What to do
When it is not raining
Beaches in Plouhinec
Plouhinec has 8km of
beach. There is one guarded beach in Plouhinec with
lifeguards on duty throughout the day during the season.
This is the Plage de Magouero. From the centre of
Plouhinec (at the Church), follow the signs to
"Plage de Magouero".
The second guarded beach is the Plage de Kervégant wich is closer
towards the direction of Etel in comparison to the Maguero
The walking distance between this beach and the car park is,
due to the protected nature area substantial.
This would be your closest beach if you are staying at any
of the campings in Plouhinec.
Walk along the Etel River
Take a stroll along the Etel River. There are foot paths
along large sections of the lower banks of the river,
between the private properties and the waterfront. The path
is often steep and difficult but it provides very nice views
over the river that cannot be seen from other locations. Be
careful that you don't step into "merde", as there are still
many dog owners who do not clean up after their best friend
answers to the call of nature.
For route details follow this link
to the website of Bretagne Rando.
Remember Asterix and
Obelix? At Carnac, one can find the alignments of
Megalithic stones (Menhirs). Though you are not allowed
any-more in the fields where the stones stand, they
are a must see for anyone visiting our region.
If you would like to touch the stones, visit then also the
site near Erdeven
Wikepedia has a very good article about the site which is
well referenced. It can be found at the following link.
The stones at Erdeven are just small in number, but
easy accessible and a nice example of the structures.
The site is just outside the village on the Route Nationale
(RN) 781 in the direction of Ploemel.
Quiberon is the peninsula
Carnac extending a full 10km into the bay of
Biscay. It is the access to the ferries to Belle
Ile, Ile d'Houat and Hoedic which are just a stone-throw
away from the mainland. Also, the coastal area's
have the "Côte Sauvage" or "wild coast," which
provides for spectacular view in case of storms with waves
crashing into the rocks and spray flying across the top of
Hennebont has apparently been an inhabited location since
the stone age, with settlements on the banks of the Blavet
river. It gained importance in the medieval time when there
was a bridge over the Blavet and a castle was erected. As it
is further upriver than Lorient it did not receive the same
treatment as Lorient during the war and thus it has still
some significant old architecture to show.
Boating is strictly regulated in France. Unless you have a
skippers license you are limited to small boats that can be
used without permit. Look for "sans permis" when searching
for a rental. Boats can be rented at St.
Cado or Gâvres. The former provides an
opportunity to explore the Ria d'Etel while the latter,
situated at the estuary of the Blavet (near to Lorient)
provides access to the Blavet River.
If you like some action, there is the "Karting de Ploumel"
situated on the D22 (from Beltz to Auray) that could provide
this. Children as from 7 years can drive a real kart.
During the top season open 7/7 in July from 13.30 till 20.00
and in August from 10.00 till 20.00. Otherwise, check
the opening hours on www.kart56.com
Learn diving or expand your diving log by taking a dive in
the waters around Plouhinec. Diving school "Au Bord de la
Terre" provides courses between "discover scubadiving" and
deep water dives up to 55m.
During the season, the shop is open 7 days per week and can
be found since recently (Spring 2013) at the following
ZI du Bisconte
Phone: 02 97 85 76 49
Mobile phone: 06 63 07 61 96
View Larger Map
Visit their website for more information at
When it is not raining yet
Etel is the embodiment of the failed European Union
fisheries policy. On my first visit here, over 30 years ago
the port was a fully functioning fishing port, with its own
fish auction, ice factory and related services. Now, with
the fish turned into animal feed long ago the city relies on
tourism for its existence.
Take a boat trip along the Ria d'Etel or to Lorient.
Departure / Arrival at the following times.
While you are there, visit the Musee
des Thoniers to learn about the old fashioned way of
catching Tuna. Opening hours: to be checked.
Musée des Thoniers
3, Rue Jean Bart
Port Louis, renamed from Blavet into Port Louis in honour of
King Louis the XIII in 1618. It is a fortified city of which
the rampards were part of the defence works to protect the
entry of the Blavet River. The ancient walls are at
parts still intact and the old citadelle is now home to the
de la Compagnie des Indes.
of May through 31 August : daily from 10.00 to 18.30
of September through 15 December : every day except
Tuesday from 13.30 to 18.00
When it rains
Lorient, being a submarine
German Submarine base during the second world war received
substantial attention from Allied Bomber Command.
Precision bombing was not on the cards and as a result of
60.000 bombs, the city was destroyed for 90% at the time
of the German capitulation in 1945. The
bunkers and submarine shelters survived the war and
bunkers, which are scattered over the city and surrounding
area can be seen used as garden sheds.
The Allied job was finished off by the city planners of
the 50s and 60s and the result is that Lorient, despite
the best efforts of the city administration hardly can be
recognised as a "must see" for reasons of its outstanding
architecture. However, the submarine base,
having been a French naval base for a long time, now
houses a museum about submarines and one can visit an old
French submarine to become familiar with the conditions on
Tucked away in a river
valley Auray did not suffer the same fate as Lorient and
its historical centre is still intact.
A perfect rainy day spot
is the aquarium in Vannes. It has celebrated its 20th year
of existence this year and is home to cold water sea
species as well as from the Golf of Morbihan, tropical
species and cold fresh water species. More info on www.aquarium-du-golfe.com
The aquarium is open during the year (except 25 December
and 1st of January) though the opening hours vary.
Generally, outside the summer vacation and French
holidays, it is open from 14.00 to 18.00. During holidays
from 9.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00. During July
and August (French summer holiday), it is open from 9.00
to 19.30 without lunch break.
Though it has disappeared
in most of Europe, the travelling Circus is alive and
kicking in France. Most places receive at least
once a year a visit of a Circus. Pay attention to
the signs on any lamp post and other structures to see
when the next one is around. No French language
knowledge is required to make it an enjoyable event.
Show hours: mostly,
is one in the afternoon and one in the early evening.
Castles of Brittany
Though not as grand as
those of the Loire valley, Brittany has several Castles
that are worth visiting, especially when the weather isn't
that great. Though we may have forgotten the odd castle,
some of the more interesting and publicly accessible are
Pontivy is about 40km upstream on the Blavet River from the
city of Hennebont. It was named after a monk with the name
"ivy", who built a bridge (Pont) over the Blavet some time
in the 7th Century. Hence it was named Pont ivy until the
1804, when its name started to become a political ping-pong
ball. From that moment onwards, it has been named
Napoléonville, Pontivy, Bourbonville and again
Napoléonville before finally normality returned with
its current name.
The Castle in Pontivy is one from the House
of Rohan, which were Viscounts from the locality of Rohan,
which is about 20 km east of Pontivy.
The Rohans were important noblemen in their time and
developed links with their contemporary English and French
royal families. Castles with links or named after the
family can be found as far away as Vienna.
Suscinio (13th - 15th