Archive for December 15th, 2021

December 15, 2021

The Gare Maritime of Quiberon!!

Well as I am on ferry marine terminals ,let me finish with this one, shall we! We love my beautiful Morbihan and it shows…! One of the highlights is the many islands in the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Atlantic Ocean on wonderful cruise ferry boats. I told you one, let me tell you another one in the Gare Maritime of Quiberon, this one in the bay of Quiberon!!


There are about 50 islands and islets in the Gulf of Morbihan (between 48 and 60 to be precise according to François de Beaulieu in his Dictionary of the Gulf of Morbihan). And on these islands, only 24 are inhabited, but very few per year! From the gare maritime de Quiberon you can cruise to the islands of Arz, Houat, Hoëdic, and the biggest Belle-ïle ,Here you will land at Le Palais, the small capital of Belle ïle which is serve year around.  We are close to home about 45 minutes by car on a lovely peninsula with the sea on both sides, Heaven on earth! A must to see! I have written several posts on Quiberon but never enough me think. Well ,we are lucky to be not far from a world still unnoticed as it is the Gulf of Morbihan and the Peninsula of Quiberon. Here you have a wonderful Gare Maritime or marine station for ferry passengers for trips into the outlyng islands even in the Atlantic ocean! Let me tell you a bit more on it;hope you enjoy it as I.

The current gare maritime was built in 1972, at a time when traffic with the islands (Belle-Île, Houat and Hoedic) was much less important, The marine ferry terminal is located in Port-Maria neighborhood, Now there is construction going on for a new gare maritime, this new marine station will be built next to the current building which will remain in function until the end of the work. It will then be demolished at the end of 2022. At the start of 2023, Quiberon should have a brand new 1,500 m2 ferry terminal. The future ferry terminal is designed like a large shade supported by thin concrete poles . The building, with its fully glazed hall, disappears in favor of its maritime environment. The project brings together the passenger station and the freight hangar under a single cover. On the passenger side, the space is divided into two ; the reception hall and an area with offices and staff rooms. The freight hangar also has two parts with storage of goods; offices and technical rooms.

quiberon gare maritime face jul11

From April to October Compulsory parking in paid and guarded car parks with free shuttle to the ferry terminal. Outside this period, parking for the islands is carried out in the Butoir and Resistance car parks, located in the marine station area, free but without a shuttle ,about 13 minutes on foot, nice. The Parking des Îles (Semaphore) is open from April 2 to Sunday November 7, 2021. Shuttles take you free of charge to the ferry terminal every 10 to 20 minutes (5-minute journey). On your return, take the shuttle back for free by presenting your ticket. The parking des Îles or Islands car park also remains open off-season from November to the end of March, free of charge but without a shuttle. The connection is made by the BreizhGo line bus, the ‘Saint-Julien’ stop of which is located on avenue du Général de Gaulle, not far from the car park.


Both above reservation on the bay of quiberon tourist office webpage :

The Parking de Kerné ,64, village of Kerné , Reservations recommended. Free shuttles to both the pier for the islands. Wintering for boats, caravans, etc … Open from March 15 to November 1, 2021. Info and reservation at official webpage:

The city of Quiberon on the future marine terminal

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on where to board for the islands

Quiberon co oceane ent gare fr islands aug12

And as talking about the main, biggest island of Belle ïle sur Mer, let me tell you a bit about this wonderful island in the Atlantic Ocean just out of the Gulf of Morbihan.

Belle-Île-en-Mer, more commonly called “Belle-Île”, is located in the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay), in the south of Brittany in the department of Morbihan, 12 km south of Quiberon. A bit of old history tell us that in the center of the island, on the site of the current town of Bangor, there is a priory from all ages which takes its name from the abbey which founded it in the 7C; we do not know if it is the Abbey of Bangor in Ireland from where we know that monks like Saint Columban came to evangelize Armorica (old name for Bretagne/Brittany), or the monastery of Bangor-Fawr, founded in the Land of Wales around 545 on the Menai Strait. In the 9C, Belle-Île belonged to the counts of Cornouaille (in Armorica). The island changed guardianship again in 1029: the Count of Cornouaille Alain Canhiart entrusted the island to the Abbey of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé (see post) which he had just founded. Domain belonging to an order under the Pope, Belle Isle was therefore legally dependent neither on the Bishopric of Vannes nor on the Duchy of Brittany but directly on the Roman Curia through a sort of island extra territoriality. Belle-Île was then erected as a marquisate in 1573.

In a more recent history, important to put it here me think we have Nicolas Fouquet (see post vaux le vicomte) was descended by his father from a family of cloth merchants in Angers, and by his mother Marie de Maupeou from the great families of Parisian parliamentarians. Through his first wife Louise Fourché (deceased in 1641), he was allied with the great families of parliamentarians of Rennes, while his second wife Madeleine de Castille was the rich heiress of a receiver general of the Clergy of France, superintendent of finances of Gaston d’Orleans. He never came to Belle-Île, but began work on fortifications, had a small jetty and a warehouse built. Fouquet was arrested on September 5, 1661 by d’Artagnan and imprisoned. The port extension project was abandoned, the marquisate was taken over by the king, who came to Nantes and had the island defended by Vauban. Fouquet continued to stay, building the Saint-Louis hospital and bringing in the nuns of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. Fouquet’s grandson, the Marshal of Belle-Isle, still enjoyed the favors of the king who made him Marshal of France. Madeleine de Castille, Fouquet’s widow, died on December 12, 1716, and in 1718, the island was bought by the king from his grandson Louis Fouquet, marquis de Belle-Isle, then attached to the royal domain .

Some of the things to see in Belle Île and personnages who have stopped by or lived are/were: The Vauban citadel at Le Palais. The fortified urban wall of Le Palais, the only one from the 19C that has survived in its original state.  The needles of Port-Coton, immortalized by the painter Claude Monet, which resemble the Sphinx, the bust of Louis XIV, the Mont Saint-Michel, according to the angles and the imagination… The port of Sauzon with the facades of its typical houses with colored shutters.  The many sandy beaches, like that of Grands sables (our favorite!) which is the longest, that of Donnant with rollers for surfing. We had here the famous Cardinal de Retz , the poet Marc-Antoine de Saint-Amant who composed his Solitudes there in 1617, Gustave Flaubert, after passing through Carnac and Quiberon, came to visit Belle-Île where he surveyed the shores, fields and moors . The account of this stay is included in the work entitled Par les champs et par les grèves by Gustave Flaubert . Sarah Bernhardt owned an old fort at the Pointe des Poulains that she had built there, and had two other villas built there.
Claude Monet who immortalized the rocks named Aiguilles de Port-Coton and other peculiarities of the island in his paintings. The painter Claude Monet stayed for 74 days from September 12 to November 25, 1886. He lived in Kervilahouen, in the town of Bangor.  Henri Matisse, Émile Auguste Wéry and Henri Huklenbrok stayed there in 1896.

The Belle Île tourist office

There you go folks, another dandy marine ferry terminal , in our dearest Quiberon at the tip of the Presqu’ïle de Quiberon peninsula! We love it especially to Belle Île sur Mer!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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December 15, 2021

The Gare Maritime of Vannes!!

Well as I am on ferry marine terminals ,let us continue shall we! We love my beautiful Morbihan and it shows…! One of the highlights is the many islands in the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Atlantic Ocean on wonderful cruise ferry boats. I told you one, let me tell you another one in the Gare Maritime of Vannes!!


There are about 50 islands and islets in the Gulf of Morbihan (between 48 and 60 to be precise according to François de Beaulieu in his Dictionary of the Gulf of Morbihan). And on these islands, only 24 are inhabited, but very few per year! From the gare maritime de Vannes you can cruise to the islands of Arz, Houat, Hoëdic, and the biggest Belle-ïle ,Here you will land at Le Palais, the small capital of Belle ïle which is serve year around.


The Parc du Golfe (Gulf Park) is the starting point for passenger boat cruises of the outlying islands, and the Gare Maritime. Many passenger and cargo boat cruisers are here to take you out into the outlaying islands. There is a wonderful promenade de la Rabine along the quays with great views that takes you to the pier of the Gare Maritime of Vannes,  It is located at   7 allée Loïc Caradec, parc du Golfe and open from October to March every day except Saturday and Sunday . April to June and September: every day from 8h30 to 12h30 and from 14h to 18h July and August: every day from 8h to 18h. A magnificent way to see the island in one of the most beautiful bays of the world the Gulf of Morbihan (as per condé nast and world bays sites).


Vannes gare maritime golfe jun12

At the Gare Maritime of Vannes or ferry terminal,you will find a wonderful car park with 600 places, some reserved for islanders,free access,located 200 meters from the pier; in Conleau, (see post) free parking with 150 spaces is available 400 meters from the pier, The kiceo bus network on line 7 takes you from the train station or Gare SNCF to the Parc du Golfe right next to the marine terminal.

The city of Vannes on cruising boats from the gare maritime:

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on where to board for the islands

There you go folks, now I have the marine ferry terminal of Vannes in my blog, as before was mentioned briefly. Hope you enjoy the post and do sail into this gorgeous islands.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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December 15, 2021

The gare maritime of Lorient!!

So I live by the coast of the Morbihan, plenty of sea goodies , you name it we got it. However, this spot was found by just walking in town. We first came set out on foot from the Espace Nayel shopping center where we had left our car underground. And after walking around and looking into the pleasure marina we stumbled onto the gare maritime of Lorient that takes folks into the gorgeous island of Groix. It has been a stop ever since, and one glorious ride into the island which is a must. Let me tell you a bit about the marine station thus.

lorient gare maritime pass entr jul13

The gare Maritime of Lorient is located at rue Gilles Gahinet,at the end of the pleasure port marina, This cruiser/ferry marine station takes you to the Ïle Groix island , 8 km long and 3 km wide.  

lorient gare maritime entrance jul13

The marine station or gare maritime is loaded with amenities for a nice stay, ticket refreshments and just great view over the port with beautiful sailing boats. Just walk around the outside rail and see the boats upclose! You can come here by train, plane, bus and automobile; I will give the info on the automobile the only one taken here…as I lived about 30 minutes from it.

lorient gare maritime boat oceane to ile d groix jul13

At Lorient ,for travelers boarding their vehicle, go to the boarding car park in front of the station 45 minutes before departure, You will ,also, find on your right when arriving at the ferry terminal a car park with a capacity of 250 spaces. This car park, managed by the city of Lorient, is payable. Also, other parking choices are the “Ile de Groix” car park (on the island) located 300 meters from the pier, offers 300 parking spaces. It is open 30 minutes before the departure of the first boat until 30 minutes after the arrival of the last boat, Parking de Place d’Armes in Lorient with 491 spaces ; the car park is covered and is located less than 10 minutes on foot from the ferry terminal. A paid shuttle service was set up from 01 to 31 August, My favorite is the parking space at the Espace Nayel (shopping center) with 330 spaces at place Jules Ferry, car access from the rue Paul Bert. At about 15 minutes on foot from the ferry terminal, Orientis car park with 290 spaces located 3 boulevard Cosmao Dumanoir. It is the furthest away (about 20 minutes on foot from the ferry terminal) but a regular bus service allows you to easily reach the ferry terminal.

lorient gare maritime back dist jul13

There is one quant way to get to the Groix island, and this is on  Escal’ouest  (not taken) crosses by boat to the island of Groix from Lorient La Base in season: from April to September, every weekend as well as every day in July and August. The crossing also lasts 45 minutes. Note that the Escal’Ouest boat stops at Port-Louis before heading for the island of Groix. More info here:

Another way and the one we took is the Compagnie Océane. They serve several marine stations along the Morbihan coast. The Compagnie Océane ships belong to the General Council of Morbihan which places them at the service of the Compagnie Océane. My boat was the Breizh Nevez roulier commissioned in 2018, and there is also the Île de Groix put in service in 2008. More info webpage:

lorient gare maritime oceane cruiser jul13

Of course, could not just leave you with the gare maritime of Lorient, there is the beautiful Groix island, here is some chosen info.

Groix is ​​an island and a town in the beautiful Morbihan department 56., Nicknamed the garnets island, it is located in the Bay of Biscay, off the south coast of Bretagne, north-west of Belle-Île-en-Mer and in front of the city of Ploemeur.
Groix, located 5 km south of the Pointe du Talud, on the mainland, is the second largest island in Bretagne/Brittany.

The island of Groix opens its doors to you with a holiday feel as soon as you arrive at Port Tudy. You will find the shops there to quench your thirst or immediately rent bikes for the stay. Discover pretty hiking trails offering you the marvelous wild coves and sumptuous Breton beaches such as the plage pointe des chats (point of cats) ,plage des grands sables (great sands) or plage des sables rouges (red sands).  The main thing here at least for us was the beaches. The main beach of the island offers several interesting aspects: it is convex, it moves very quickly and it consists of two sands of different colors. Its convex shape is due to two sea currents. This is the plage Les Grands Sables. Go for it ,its gorgeous. 

Other interesting facts and things to see in Groix island.  A first jetty was built in 1792 at Port Tudy, replaced from the 1860s by a 115-meter long pier, completed by two jetties, one of 155 meters, the other of 193 meters. After many failures finally in 1935, with the extension of the jetty, that the port was finally fully protected.  Port Tudy was the largest fishing and marina on the island. It accommodates the shuttle (ferry) which connects the island and the mainland in Lorient and Port-Louis. The port hardly accommodates any more trawlers, it receives on the other hand many pleasure boats, shuttles between the island and Lorient as well as water taxis. The Pen Men lighthouse, first built in 1791, was rebuilt between 1835 and 1839 at the western tip of Groix. The Chats lighthouse, at the eastern tip, was put into service in 1897, the Croix beacon in 1898, the Birvideaux beacon tower in 1934. The Grognon and Nosterven semaphores entered service in 1806, that of Beg Melen in 1881, another existing at the Cross.

Again other things to see in my opinion and with time as the beaches are it, are: Saint-Tudy Church (17C and 19C , largely rebuilt in 1850 in the village, whose patron is Saint Tudy. This church has the particularity, as on the island of Hoedic, to have a tuna as a weather vane installed in 1952 on the bell tower in place of the cock or the arrow.
The island of Groix ecomuseum, which opened in 1984, traces, according to the principles of an ecomuseum, the history of the island of Groix and its inhabitants.

The official Groix island tourist office on its beaches

My fav plages tv on the beaches of the Ïle de Groix

The city of Lorient on the marine terminal to Groix island :

The South Brittany Lorient tourist office on the gare maritime :

A nice way to do some walking around beautiful sailing boats,and past the afternoon with the family. Enjoy renovated Lorient, only about 30 minutes from my house. If you like the sea ,then this town is for you.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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