©Yannick Le Gal
From little villages to charming ports in Southern BrittanyAn ideal route between the land and the sea
Trip idea

From little villages to charming ports in Southern Brittany

Land or sea? You don’t need to choose! Between delightful towns and pretty ports, South Morbihan has so much to offer… Six days to enjoy the region’s essential sites. Just follow the guide!

Suggestion for break in
6 days

At a glance

Welcome to Southern Brittany! This region will enchant you with its varied landscapes, its charming villages and its sense of simple pleasures, starting with enjoying an oyster overlooking the Gulf of Morbihan. It’s one of the essential things to do on this route. It will lead you to the ocean, to Groix Island, to Saint-Goustan near the River Auray, the meanders of Ria d’Etel and the cobbled alleyways of Rochefort-en-Terre. Six days, between the land and the sea 

Head to Groix, a treasure island

From the Lorient ferry terminal, head to Groix. As soon as you arrive on the island, you’ll feel the gentle lifestyle that reigns here.
In Port-Tudy, observe the joyful sight of passengers and goods being unloaded. As you go up towards the village, you’ll walk alongside some beautiful houses with colourful façades, which once belonged to shipowners. In the morning, take a trip to the indoor market with stalls laden with abalones, mussels, fresh fish and more. Appetising.
Set off to discover the treasures of Groix, including its surprising Sable-Rouges beach with red shades and the convex and moving Grands-Sables beach. Your exploration will include wild heath-covered headlands, hidden ports and coves, megaliths, chapels and charming villages.
Are you lost? Ask a Groisillon the way. The islanders’ sense of hospitality is not just a legend!

  • Between Groix and Hennebont, the bay of Lorient offers exceptional navigation conditions and six ports which are all charming stopping points.
  • With 40 km of bicycle routes, cycling is the best way to get around Groix. You can also opt for an electric car.

Walk with view of Ria d’Etel

Today’s programme includes a lovely walk on Ria d’Etel. Marked in yellow, the Blignac path starts at Pont-Lorois, in Belz. As you pass under the structure, notice the force of the tide that marks the rhythm of this sound. It’s impressive.
Ria d’Etel covers 4 km of colourful landscapes: islands, lagoons, marshes and oyster farms. On the way, watch terns and herons that come here to play. This easy-access path will take you to Sach Mill, a former tidal mill. If you continue along Bignac lake, you’ll get back to your starting point.
After the walk, take time to wander on the banks of the Etel. They offer the best view of the emblematic wrecks of the Magoüer trawlers. A boat cemetery that bears witness to Etel’s tuna port past. Moving…

  • Ria d’Etel is a small, winding inland sea scattered with around 20 little islands. Its preserved nature and the light that changes to the rhythm of the tides create a delightful place.
  • The little island of Saint-Cado is a “must-see” on Ria d’Etel. From the stone bridge, the view of the famous Nichtarguer house with its blue shutters is amazing. Get your cameras ready!

Saint-Pierre-Quiberon, its villages and ports, by bike 

A jaunt in Quiberon bay is essential! Hop on a bike in Plouharnel and take the “La Littorale” green route. You’ll ride amidst the shade of leaning maritime pines in Quiberon forest to the isthmus of Penthièvre, at the entrance to the peninsular.
After a stop at Saint-Pierre-Quiberon market, head to Port Orange. Linger on the terrace facing the sea and enjoy the delicious seaside atmosphere.
Do you fancy a “beach” afternoon? From Kerhostin to Rohu, the beaches on the bay are ideal for enjoying the pleasures of the sea. You can also continue to the Kerbougnec alignments. Five rows of around 20 standing stones shrouded in mystery.
At the end of the day, head to Portivy. On the west coast, this former fishing port is the ideal spot for watching the sun set.

  • A long walk on one of the five beaches – Sainte-Barbe, Ty Hoche, La Guérite, Le Mentor or Mané Guen – in Plouharnel will satisfy anyone who loves the ocean.
  • To head back, save your legs and hop on board the “Tire-Bouchon”, the regional express train that circulates from the end of June to the end of August between Auray and Quiberon.

Let time stand still in Saint-Goustan

A trip through Southern Brittany is also a journey back in time. In the morning, set off to discover the Saint-Goustan district, a medieval gem nestled on the Auray river. You’ll access this former trading port via a 13th-century stone bridge. Stroll around its quays, where Benjamin Franklin landed in 1776.
Higher up, you’ll meander through the alleyways lined with half-timbered houses. Some of these accommodate second-hand dealers and artists’ workshops where you might pick up that rare gem.
Keep your afternoon free for a lesson in traditional sailing. The Indomptable, a restored former cockling boat, proposes half-day outings on the River Auray. You can also set off on a day trip on the Unity of Lynn and enjoy a cruise combining navigating and tasting. To the rigs!

  • Although these cobbled streets give it a medieval character, they also emphasise the maritime history of Saint-Goustan, which was an important port in the time of the sailing ships.
  • River Auray, which stretches from Port-Navalo to Saint-Goustan, is lined with lush landscapes, hiding some magnificent properties that can only be seen by boat.

The Gulf of Morbihan, at the heart of the oyster business

Do you like oysters? Then head to the Gulf of Morbihan, where oysters are real stars!
First stop: Arradon port. Walk along the jetty and enjoy the view of Île-aux-Moines, Logoden or Holavre. Follow the coastal path to go round Pointe d’Arradon.
On the way back, stop at Yvonnick Jégat’s yard. On fine days, this passionate oyster farmer proposes tasting tours. You can buy on-site all year round.
In Sarzeau, fall under the spell of Logéo port. Boats moored up, little dinghies drying on the slipway… what an adorable setting! Enjoy it while you have a drink, then continue to Pointe de Bénance, Pointe de Bréhuidic or Pointe de Ruault… at the heart of the oyster business on the Rhuys peninsular. A tip: stop by to taste oysters and seafood direct from the producers. This is where they are at their freshest and best!

  • Recommended addresses: Les Huîtres Jégat in Arradon, Viviers du Logéo and Viviers du Ruault in Sarzeau
  • Find out all about the Gulf oysters

Rochefort-en-Terre, the favourite village of the French

Flowers in summer and fairytale illuminations at Christmas. Whatever the season, it’s a real delight to discover Rochefort-en-Terre, elected the favourite village of the French in 2016.
To avoid the crowds, come early in the morning or at the end of the afternoon. Wander aimlessly from one little street to the next, between half-timbered houses, Gothic and Renaissance residences. Craft boutiques have taken up residence in these old buildings. Perhaps you’ll be tempted by a piece of jewellery, a leather bag or… nougat!
You’ll inevitably pass through the pretty Place du Puits. With its floral balconies and impeccable half-timbered houses, it looks like a picture postcard.
To end your escapade in Rochefort, venture to the Naïa Museum. Unusual metallic creatures, half-insect, half-machine, will welcome you. A fantastic and fascinating universe.

  • At Moulin-Neuf guest house, you’ll have the best seat in the house to enjoy the exceptional view of the lake. There is also a restaurant and bar. The cocktail, beer and spirit menu is impressive!
  • From Place Saint-Michel, enjoy an exceptional view of the surrounding shale hills. They were once used to build the town.

We like

  • Drinking a coffee at the “Greks”, a Breton nickname given to the residents of Groix, which means “coffee maker”. Because coffee is a veritable institution on the island!
  • Navigating on the River Auray, along the wooded banks and having the feeling of entering the heartland of Brittany.

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