Picture 1 Vannes Picture 2 Vannes

The walled town of Vannes is one of Brittany’s iconic holiday destinations. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover some of the very best things that Brittany has to offer. Sailing-boats, standing stones and oyster farms can all be found within an hour’s drive of the charming city of Vannes, with its harbour and its medieval back streets.

Explore and enjoy Vannes, on foot or by bus

The old town

Explore the old town, with its cathedral set in the midst of half-timbered houses of many hues, and continue your walk along the ramparts that overlook large French-style gardens. Then, in this haven of peace where life is laid-back and relaxed, you can settle down on the terrace of one of the cafés facing the marina for quiet drink. Prefer lazing on the beach? Hop on the bus which will take you to the little Conleau Beach in 17 minutes. The people of Vannes rate its sea-water swimming-pool, especially since the water is warmed by the sun. In the evening, go out and enjoy the bars and restaurants in the lively Saint-Patern district or the harbour’s left bank.

Board a 'Sinagot'

Fancy a sea trip? Nothing could be simpler; adventure is close at hand. It’s just 20 minutes by bus to Port-Anna at Séné where you can board a ‘sinagot’, one of the local fishing boats. Once aboard this superb sailing craft, typical of the Gulf of Morbihan with its black hull and big red sails, you can take the tiller and help to steer.

Beautiful islands

There are hundreds of superb little islands dotted all around the Gulf, and you can visit the island of Arz or the Ile aux Moines (Monks’ Island) on one of the boats that sail several times a day from the Marine Station, a ten-minute bus ride from the city centre. And if you’re keen to try something new, why not take a kayak and enjoy a wonderful excursion on the turquoise waters of this vast enclosed sea?

Things to do within a half-hour’s drive from Vannes

In the course of your weekend, don’t miss the chance to drive a short way out of Vannes and explore the Gulf of Morbihan. With its superb landscapes, its gentle climate and its many iconic sites, it’s the perfect place to explore wonderful scenery and visit amazing places.

Back to the Age of the Megaliths

Morbihan is bristling with extraordinary granite monuments: the megaliths. Amongst the most impressive, and not to be missed, are the world-famous Carnac menhirs; a total of 3,000 menhirs standing in straight lines over several kilometres. At Locmariaquer, the Grand Menhir Brisé (Great Broken Menhir) is a 280-tonne block that prehistoric men somehow managed to stand on its end! On the island of Gavrinis is a dolmen covered with esoteric carvings. And if you’d like to find out more about this period, head for the Musée de la Préhistoire de Carnac (Carnac Museum of Prehistory).

Oyster-tasting on an oyster farm

Did you know that the Gulf of Morbihan is the oyster nursery? This is where most of them are born, before being sent to other parts of the Breton coast to mature. To appreciate the full flavour of these pearls of the seashore, try them straight from the oyster farm. In Baden, Ivan Selo will take you for a stroll through his oyster beds and show you the day-to-day work of an oyster farmer, that has not changed for generations. Then it’s time to taste them!
Find out more about a visit to an oyster farm.

A stroll on the Rhuys Peninsula

To the south, the Gulf of Morbihan is closed off by the Rhuys Peninsula, which is made up of wild natural areas, picturesque harbours and little beaches. During your walk, make a detour to take in the Château de Suscinio. It lies between a lake and the sea and offers guided tours that are quite unique, exhibitions, and activities for children. And nature lovers can tour the Peninsula by bike with Gwen, an enthusiastic guide who will take you on a tour of the salt marshes and other riches of this carefully preserved site.

Places to visit within a one-hour drive from Vannes

If you’d like to delve a little deeper into the Breton hinterland, why not take your car and explore some of the Little Towns of Character or the legendary Forest of Brocéliande.


Probably one of the most beautiful Little Towns of Character in Brittany, Rochefort-en-Terre invites you to take a journey through time. Just look at its ramparts, its château and its old houses! The town is decked with flowers and has a lively atmosphere all year round, with its attractive shops, its art and craft galleries and its artisan workshops. 

La Roche-Bernard

Perched on the edge of a cliff beside the river, La Roche-Bernard is a little town of great character. The timeworn stones of the old dwellings and town houses, built in the little back streets leading down to the old harbour, show that the town owes its birth and its prosperity to the trade passing through its port.


Josselin is symbolised by the imposing towers of its château, mirrored in the River Oust. Stroll through its delightful little back streets and visit the basilica. In this little town, you’re right at the heart of the history of Brittany: the château still belongs to the Rohan family, one of the most ancient families of the region.

The Forest of Brocéliande

Everybody’s heard of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table and the wizard, Merlin. The magnificent Forest of Brocéliande, lying between the moors and the lagoons, was the scene of some of their great feats of arms and romantic intrigues. As you ramble through this beautiful forest you’ll come across places of legend whose very names are evocative: the Vale of No Return, Merlin’s Tomb and the Fairies’ Looking-Glass.


April: Festival of Marine Photography

May: The Gulf Week – Rally of traditional sailing vessels

July: Vannes Historical Festivals

July: Jazz in Vannes

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