Islands of Brittany in France (Bretagne)

Off its 2800km of coastline along the English Channel sea and Altantic ocean, Brittany boasts a staggering number of 800 islands and islets.
Many of them are inhabited all year round at the exception of several seabirds species especially around the Sept-Iles. If you are after off track places, we recommend you catch a ferry boat and explore some of the finest islands like Bréhat, Sein, Batz, Belle-Île and Ile aux Moines in the Morbihan Gulf. Wander into the small harbour villages of white washed fishermen's cottages and go hiking along the unspoilt coastline with paradise white sandy beaches.
If you wish to stay overnight or longer, you are advised to book early as accommodation can be limited.

Ile de Bréhat

Brehat Island in Brittany
Bréhat Island, © Lou2Mer
Visible from the Pink Granite coastline, Ile de Bréhat is situated 2km (1 mile) north of Paimpol in Côtes d'Armor. Described by many as the paradise island, Bréhat is reachable by ferry, off the Pointe de l'Arcouest in Paimpol. As you arrive in Port Clos, south of the island, you are welcomed by elegant villas and enchanting green surroundings of subtropical gardens with blue and pink hydrangeas and pine woods dotted with coved beaches...

More on Bréhat island (ferries, accommodation, map)

Ile de Batz

The island of Batz, found north of Roscoff in northern Finistère, is a perfect one day destination by a 15 minutes ferry boat boosting sandy beaches, small harbours and a garden delight of exotic plants at "Le Jardin Georges Delaselle".

How to get there:

Two ferry companies can take you there from Roscoff:
  • Armor Excursions, Tel 02 98 61 79 66
  • Armein, Tel 02 98 61 75 47

Ile d'Ouessant

Ile d'Ouessant, also renamed as Ushant by English people, is situated about one hour away by ferry from the West coast of Finistère. It is among the largest islands with Belle-Ile and Ile de Groix and very popular with tourists.

Ile de Sein

Enjoy the island's very first production of oysters from the Le Berre brothers, described as refinely fresh flesh with a powerful iodine taste you only find with wild oysters.

Ile de Groix

Ile de Groix, once a key tuna fishing location, is reachable from Lorient (boat ride of about 45 mins). It is best discovered by bicycle easily hired as you arrive in its lovely harbour, Port-Tudy. It is a popular destination that gets very busy in summer offering sandy beaches for families, migration locations for Birds watchers and interesting minerals for geologists. To learn more about its history and life, visit the Ecomusée in Port-Tuby.


Hoedic beach in Brittany France
Hoëdic Ile's white sandy beaches
Belle-Île, situated south of Quiberon in Morbihan, is the largest of Brittany's islands and is accessible by a ferry boat from Quiberon harbour. Once a destination of late President, François Mitterand, Belle-Île is a beautiful island, ideal for hiring bicycles and enjoy the relaxing pace of life. Once of strategic importance (occupied for 2 years by England), it is dominated by its main seaport, Le Palais, where a 16th century citadel fortified first by Fouquet, Louis XIV's chancellor and then Vauban, still stand today.
The archipelo of Belle-Île includes two smaller islets, Houat and Hoëdic, enjoyed for their restful peace of life, their sandy beaches and whitewashed fishermen's houses. The latter is also a no-car hamlet so if you arrive by ferry, your belongings will be tractor-taxied to your destination.


Gulf of Morbihan

Ile aux Moines Morbihan in Brittany France
Île aux Moines © Spigoo
Gulf of Morbihan, based, as its name says in Morbihan, is in itself not an island but is home to a staggering 38 islets and 2 main islands, Île aux Moines, an ex-monasterical island now a peaceful wooded seaside resort, and Île d'Arz, a small island with some megalithic monuments. 20km wide and 15m deep, this small sea, full of inlets and inner river channels, is an extremely attractive but challenging course that will test any sailer' skills. Thanks to its micro-climate, the area enjoys very mild almost tropical conditions which allow, for instance, orange and lemon trees to grow on the Île aux Moines.


Bird Sanctuary Islands

It is without saying that ornithologists are spoilt for choice and we can only mention a few bird sanctuary sites but with your own boat, you can just take your pick.

  • 1. Ile de Grand Bé, Ile de Cézembre and Ile du Verdelet, on the Emerald Coast.

  • Puffin bird in Brittany
    2. Sept-Iles, on the Pink Granite Coast off Perros-Guirec is a group of seven islands of which landing is only allowed on the Ile aux Moines where a Vauban designed fort, now in ruin, can be seen. Colonies of different species can be observed on the archipelago, home to puffins, oyster catchers, guillemots, gulls and cormorants. Boat trips leave from Perros-Guirec. An ornothologistical rescue centre is found on the nearby island, Ile Grande, accessible by a bridge off the coast of the small village of Penvern.

  • 3. Cap Sizun, on the Cornouaille Coast.

  • 4. Iles de Glénan on the Cornouaille Coast.


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North Brittany
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Brittany Best Beaches
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