To get a feel for what Le Croisic is all about, start at the harbour, which brought the town to prominence in the 16th century. It’s from here that salt from the nearby marshes was exported and into where traders from Northern Europe brought wood, iron and coal. Thanks to this commerce and fishing, Le Croisic enjoyed relative administrative and financial independence for many years; its wealth built the church and the two hills at the far end of the harbour. However, its fortunes declined in the 18th century before rising again in the 19th century with the advent of tourism, railways and sardine canneries.
The shellfish trail
Although Le Croisic has an active fishing industry with around 100 fishermen and 33 boats, its port and fish auction are not accessible to the public unlike some other places in Brittany such as Lorient or Le Guilvinec. This part of the coast also has significant shellfish production – Le Croisic is France’s main centre for cockle farming. The tourist office has developed the Route des Coquillages (shellfish trail) along which you can visit producers, take guided tours, eat at recommended restaurants and view the beds. While these activities are mainly aimed at French speakers you can download an MP3 in English from www.zevisit.com.
Fun for all the family
While the adults walk around the old town admiring the 16th-century half-timbered houses, there are a couple of attractions to occupy the kids. Océarium has an underwater tunnel where you can observe Atlantic species, a shark tank and there are penguin feeding sessions daily. The Espace Escargot is a snail farm where you can learn about this fascinating business before tasting the creatures. The area has five attractive sandy beaches and families tend to head to Plage de Port-Lin.