Islands: Ouessant, Bréhat, Belle-Île, Sein, Groix

Brittany’s islands (External link) offer a complete change of scene and pace. Hidden coves, stretches of fine sand and almost tropical-looking shallows… you’d be forgiven for thinking you were the other side of the world! Don’t miss…

Bréhat (External link)

One of Brittany’s loveliest islands, off the coast of Paimpol (External link) . It actually consists of several islets around two small, car-free islands, joined by a bridge at low tide. Easily accessible by a regular 10-minute boat journey from Pointe de l’Arcouest. The Gulf Stream’s microclimate allows palm trees, eucalyptus, agapanthus, hydrangeas and geraniums to flourish – and Bréhat (External link) also attracts its fair share of birds including gulls, cormorants and 270 pairs of puffins, which nest among the pink rocks.

Ouessant (External link)

Regarded as the gateway to the English Channel, situated 30km off the coast of Le Conquet (External link) and France’s most westerly point (Pointe de Pern). The island is well known for its lighthouses and indigenous black sheep. Lampaul, the island’s main village, has around 900 inhabitants and its cemetery is well worth a visit.

Belle-Île (External link)

The largest of Brittany’s islands, 14km from the Quiberon peninsula (External link) . It’s dominated by its main port, Le Palais, with a 16th-century citadel fortified by Vauban. Ideal for hiring bicycles and enjoying the relaxed pace of life. Its archipelago includes two smaller islets, Houat and Hoëdic, with sandy beaches and white fishermen’s houses.

Groix (External link)

Once a key tuna-fishing island, accessible from Lorient in 45 minutes. A popular destination in the summer months offering family-friendly beaches, migration locations for birdwatchers and interesting rocks and minerals for keen geologists.

Sein (External link)

A treeless island, well known for treacherous waters due to a vast network of reefs just below the surface. The island women once wore the highest headdresses in Brittany and had a reputation for enticing sailors onto the rocks by witchcraft.