Peninsula of dreams
Jutting out into the sea for 9 miles (14km) and just 72ft (22m) wide at its narrowest point, the Quiberon Peninsula is a tourist destination par excellence. With its rugged coastline, sweeping sandy beaches, fishing villages and rich cultural history, this beautiful area of Morbihan won’t disappoint.
The wild coast
On the western side, the 5 mile (8km)-long Côte Sauvage (wild coast) is the perfect place for getting back to nature via a bracing walk. On the way you’ll pass hidden caves, arches and coves – but swimming is strictly forbidden due to the rough sea. The area is rich in flora and fauna, with a mix of dunes and heathland. As well as spectacular views over the coast and Belle-Île, Brittany’s largest island, you’ll encounter the remains of a Roman fish farm and a Bronze Age fort plus plenty of swooping seabirds.
Quiberon’s beaches have something to interest all tastes. The windy, sandy expanses west of Penthièvre in the north are popular with horse-riders, sand-yachters and surfers whereas families favour the sheltered beaches around St-Pierre-Quiberon in the south. Wherever you are, you won’t be far from someone who can teach you a watersport or hire you some equipment.
The villages of Quiberon are a joy to behold: little clusters of granite or blue-and-white-painted fishermen’s cottages, ancient chapels; four ports where fishermen unload their catch and where weekenders moor their cruisers. Port Maria used to be France’s principal sardine fishing port and it still has around 200 fishing boats; it’s here too that you catch the ferry over to Belle-Île.
St-Pierre-Quiberon is the peninsula’s main village and it’s here that most of the activity takes place. The streets are crammed with fish restaurants, chandlers’ shops, art galleries and home deco boutiques. St-Pierre is best known as being the home of La Belle-Iloise fish cannery, where you can take a free tour of the factory before enjoying a tasting. Younger family members will love the niniche lollipops from Maison d’Armorine.
Did you know?
The French navy suffered its worst ever defeat by the English during the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759.
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