Happiness is a simple affair
You arrive in Houat, a 5-km long island, via a lively port where shiny boats are moored in herringbone fashion. Fishermen have the best spots here. Modest, authentic and discreet describe the island. Crates pile up on the docks. Shellfish, sea bass and conger eels arrive still wriggling.
A steep street leads to the village. Gently, careful not to disturb anything, enter the narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses and blue shutters. The slate roofs are cemented to resist the wind, which blows constantly on this piece of land, keeping the clouds away. At least that means it’s sunny!
A magical tour!
Beyond the village, escape from it all. There are no roads or walls, and the colourful moor is streaked with sandy paths. A path goes around the island. The cliffs on the south-west coast are notched with idyllic coves. To the west, the strange Beg er Vachif rock supports an abandoned battery. The northern cliff is softened thanks to denser vegetation. The jewel on the east coast is Treac’h er Goured beach with its fine sand, which surrounds Pointe de Tal er Hah. The clear water is very appealing, but often very cold. In the dunes, sea daffodils and marram grasses mark your way. Don’t walk on them!
Sisters in heart and mind
Houat and its little sister, Hoëdic, were not always islands. In the Mesolithic period, they were connected to the Quiberon Peninsula. Today, there are 15 km between them and the mainland. Coveted by the English, the island was occupied in the 17th and 18th centuries: the remains of a fort can still be seen. In 1822, the island adopted an original organisation, made official by the “Charter of Hoëdic”: it became a theocracy, governed by the rector. This form of independence is still perceptible today.