Jenny and Stafford's amazing blog site ~ http://www.gites-morlaix.com/

Posts tagged ‘balade a moto’

Belle-Isle-En-Mer, a great place for a quiet holiday

La grande Phare ~ Kervilahouen, Belle Isle en Mer

Go and visit one of the largest and most beautiful islands off the south coast of Brittany ~ Belle-Isle-en-Mer.  Just before we went Jenny and I had spent a very concentrated period of time, refurbishing our larger gite, “L’Ecurie”, plus a bedroom in the manor house, and had the busiest April in our B&B ever.  Basically we wanted a quiet holiday close by, to recover.  We chose to go to Belle-Isle-en-Mer and to go to a hotel with a good reputation ~ La Desirade.

We made some good choices!  Belle-Isle-en-Mer is a charming little island, only about 20 kilometers long, not much traffic, lots of fabulous walks, deserted beautiful beaches, and with it’s own weather pattern.  La Desirade was very comfortable, the staff very friendly and efficient and the breakfasts and dinners yummy!

Le Palais, the main entry point to the island (and notional capital, I think) is a lovely little town dominated by the the Vauban Citadelle.  This is an enormous fort, of complex design, now containing a museum and an upmarket hotel/restaurant.  We spent a large proportion of the first day wandering around the battlements and the museum.  There are lots of interesting exhibits and paintings, and did you know the English once owned the island and did a swap with France for the island of Minorca!

Beach at Donnant, Belle Isle en Mer

As a sailor I had always wanted to sail and moor in Ster Vraz on the west coast of Belle Isle.  Needless to say I have yet to do this, but did go and see it this time and was entranced.  It does not seem so small as the charts would have you believe.  On the first visit the wind was blowing very strongly from the east, yet boats were coming in and out in complete calm.

The coastal paths are extensive and at the weekend were very well used by walkers and mountain bikers.  The beaches were deserted though and we spent most of one day on one beach and shared it with one other couple.  So, in summary, go to Belle Isle, out of high season, and have a happy and wonderfully relaxing holiday.

Co to Citadel Vauban web site

Go to Belle Isle web site

The harbour at Le Palais – Belle Isle en Mer

Click for more photos of our holiday

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Small Walks and Things to do and see

New knee bits

You know, I find that getting on a bit in years does make life a bit difficult sometimes. It is especially so when you still think like a 21 year old ~ well nearly !!  Well I have had to have a new knee, Jenny has had her toes done and so for us walking long distances is just not on.  So I thought that those readers with sympathetic traits might like some ideas for a gentle day out.


A gentle walk near Carentec

We can lend you some detailed maps to help you with your enjoyment.

Isle de Louet ~ lighthouse

It takes about 15 minutes to drive to Carentec along the beautiful coast road via Loquenole.  On approaching the centre of Carantec turn right at the second round about towards the Point de Penlan.  You will drive through a lovely suburban part of Carantec, straight across a mini roundabout until you reach the tennis club on the left.  Park just beyond this on the right and retrace your steps until you are opposite the tennis club.  Here you will find a rather overgrown Arboretum.  Entrance is free and you can walk down through the arboretum to the coast.  You will arrive at the bottom of the hill on a road/coastal path.  Here there is an Oyster farm shop selling delicious oysters and other crustaceans.  If that is not for you, walk east along the footpath (turn left at the base of the hill).  After some while you will pass the end of the promontary with amazing views across the Baie de Morlaix toward the Château du Taureau and the little lighthouse on the Isle de Louet.  In the distance, across the bay, is Terenez and Le Diben, whilst on the horizon you can just see Treburden.  If this is enough walking for you, follow the footpath directly up the hill to your car.  If not continue on the coastal path.  At the next headland it is again possible to return directly to your car.  Continue on the coastal path and you will find yourselves on the lovely main beach at Carantec and a selection of beach side cafes where you can  quench your thirst and or hunger.

Baie de Morlaix ~ from Roscoff

Château du Taureau

I think that this is a must see if you are going to stay at Coat Amour for any time.  In the medaeval times the English and French sailors of a piratical disposition spent some of their time raiding each other’s ports.  The Château du Taureau was built in XVI century to keep the English out of Morlaix.  It is a very special place, well restored, and a superb example of a defensive castle.  You should go and see it,  children and adults alike will enjoy the experience.  Parts of the château are subtly annotated  in English as well as French and you will understand the history of the place.  Boat trips go to the château from  Carentec, Roscoff and Plougasnou (Port du Deben).   See www.chateaudutaureau.com for further info.

Chateau du Taureau

Loquirec

This is a super seaside town with a little port, and excellent sandy safe beach and some good cafes/restaurants.  In fact something for most relaxed holiday makers.  It is only twenty minutes by car from Coat Amour.  For a good post lunch walk we suggest leaving the port and following the road past the church and the post office out toward the point.  The views towards St Michel en Greve and Treburden are marvellous and the going easy.  This little walk takes you anti clockwise around the coast and brings you back to the large north facing beach on the far side of the town.  It is a short walk back to the port via the church.

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