Home > Boat and Bike: Island Hopping in Brittany
Translated from Breton to ‘little sea’, the Gulf of Morbihan is truly a small slice of paradise. Nestled in a corner of Brittany, this lesser-known gem is famous for its postcard-worthy views, lively beaches, delicious oysters, and charming villages, as well as boasting some remarkable ancient monuments that date back to prehistory.
Of the forty or so islands that inhabit the gulf, the two largest are veritable delights, and the stars of this trip: the Ile-d’Arz and the Ile-aux-Moines. Exploration alternates between bike and boat, with short daily distances and minimal climbing allowing for the pure enjoyment of the serene landscapes, pretty towns, and vibrant seagoing culture of the Morbihan. Breathe in the salt air, turn your gaze towards the winking waves, and pedal on at an island pace.
A 7-night/8-day version is also available.
Arrive in Vannes at your leisure, though the earlier the better to enjoy this lovely riverside town. Founded over 2,000 years ago, Vannes has a colorful past and an equally beautiful present, with many churches, medieval city gates, and timber-framed houses to catch the eye.
After a meeting with our local representative in the afternoon to get you set for your trip, the rest of the day is yours to do with as you please.
After breakfast, take your bikes...and get on a boat! Your destination is the archipelago of Ile-d’Arz, in the heart of the Gulf of Morbihan and nicknamed the ‘Island of Captains’ for its sea-going heritage. A leisurely pedal around the island will introduce you to its gorgeous beaches, quaint fishermen’s cottages, and the Moulin de Berno -- a restored 13th-century tide mill.
You’ll start the day with another boat ride, this time leaving you at the tip of the Séné peninsula. From here, you’ll follow quiet rural roads for several kilometers, perhaps spotting some of the thousands of birds who call the Gulf home (or who are on holiday, just like you.) A brief hop on a ‘passeur’ boat takes you to the Rhuys peninsula, a gastronomical area known for its oyster industry, salt marshes, tomme cheese, and sweet Gochtial bread.
Cycling shoreside, you’ll soon reach the beautiful coastal village of Arzon, where you’ll spend the night.
Your island-hopping continues with a visit to Ile-aux-Moines (Island of the Monks), the largest island in the Gulf. It is paradise on a bike, as you pedal along car-free roads surrounded by flowers and views of the beautiful blue sea. Enjoy a snack of fresh oysters with white wine, a typical island treat, before taking a ‘passeur’ boat back to the mainland, where you’ll pedal towards Vannes and close the loop on your tour of the lovely Morbihan isles.
After breakfast, depart from Vannes...or stay an extra night!
4 nights in a 2-star hotel
3 nights in a 4-star hotels, 1 night in 3-star hotels