The Citadel – Photo Credit: Belle-Île-en-Mer Tourist Office
"Moored" 15 kilometres off Quiberon, Belle-Île-en-Mer is the largest of Breton islands. 20 km long, it measures 9 km at its widest point with a maximum altitude of 71 m above sea level. It has a permanent population of almost 5,000.
A spectrum of colours and contrasts, the aptly named Belle-Île changes from one moment to the next. For the traveller arriving from the mainland, it offers a coastline that is well sheltered from prevailing winds, verdant valleys, long stretches of sandy beaches and small shaded villages. The island exudes tranquility and coolness on its eastern side, where the colourful harbour of Sauzon nestles in a floral setting, together with Le Palais, principal town and main port of call, still seemingly protected by Vauban’s Citadel.
Battered by winds off the sea, the wild western coast offers a savage, constantly-renewed beauty: jagged cliffs, strange-shaped rocks and deep caves. The coast also features myriad valleys, fine-sand beaches, inlets harbouring a surprisingly blue-green water, dunes and foam-topped roller waves.
The air here is particularly pure. The Gulf Stream ensures warm summers and mild winters, which explains why, despite frequent hints of Scotland or Ireland, the vegetation also features numerous examples of Mediterranean flora which thrive on the island.
We trust your island stopover will be sufficiently long for you to enjoy its many different aspects and wish you a pleasant stay on Belle-Île-en-Mer.