Morbihan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Brittany – and we know why! It’s the perfect mix of country and coast and there’s so much to fall in love with. Here are five of our favourite things to see in magical Morbihan…
The Gulf of Morbihan
The region takes its name from the words: Mor-Bihan, which means "little sea" in the Breton language. The natural harbour of the Gulf of Morbihan is the most famous feature of the coast line and is included in the official "Club of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World". Apart from its good looks it’s also great for nautical jaunts. And if that’s not enough, there are, apparently, 365 islands off the coast, perfect for explorers!
Picture perfect port town of Auray
Whatever you have planned when you’re in the Morbihan area, do seek out the 15th century picture perfect port of St Goustan in Auray, named after the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. Approach it via a steep narrow road just off the square leading you down to the river Auray. As you cross the bridge you will enter an almost perfectly preserved 600 year old harbour that is today full of restaurants and cafés, a great place to pass the time. Often there are ancient boats tied up at the quayside giving a flavour of times past.
It was here that Benjamin Franklin landed in December 1776 for secret meetings with the King of France. Franklin took the road to Paris to ask France for help in the American War of Independence and one of the quays is now named after him.
Historic City of Vannes
This little town of winding cobbled streets is a place of history, character, colour and beautiful medieval architecture. With its rues full of cafés, restaurants and quaint little shops selling local produce and gifts, it makes for a perfect day out. If you’re lucky enough to be there when the market is on, you’ll discover the sleepy town come to life. From fresh bread, cheeses, olives and seafood, clothes, shoes and leather goods, you’ll be sure to find a treat!
In Carnac discover the French equivalent of Stonehenge – but much bigger. Carnac is known throughout the world for its unique rows of ancient standing stones. The megalithic mystery of these incredible, huge blocks of stones makes most people stop in their tracks. Don’t miss a trip to the lovely long sandy beach of Carnac Plage and the chance to enjoy succulent oysters which are farmed in the area…
Off the beaten track: Chapel Sainte Barbe
Tucked away in the small town of Le Faouet is a beautiful romantic chapel, with fairy tale style turrets and surrounded by stunning countryside. The chapel was built in gratitude to Sainte Barbe by a knight seeking shelter from a great storm hundreds of years ago. Inside there are wonderful statues and stained-glass windows. Take the path down to the river to discover a natural spring. It’s the perfect place to take a moment, sit by the flowing river and listen to it find its way down to the coast, the wildlife here is wonderful. Don’t forget to ring the bell in the guardhouse and make a wish on your way back on to the centre of town – it’s a tradition here!
In the town you’ll find an art museum reflecting the heritage of this secret part of Brittany which has inspired many artists over the centuries. There are plenty of little cafés and a lively market (first and third Wednesday of the month), and don’t miss the 16th century covered market place…
Morbihan is home to dozens of off the beaten track gorgeous little villages, just waiting for you to discover them.
Tourist office website: www.morbihan.com/
French Connections has loads of lovely holiday homes in the area – we love to help you make your holiday wishes come true…