What to do in Belle-Ile en Mer?
This island has an exceptional environment. It admirably deserves its name!
Belle-île is 17 km long by 9 km wide. The landscape is really stunning and there are such varied and spectacular panoramas.
Not to be missed:
- Pointe des Poulains (with Fort de Sarah Bernardt and the Poulains Lighthouse)
- Les Aiguilles de Port-Coton
- La Citadelle Vauban – The Apothecary’s Cave.
- The Lighthouse and the Port of Goulphar
Not forgetting the coastal paths, the fine sandy beaches and the port of Sauzon. Take a tour around the whole island to discover the breathtaking scenery and the wild coastline.
La Citadelle Vauban
A fort designed by Vauban which dominates the town of Palais. This fort defended the island against pirates, the Spanish and especially the English.
It was also used as a prison during the Second World War (some evidence of this still remains today) and when it was abandoned by the army, it was sold in 1960 to two private individuals who completely restored it.
The fortress is built of granite in the shape of a star which today symbolizes more than a thousand years of history. After 40 years of restoration, La Citadelle has become a quality hostelry with a renowned restaurant “La Table du Gouverneur”.
The Lighthouse and the Port of Goulphar
A lighthouse in the heart of the Belliloise moor…
This natural site has been the subject of a vast restoration programme. Open to the public, you can climb the 247 steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the breathtaking panorama and, on a clear day, to see the continent from Croisic to Lorient.
The Goulphar is a real landmark for boats crossing this sea. With its 1000 watts lamp, it has one of the most powerful lights in Brittany.
Port Goulphar is a very popular bay for boats as it offers a safe place to shelter on the west coast of the island. It is easy to access and has convenient mooring. There is even a small staircase which allows you to disembark easily.
Les Aiguilles de Port Coton
One of the most remarkable sites of Belle-Ile-en-Mer, located on the wild coast near the big lighthouse and the Port-Goulphar.
Jagged rocks, shaped by the waves, provide a haven for seabirds. The Aiguilles de Port-Coton take their name from the fact that the sea swirls, bubbles and swells like a big bundle of cotton wool.
The famous painter Claude Monnet painted this site as early as 1886. Installed near the Gouplhar lighthouse, Monnet painted the needles of Port Coton in all weathers. He was captivated by the beauty and the different lighting as the weather changed.
Today, the Port-Coton site attracts tourists from all over the world.
La pointe du Poulain
A peninsula located in the north-west of Belle-île en Mer, near Sauzon.
A magical and impressive place where the sea rages! At high tide, the Poulains lighthouse becomes an island because the sea encircles the rocks and it is no longer accessible. The Pointe des Poulains site welcomes more than 150,000 visitors each year. The beauty of the landscapes, classified as a natural area of ecological interest, and the Fort de Sarah Bernardt make this site the must-see of Belle Ile.
- Le Phare des Poulains – Built in 1868, this lighthouse is now no longer manned thanks to its 32m² of photovoltaic solar panels.
- The Fort de Sarah Bernardt – This famous actress fell in love with the Pointe des Poulains and decided to settle there by buying the fort. She lived there every summer until her death in 1923.
The Biscuit Factory visit
An artisanal and family biscuit factory founded in 1999, open all year round.
During your visit to the biscuit factory “La Bien Nommée”, you will be able to taste (free of charge) the Breton palets, the small shortbreads of Belle Ile and the salted butter caramels. You will also, of course, be able to buy their produce in their factory shop.
How to get to Belle Ile?
On foot, by bike or by car with the Compagnie Océane from Quiberon in 45 minutes.
Once on Belle Ile, you will have various options to discover our beautiful landscapes; you could rent a bike, scooter, motorcycle, traditional car or typical car (mehari, 2CV …).