converted into a refuge for birds. After visiting the Logéo oyster port, join the only departmental road that crosses the Rhuys peninsula towards Arzon and Port Navalo. On one side the ocean, on the other the gulf and, between the two, this passage so difficult to maneuver for boaters.
From islands to islands, lazing around on the program
This small inland sea is dotted with dozens of islands and islets. If we consider the large rocks that emerge from the water, we would count as many islands as there are days in the year. This legend is still very tenacious … If most of the islets are uninhabited, this is not the case for the two gems of the Gulf: Ile aux Moines and Ile d’Arz. Also called the “pearl” of the Gulf, Ile aux Moinesis accessible from the Port-Blanc slipway in Baden. After a few minutes of crossing, you will succumb to its charm. Let yourself be seduced by the small low houses of the fishermen or the beautiful granite residences, testimonies of a rich past. Lose yourself in the alleys, admire the lush flora favored by the extreme mildness of its climate and enjoy the beautiful Lério beach. Renowned for its calm, this natural setting served as the setting for the filmmaker Claude Miller for the filming of La Petite Lili.! Ludivine Sagnier, Bernard Giraudeau and Jean-Pierre Marielle still have fond memories. To dock on the Ile d’Arz, we embark at Conleau, south of Vannes. Apart from its many beaches, Arz’s main asset remains the superb coastal path allowing you to tour the island and thus enjoy the magnificent panoramas of the Gulf.
Aboard a canoe, you can voluntarily get lost in this maze of islands … On the eastern part of the Gulf, Tascon Island is connected to the land by a causeway discovered two hours before and after low tide. In search of the most beautiful beaches of this inland sea, choose the islands of Govihan, Godec or Stibiden. Some are privately owned, but you can take advantage of their white sands … This is also the case with Ile de Berder, the domain of cosmetics designer Yves Rocher. Berder is therefore an island which hikers and simple tourists can easily reach on foot from Larmor-Baden. In this part of the Gulf, we better understand the phenomenon of the tides. Admire the spectacle of the descent of the waters, before taking the causeway which opens the access to this piece of land.
Discovering megaliths, stroll through Breton history
According to legend, fairies were chased out of the forest of Brocéliande, in inland Brittany. Far from their sanctuary and gripped by pain, they began to cry. Their tears, so numerous, in pouring out on the ground gave birth to the Gulf of Morbihan. They threw their wreaths there, which gave birth to the 365 islands, islets and rocks of the Gulf. On the other hand, it is not the fairies who have erected an incalculable number of menhirs. This priceless work was the will of the men of Armorica over 6,000 years ago. The Gulf of Morbihan is an exceptional area for the number, importance and variety of megaliths. The menhir represents the standing stone. The most famous are located near the Gulf, in the Carnac region. However,Large Broken Menhir , with impressive dimensions. Today on the ground and broken into four pieces, it is the most enormous menhir that man has ever erected in the sky. In the middle of this small inland sea, 49 menhirs of the Er Lannic islet form a double cromlech, two arcs of stone circles, half submerged at high tide. The island opposite, Gavrinis, has one of the most beautiful megalithic monuments in the world and one of the best preserved from this prehistoric period.