Belle-Ile-en-Mer

from Quiberon

Discover Belle-Ile-en-Mer

Belle-Ile-en-Mer, an island to be discovered

Just the mention of its name sweeps you away to the heart of the ocean... With Compagnie Océane, the shipping line for the islands off the coast of Morbihan, set sail for the very aptly named Belle-Ile! Every day of the year, for your holidays, weekend or day trips, set off with us for this exceptional island!

Arrival in Le Palais 

After  a 45-minute crossing on board our boats, you are greeted by the imposing Vauban Citadel that overlooks Le Palais, the island's port capital. The powerful walls of this Historic Monument are home to an Art and History Museum that can be visited almost all year round. Its collections relive Belle-Ile's finest hours, the history of great sailors and the everyday life of the island's inhabitants in days gone by. They also bear witness to generations of artists who, following in the footsteps of Claude Monet and Sarah Bernhardt, found inspiration in the island's wild landscapes. From the rocky spur, on the Citadel's terrace, enjoy the impressive panoramic view over the entire port of Le Palais. After discovering Le Palais' lively centre (a market is held on Place de la République every morning of the year), you are then free to roam the island's 85 km2 by foot, bike or car.

café terrace in Bangor

Belle-Ile-en-Mer, a land of contrasts 

With a hundred or so kilometres of hiking trails and over forty kilometres of trails specially marked for bikes separated from the main roads, Belle-Ile-en-Mer is a real Eden for nature lovers. Whether you are travelling solo, with your family or a group, you can therefore discover the island's remarkable sites at your own pace, not forgetting its most secret corners that are always waiting to surprise you.

A land of contrasts culminating at 71 m (average altitude of 40 m), Belle-Ile offers multi-faceted landscapes: natural ports and deep rias, plunging creeks bathed in turquoise water, jagged cliffs interspersed with marine caves, etc.

The north coast and Sauzon port 

The coast that lies towards the north faces the continent. It is therefore the most sheltered and where the island's two main ports are found: Le Palais and Sauzon, a charming port not to be missed by all those who visit Belle-Ile. The village of Sauzon, located on the edge of a ria over a kilometre deep, presents a natural port well sheltered from the prevailing winds. It is a mooring site prized by recreational sailors, and some fishermen still go net or trap fishing on a daily basis, supplying the island's finest restaurants with fish and shellfish. The beauty of the scenery and the charm of the houses with pastel-coloured facades make it a subject sought out by painters and photographers. Don't hesitate to continue your path along the port of Sauzon to Pointe du Cardinal.

the lighthouse

The south coast and Les Aiguilles de Port-Coton

Exposed to the winds of the open sea, the south coast is wilder. From Pointe des Poulains, at the extreme west of the island, to Pointe du Skeul in the east, sea and wind have sculpted the rock into a multitude of peaks and marine caves. Belle-Ile is actually a schistose plateau extremely sensitive to erosion. La Pointe des Poulains, a site protected by the French Coastal Protection Agency, is one of the island's best known. It offers an exceptional panoramic view not to be missed. You can access it at low tide and reach the lighthouse that was erected there in 1868. In clear weather, the view stretches over the whole of Quiberon bay and the open sea. The property/museum of the tragedian Sarah Bernhardt, who was particularly fond of this place, can be visited from April to September. Further to the south, the Grotte de l’Apothicairerie cave is another famous Belle-Ile site. It especially reveals its beauty during the equinox storms, when the waves rise above the cliff and the spray takes on the colours of the rainbow. Les Aiguilles de Port-Coton, immortalised on several occasions by the painter Claude Monet, along with Lion Rock, Port Goulphar, Port Domois and Pointe de Pouldon, show a jagged and spectacular dimension. From the coastal path that winds along the wild coast, the view is quite simply amazing! The moors dominating the cliffs are a real refuge for many bird species.

Belle-Ile-en-Mer, moors and villages 

Belle-Ile-en-Mer also features some one hundred picturesque villages with typical houses that are scattered across Belle-Ile's four municipalities – Bangor, Le Palais, Locmaria and Sauzon – like a host of white dots in the middle of the heath. Three lighthouses are still in operation: - Poulains lighthouse, with a range of 23 miles (37 km) - Kerdonis lighthouse, a typical residence and lighthouse at the extreme east of the island - and Goulphar lighthouse (Kervilahouen). The latter, rising 52 m above ground level (92 m above sea level) can be visited. In good weather, it offers an incomparable view over the entire island. 

Belle-Ile-en-Mer in all weathers

Belle-Ile's oceanic climate enjoys a particularly high amount of sunshine. Frosts are rare and rain less frequent than on the continent. Its mild winters (average minimum temperature: 9°C) allow even plants from the Mediterranean to flourish. And thanks to the often-present wind, summer sun is not synonymous with stifling heat.

The beaches, from Plage des Grands Sables to Plage de Donnant

Islands and beaches go hand in hand and Belle-Ile is no exception: the island counts some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern Brittany. With some sixty beaches in total, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to take a dip! Take your pick between the large fine sandy beaches conducive to relaxation and serenity, such as Grands Sables (Locmaria) and the most secluded beaches bordering the cliffs, such as Port Puce (Sauzon) and Vazen (Bangor). It is worth noting that two beaches are supervised in July and August in the Bangor municipality: Plage de Donnant, where the sea is rarely calm but the views impressive, and Plage de Herlin, located at the bottom of a ria sheltered from the wind by the cliff. The variety of the coastal landscapes also offers a fabulous playground for all fans of water sports and activities: surfing, diving, sailing, sea fishing, sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, etc.

Belle-Ile-en-Mer, a fragile and wild land where the fauna and flora must be respected, nonetheless offers a warm welcome. An island open to the world, it is enriched by the numerous and frequent interactions with the continent. Compagnie Océane is proud to be the link between them, every day of the year. 

Fares

 

 

Adult from € 14.00 one way

Child from € 7.00 one way

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Ferry Routes

Time Table

 

5 round trips per day in low season.

Up to 12 round trips per day in high season.

 

 

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Getting to and parking in Quiberon

Boarding for Belle-Ile-en-Mer and Houat and Hoëdic islands takes place at Port Maria ferry terminal in Quiberon,  20 minutes beforehand for passengers.

To ensure that your journey runs smoothly, we recommend that you plan to arrive in Quiberon at least one hour before the departure time of the boat you are boarding.  

 

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Useful Links

Learn more about Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Accéder au site de l'office de tourisme de Belle Ile en Mer Morbihan Tourisme Région Bretagne

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