Brittany Islands

Written by on 25th April 2015 in Blog with 1 Comment

Glenan Islands cap

Whilst we come from an Island to get to Brittany and then may be happy not to get on a boat again, there are some great short trips that can be made to the close by offshore islands of Brittany.

The most famous of which is surely Mont St Michel, the tiny rock with a town on it is about to be returned to the sea! The causeway that has linked it with the mainland for nearly a hundred years is finally being removed in 2015 letting the sea once again swirl around the island a high tides. These tides arrive so quickly that they are reputed to run faster that a horse, so do not be tempted onto the flats.

Or how about the subtropical island of Batz just off the coast from Roscoff? It’s a short 15 minute boat ride to this sub-tropical paradise of the Exotic Garden. This garden is full of handsome species, about 1500 shrubs from every continent. The island is car free, but you can hire bikes for a quick tour before returning to the little village for a well-rewarded Breton pancake and cider!

Swinging from the north coast to the south coast you come across the crab like Ile de Sein, an almost flat outcrop about 5 miles off the coast beyond the Pointe du Raz. This little islet has a fascinating story from WW2. On 6 July 1940 General de Gaulle assembled the first 600 Free French volunteers who had been able to make it across the channel to London. He discovered that 150 of them, the entire male population of the islands, were from Sein. The General was astonished and famously said that the Ile de Sein is thus a quarter of France! You can visit the island from Audierne which takes about an hour.

A little further south, just off the coast near Benodet are the Glenan Islands. There are regular boat trips from several ports along the coast including Benodet and Concarneau. They are all small enough to only need an hour to explore them, but the deep blue seas around them and the dazzling white sands make you feel as though you are in the Caribbean! The seas are so clear that you can take a glass bottomed boat trip and see the abundance of marine life that populates the seas.

During my next trip to Brittany in May I will be visiting the Ile de Sein and the Glenan islands – so look out for my reports and hopefully some great photos.

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