Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago

Lighthouses, paradise islands, grey seals and bottlenose dolphins

Picture 1 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 2 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 3 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 4 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 5 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 6 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 7 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago Picture 8 Explore the many beautiful sites of the Molène archipelago

Are you ready for an unforgettable trip to explore the Molène archipelago and the Iroise Natural Marine Park? Christel and Lucky, both big fans of nature and the sea, offer an excursion setting out from Le Conquet for a day full of smiles, memorable experiences and amazing panoramic views.

One of the most capricious stretches of water in the world

La Pointe Saint Mathieu

10:30. As we set off from the harbour without a care in the world, Lucky puts us in the picture: “The swell is often very lively here, and the tidal currents are among the strongest in Europe. What’s more, there are over a hundred tiny islands and rocky reefs just below the surface, so you can see why the Iroise sea has seen more shipwrecks than you can count.” That’s encouraging! But today, fortunately, the sea is like a mill-pond and we have blazing sunshine to see us on our way to the Pointe Saint-Mathieu headland. Lucky tells us about the legend and the history of the 11th century abbey, and the stele erected in memory of sailors lost at sea, before setting a course due west.

An incredible encounter !

L'archipel de Molène

Lucky slows the boat, and Christel calls the bottlenose dolphins, using their pet names: "Grifouille, Bidule, Cyrano....” In next to no time, five or six of them pop up out of the sea around the bow. On board, we cannot help smiling in amazement. Christel and Lucky track the group’s behaviour in real time. “For four years we’ve seen them on practically every trip, but it’s always the dolphins who decide whether or not to approach,” he explains. Suddenly, a baby dolphin comes up to the boat with its mother. “It can’t be more than a few days old, I’ve never seen such a tiny one,” cries Christel, as enthralled as the rest of us.

The ‘Pierres Noires’ lighthouse

Le phare des Pierres Noires

The bravery of the lighthouse keepers, the never-ending building work, the perils of drawing alongside... Lucky has endless stories about the six ‘Enfer’ lighthouses that stand in splendid isolation in the Iroise sea. “The Pierres Noires lighthouse is 28 metres high, and last winter it had to withstand waves that were more than 23 metres high.” That gives you an idea of the turmoil that reigns here when a storm is raging! As we resume our journey towards Molène, we are treated to the astonishing sight of seaweed harvesters with their ‘scoobydoos’, which are like strange metal arms that pick up the seaweed in a kind of swirling ballet.

An island interlude

L'île Molène

13:00. We stop off on dry land long enough to have lunch and wander around Molène, with its narrow street, flower-covered houses, grassy paths and little creeks of bright blue water. Just a little way out of town you begin to feel as though you are truly in the middle of nowhere, with only the gentle lapping of the waves to disturb the silence of this place, made by the sea.

A few seals to add the finishing touch !

Les phoques gris de l'archipel de Molène

17:00. Our little group goes back onboard and we sail past the Isle of Quéménès, where Soizic and David have a farm, the Isle of Litiry, and Cromic Rock, which looks first like a dog, then a rabbit, then an eagle... A little further on we spot a group of grey seals basking on a tiny island. We have to be very careful. “They’re two metres long and they weigh 200 kilos, but for all that they’re very shy. If we scare them, they’ll slide off into the water,” warns Lucky, who is a firm believer in letting these sleeping mammals lie. Then, around a rocky corner, we come upon three baby seals with their beautiful pale-coloured fur; what a wonderful sight!

The Molène archipelago

L'archipel de Molène

Before bringing us safely back to dry land, Lucky takes us for a short blast at high speed, letting the 600 hp engine of his rigid hulled inflatable take us up to 90 kilometres an hour. Talk about having the wind in your hair! “How could anyone fail to enjoy a day like this?” asks one of the group members, Olivier, who comes from Auvergne. And indeed, what better way to sum up such an incredible day?

Text: Julie Danet

Additional information:

Advance booking only
Departure between 10:30 and 11:00 from Le Conquet harbour (report to the Finist'Mer kiosk at the Gare Maritime railway station)
Bring warm clothing, sun cream and sunglasses
Lunch on the island is not included in the programme. There are places on the island that serve food, or you can bring your own picnic
Arrival back at Le Conquet at approximately 17:30 / 18:00
Archipel Excursions also offer other discovery trips, full details available at: http://www.archipelexcursions.fr/index.html

With TripAdvisor’s reviews from travellers

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