©Yannick Derennes
Play at being Robinson Crusoe on Milliau Island This island off the Pink Granite Coast could be all yours for a night.
Brittany Experience

Play at being Robinson Crusoe on Milliau Island

Are you a born adventurer, longing to star in your own Robinson Crusoe adventure? At the heart of the Pink Granite Coast is an island called Milliau, which can be reached on foot at low tide. When the tide starts coming in the walkers depart, and then it’s just you and your companions, completely on your own. You’ll stay in a former farmhouse and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the island, go for a swim, or simply laze: you have 23 hectares of freedom to do whatever you want. You might be only a 10 minute walk from the mainland, but you’ll feel as if you’re light years away !

Head down to the beach

On a fine day in autumn, Aurélia, Franck and their friends are clambering over the rocks in the middle of a beach. They’re looking for their gîte. Has the sea air confused them? Not in the least – they’re headed for Milliau, a small uninhabited island where they’re going to spend the night in a delightful renovated farmhouse. On this particular morning, the eight adults and four children have arranged to meet up at Trébeurden harbour, on the Pink Granite Coast. With walking boots and rucksacks, they’re all geared up for this slightly madcap adventure.

Trees on pink rocks

You have to work to get to Milliau – but it’s definitely worth the effort! To get there, we have to cross orange-tinted rocks, sculpted by the wind. The game’s afoot! A quick burst of effort… and we stop for a rest right at the foot of the island. Our group is getting into the holiday spirit already. The kiddies are watching little crabs running about in the rock-pools. Above us are trees that seem to have grown out of the pink rock, as if by magic. Let’s go!

Paradise for kids

Beyond the trees, the path goes through bracken that’s turned bronze in the sun. Oh lovely – there are blackberries too! From the top of a hill, we can see the farmhouse and the sea far below. The children run around visiting the three houses: Bihit, Toëno and Castel. It doesn’t take long to decide: they all want to sleep in the big dormitory together. There’s no TV or computer here. But they don’t even notice. One of them has already discovered a megalithic burial chamber behind the house, and our young Robinson Crusoes try to fathom it out, while their parents lay out a picnic, on the farmhouse’s typical Trégor furniture.

6,000 eventful years

While we’re eating, the last walkers set off back before the passage is covered by the incoming tide. Soon we’ll be on our own. Maël, the warden of Milliau, has just arrived in his boat. He checks that everybody has settled in happily, stays for a coffee and opens up the little museum, where we find out that the island has been inhabited for 6,000 years. From the Irish monk Milliau, who gave the island its name, to the actress who used to meet her lover Aristide Briand here, Maël knows all the secrets of ‘his’ island, and he tends it every day with the greatest care.

It’s rush hour on the sea

In the afternoon we walk as far as the gorse and bracken-covered northern tip of the island. Looking in one direction, the clear outline of the island of Batz can be seen on the horizon. Over the other side, beaches and other little islands sparkle in the sun. The colour of the sea changes from turquoise to navy blue. Some large black cormorants are taking a rest on a rock that’s poking up out of the waves. Suddenly, the four boats that have been fishing there start making for Trébeurden harbour, and three yachts come sailing merrily out. “They’ve just opened the harbour,” Maël explains with a laugh. “It’s rush hour!”

Mr. Wolf comes to dinner

At about 15:00 Maël goes back to the mainland in his boat. Now the whole island belongs to us! All of it: the little wood, the cliffs, and the cove where we might go for a swim if the fancy takes us. Maybe we’ll see a rabbit or two, and the children are bound to want to play some more on the rocks. They might go to bed quite late tonight. We’ll eat outside in the yard, and Franck wants to play ‘Werewolf’ after dinner. What else? Maybe nothing more than just watching the sun go down, showing off the pink granite rocks at their most beautiful. It doesn’t matter – we have plenty of time, and we can do whatever we like.


When the tide starts coming in the walkers depart, and then it’s just you and your companions, completely on your own.

Price from


per person

This experience includes

  • One night in a fully-equipped short stay gîte on Milliau Island, off the coast of Trébeurden.
  • A meeting with the island’s warden

Practical information

  • The short-stay self-catering accommodation (gîtes d’étape) on Milliau Island can be booked from April to October (possibility to buy pellets to heat the accommodation)
  • For full details of these short-stay gîtes on Milliau Island, and to see the booking schedule for 2019 – available very soon – visit the website
  • Number of participants (max): 17
Official website of tourism in Brittany