The Gulf of Morbihan and the medieval city of Vannes
Discover the Gulf of Morbihan and the medieval city of Vannes, still surrounded by part of its ramparts. Between beaches, sea trips and cultural discoveries, your vacation rental will make you enjoy the riches of southern Brittany.
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The Art and History town of Vannes
Legend has it that a very long time ago the fairies were chased out of Brocéliande Forest. They cried so much that the Gulf of Morbihan was born. They threw garlands of flowers into the water, thus creating 365 islands in the « Mor bihan » meaning ‘little sea’ in Breton. Three garlands were washed out to sea to form the islands of Houat, Hoedic and Belle-Ile. Just like the fairy tale, this region of Brittany is steeped in charm and magic with unique scenery bathed in incredible light.
At the head of the Gulf lies the medieval town of Vannes which is also a major marina nowadays. Come and experience its gentle way of life, admire its half-timbered houses, sumptuous mansions, broad quaysides lined with trees and its ramparts. Stroll through the streets and enjoy a break at a pavement café.
The islands of the Gulf
Despite the legend, there are only 42 islands in the Gulf. The mild climate gives wooded landscapes of pine and mimosa trees. Passenger ferries run from Port-Blanc, Locmariaquer and Port Navalo to some of the isles. Ile aux Moines (Monks’ Island) is the largest and most wooded. In the 9th century, it was given by the King of Brittany to the monks of Redon who have long since left the island but gave it its name. Enjoy walking or cycling around the « Pearl of the Gulf » from fishermen’s cottages in the old village to heather-clad hillsides. Ile d’Arz is nicknamed « Captains’ Island » because it provided the French Navy and Merchant Navy with lots of seamen and officers during the 19th and 20th centuries. Smaller and wilder, it is a lovely place for a family outing with picture postcard scenery and a gentle climate. Ile de Gavrinis has a superb megalithic site : the Cairn de Gavrinis. This 8 metre high and 50 metre diameter mound of stone and sand protects a splendid dolmen leading to a burial chamber. 23 of the stone slabs which make up the walls are carved with engravings which remain mysterious to this day. There are of course many other small islands which our property owners know very well. Each of them has a favourite and will doubtless share its secrets with you.
Rhuys Peninsula :]
How to get to the Gulf of Morbihan
The Gulf is, of course, accessible all year round. Vannes is easy to get to by dual-carriageway from Rennes or by TGV train. The islands are served by ferries, some of which run all year roundlike the Quiberon to Belle-Ile ferry. Other ferries run from April to October from Vannes, Port Navalo and other ports.
One of the great festivals is the Semaine du Golfe held every two years at the end of May, beginning of June. This great international maritime gathering brings together character vessels throughout the Gulf of Morbihan. Exhibitions, activities, local food tasting sessions and shows take place throughout the week culminating in a final grand parade on the Saturday."