BELLE ÎLE EN MER
Galettes, crêpes and cider
Sun, waves and white sandy beaches
Stone houses & hydrangea
To get to this little paradise, you will need to take the ferry from Quiberon with Compagnie Océane.
- If you are planning to take your car to the Island (which I highly recommend although there are many options once you are there, see Commute below), book your tickets in advance because space is limited.
- If you are leaving your car behind in Quiberon, no real need to book in advance. There will be a big parking lot with a Bus system taking you straight to the Ferry.
You’ll most probably arrive at Le Palais, the main town with Supermarkets, Restaurants and Shops. Get an ice cream or a galette as soon as you get off the boat 😉
You can be everywhere on the Island in 15 to 20 minutes so if you have a car/ scooter/ ebike, not a problem. If you only have a bicycle I hope you trained before getting there cause it’s a hilly Island 😉 Also renting 2 bicycles is pretty much the same price as renting a scooter so unless you are super öko, consider option B, you’ll thank me later.
Must see or rather what we saw:
Phare de Goulphar
Galettes & Crêpes:
Our fav crêperie is Les Embruns. Their ingredients are mostly organic. The service is fast and good, the portions are perfect and the food delish. Plus there is a really cute view on the harbor of Sauzon. This town was definitely a highlight. A big thank you to our friends who showed us this gem.
A door of Sauzon
- Plage de Vazen: dreamy! Not many people and full of little secret spots. Be aware of the tide though. You will understand when you get there.
- Plage de Donnant: the only beach where you can surf! Between 2pm and 7pm, the lifeguards watch the beach so it is CROWDED and no surf lesson is allowed during those times. There are not many people in the early morning and late evening though (the sun sets around 10pm in the Summer which gives you plenty of time). You can easily be the only one in the water then! Wear a wetsuit 3/2 minimum. You can rent boards at the local surf school although they won’t rent anything during their class times (basically the whole morning until 2pm and after 7pm). So the best option is to either BYO or to rent in Le Palais. We rented at Moonbreak, great customer service, cool clothes and the best board ever: a Notox cork board, we all fell in love with!
- Plage des Grands Sables: for all water sports! There you can rent Stand Up Paddle boards and they even had SUP/Yoga classes.
I wouldn’t be a real french if I would not add some downsides so here they come:
- If you are foreign, be prepared to not get the best customer service. Or like my BF says: ‘it’s not that it’s bad, it just doesn’t exist’. Even though in the french language we say: ‘the Customer is King’, we don’t actually apply this saying like ever. Just be aware that you might perceive some answers as rude 😉
- Between the croissants, crêpes and baguettes, watch out for the gluten overdose 😉 Only the galettes are gluten-free (made with buckwheat flour).
- If you are used to those city hipster cappuccino, you might not like french style coffee (blog post about good coffee in Basel coming soon…).
- If you drive there, know that it’s suuuuuper far + the highway will be quite pricey. Compare the options beforehand: train, plane and car. Book in advance whatever you choose (cf. Ferry §). We split the way each time. More on that below.
But in the end it was just as dreamy as I had imagined and I’m hoping to be back soon!
Our 2 stop-over:
On our way there: we stopped in Nantes. I’ve been wanting to visit this city for a while and luckily A) it was on the way, B) my friend Mathilde was home and she gave us a tour of the city: first the old town with its Castle, Cathedral and cute streets. Then we visited Les Machines de l’île and became kids again. Of course there is so much more to discover but we were really looking forward to see the Ocean and that’s what we managed to do in half a day.
On our way back: we stopped in Fontainebleau, THE most famous outdoor bouldering site on the planet. We met people from everywhere, walked on white sand again and faced our fears! Everything you need to know about the place HERE.