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Aerial view of the Gulf of Morbihan

- ® © Poriel Thibault / Easyvoyage
Morbihan
Morbihan

A breath of fresh air between land and sea

Morbihan in short

The ideal gateway to Brittany, the département of Morbihan (which means " little sea" in Breton) is astonishing for the diversity of its landscapes. Jagged coastlines battered by the ocean, peaceful bays where sailing boats sail, picturesque villages with stone houses, grandiose islands and enchanting forests all combine to offer visitors a cocktail of sensations and discoveries. A paradise for nature lovers, Morbihan is also steeped in history. Fans of the Middle Ages can wander through the charming narrow streets of the town of Vannes, admiring the remarkable half-timbered houses, or visit the village of Rochefort en terre, a small town full of character classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.

The picturesque medieval village of Rochefort en terre

- © Rolf E. Staerk / Shutterstock

A land of mystery, Morbihan has preserved the magic inherited from Celtic tales and Arthurian myths through its rich heritage. History and legends are intertwined at the many archaeological sites dotted around the region. The menhirs dominating the cliffs, the majestic dolmens and other astonishing stone alignments all bear witness to a Celtic past that continues to make the heart of Brittany beat faster. The ocean also brings its share of supernatural legends that continue to haunt the ports and fishing villages.

As well as the blue and white bowls bearing your name that pile up in tourist shops and the "A l'aise Breizh" stickers proudly displayed on windscreens, Celtic culture is still firmly rooted in Morbihan. The legendary Interceltic Festival, which takes place every August in the town of Lorient, attracts thousands of visitors every year. Featuring a different Celtic country each year, the festival is a veritable hive of concerts and traditional dance balls, where the sound of the bagpipes and binious can take you on a wild ride.

Menhirs in the Morbihan forest

- © STEPHANE ELFORDY / Shutterstock

Morbihan is also, and above all, an area of incredible scenic beauty that will delight hiking enthusiasts. In every season, nature is in full bloom, enveloped in the golden light so typical of southern Brittany. The colours are ever-changing, just like the weather! Don't forget your foulies, but bear in mind that the sea breezes can blow clouds of bad weather away as quickly as they arrived. One of the most beautiful landscapes in the region (and indeed in France!) is, of course, the famous Golfe du Morbihan, a veritable link between land and sea. With its mild climate and multitude of islands and islets dotting its waters (including the island of Groix and the superb Rhuys peninsula), it's a great place to get away from it all and enjoy the good life. It's also the ideal place to practise a water sport, go on a boat trip or simply enjoy the pleasures of the beach. The Bay of Quiberon also has many treasures to offer, from the legendary waves of the long beach at Erdeven to the Ria d'Etel, home to the picturesque islet of Saint-Cado, not forgetting of course Carnac and its famous alignments.

Gulf of Morbihan

- © Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock

With family, friends or lovers, a trip to southern Brittany is a breath of fresh air... and a glass of cider. From the incomparable seafood to the crêpes topped with salted butter caramel and the famous kouign-amann, whose deliciousness is equalled only by the astronomical amount of butter used to make it, Morbihan is a gourmet destination of the first choice.

© Morbihan Tourisme

How to get there?

👉 To get to Morbihan by plane, southern Brittany is served by Vannes airport andLorient airport , where there are daily flights to Paris-Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Lyon St Exupéry and Toulouse. The most practical means of transport, however, is still by train. There are regular direct services all year round from Paris, Nantes, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille and La Rochelle. If you're travelling by car, Morbihan's road networks are very well maintained and easy to access. The expressways between Rennes/Lorient, Ploërmel/Vannes and Nantes/Vannes are free of charge.

👉 Roads :

From the north and east of France: A11 l'Océane: Paris - Rennes and RN24: Rennes-Ploërmel-Lorient; RN166 Ploërmel-Vannes.

From south-east France: N76: Lyon-Moulins-Tours then the A11 l'Océane: Angers - Nantes and RN165: Nantes-Vannes.

Quiberon

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Where to stay?

From charming guest houses tucked away in the Breton countryside to family-run gîtes and sublime seaside spa hotels, you're bound to find the accommodation that will make your Morbihan stay the most memorable. If you want to make the most of the countryside and keep your budget down at the same time, sleeping in a tent is also an excellent alternative in summer. Morbihan has a large number of municipal and private campsites, particularly on the coast. Whatever you choose, be warned that accommodation is very busy in high season. Morbihan is a very popular tourist destination.

Practical information

When should you go?

Of course, Morbihan is particularly attractive in summer, when the sun warms the beaches and the water temperature is relatively mild. But with good summer weather comes hordes of holidaymakers flocking to the seaside. If you're looking for peace and solitude, spring and autumn are also good times to discover the region. Admittedly, the water is much cooler, which makes swimming less serene (it can even be dangerous in places, depending on the weather and the tides), but the changeable weather means that you can enjoy beautiful sunshine and superb views of the countryside and coastline.

Budget

Once again, a mid-season holiday in Morbihan can be an advantage. Accommodation prices are lower than in summer. As a tourist destination, shopkeepers and restaurateurs have to compete with each other, and some seaside establishments charge prices approaching those of Parisian brasseries. That said, if you give up your daily ration of mussels and chips on the terrace and don't care about luxury hotels, Morbihan can be a very economical destination, even for families. The main attractions lie in the permanent spectacle of nature. Hiking, swimming and strolling along the beaches are all activities that are as invigorating as they are free. Camping accommodation is also a great way to stay close to the beaches without spending too much.

Weather

Is a holiday in Morbihan synonymous with rain? Although Brittany enjoys some very fine sunny summers, the weather sometimes proves the clichés right. So make sure you come equipped with a good raincoat and waterproof footwear. And don't despair if there's a shower - thanks to the coastal winds, the weather can be very changeable. After the rain, there's always fine weather!

Getting around Morbihan

👉 By car:

The car is still a very good way to visit the surrounding area easily and access superb beaches and other secluded coves not served by public transport. Car hire services are available almost everywhere.

👉 In Vannes:

  • Car hire Vannes station - Avis: Open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 6pm (5pm on Saturdays) - 02 97 47 54 54
  • Car hire Vannes TGV station - SIXT: Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 6.30pm, and Saturday, 9am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 6pm - 01 70 97 61 11

👉 In Lorient:

  • Lorient Gare TGV - RENTSCAPE: Open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 7pm and Sundays depending on departures - 02 97 21 10 25

👉 By bus:

Morbihan also has excellent public transport links, particularly by bus. The Kiceo network offers 20 regular lines.

👉 Bus routes KICEO network

Grand-Champ: line 25 - Elven: line 20 - Arradon: line 4 - Presqu'île de Rhuys: line 24 - Séné: line 7.

The Kicéo network also offers regular services in Vannes and the surrounding area.

Tickets cost no more than €1.50 and can be bought directly on board.

Download the Kicéo application to get real-time information about your journeys: Kicéo

Free summer shuttles are also available for holidaymakers, such as the Arzibus to Port-Navalo and Port Crouesty, and the Estibus, which serves the Sarzeau market.

For all your bus and regional train journeys, check out the Mobibreizh website.

👉 By bike:

There's nothing like a bike to discover all the beauty of Morbihan. A large number of rental companies offer equipment for all ages, for a day's or half-day's ride, or over several days for the more sporty.

For those who don't want to exert too much effort, there's Les vélos de la baie in Plouharnel, offering electric bike hire to discover the Quiberon peninsula and the Ria d'Etel - 06 18 43 61 08.

In La Trinité sur mer, you'll find Le Trinitain, offering bikes suitable for all the family: Open from 1st September to 21st October: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 12.30pm & 2pm - 6.30pm - 02.56.54.30.57

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Fancy setting sail for an island? Then you've come to the right place. The Compagnie du Golfe organises regular sailings to the islands of Houat, Hoëdic and Belle-île-en mer, as well as cruises to discover the islands of the Golfe du Morbihan. Another way to explore the region... from the sea.

Useful links
Morbihan Tourism

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