Belle-Île en Mer : Day 6 of our discovery of the Auray Region

Our trip continues away from the continent, on Belle-Île en Mer.

 

20 km long and 9 km wide, it rises 71 m over the sea. A real Véritable palette of colours and contrasts, Belle-Île en Mer is different at every instant.

Its diverse scenery is what gives it its charm : moors, steep cliffs, green water creeks, baut also woods, valleys, streems, fields and long sandy beaches.

The air is very pure. The climate, warm in the summer, mild in the winter thanks to the Gulf-Stream. In this way, most mediteranean flora grows easily there.

 

The Vauban Citadel : It shows its imposing mass at the entrance of the port of Le Palais. Built on top of the ruins of the Gondy family Château, it was bought in the 17th century by the French Superintendant of Finances, Nicolas Fouquet, and was fortified by Royal Engineer Vauban. A private property since 1960, turned into a museum, it recounts the history of Belle-Île en Mer.

 

The Belle Fontaine : Still called « Aiguade Vauban », as it was built under his authority in in 1703, it was used to supply ships in frsh water. Classified as a Hitorical Monument, the arched building consists in a 860 cubic meters.

 

The port of Sauzon : Nestled in an uncimparable site at the entrance of a deep aber, Sauzon has confirmed and tends to develop its role as a marina in stead of its original use as a fishing port, that reached its apogee in 1878.

 

The superb Donnant beach: The most beautiful beach on the island where the sea braeks in impressive waves. Caution is required when swiming, as the beach is only under surveillance in July and August. The beach is overlooked at the rear by an impressive an approximately 30 m thick dune, with an impressively rich fauna and flora.

 

The Aiguilles of Port Coton : The famous impressionist Claude Monet revealed in a famous painting the fascinating beauty of this site ; whose name is justified by the fact that during a storm, the foam whipped up by the sea make large clusters that look like coton.

 

The fortified beaches at Les Grands Sables and at Samzun : Les Grands Sables is the longest beach on the island (around 1.5 km). It is ideal for nautical activities like sailing, windsurfing, or kayaking.

The beach at Samzun is overlooked by the pittoresque village with whome it shares its name, and where a few houses have been dated back to the 19th century.

 

The Pointe des Poulains : Overlooked by a small lighthouse that is visible from 23 miles away, the site offers a magnificient panorama. On a cloudless day, you can see the island of Groix, Lorient and the Quiberon bay. Close by is a small fort that was bought in 1893 by the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

 

The church in Locmaria : This church, situated at the back of a shaded square, the oldest on the island, is very pretty, all in white with a steeple shaped like a pepper pot. Inside, you ca see two lovely model navy ships that were carried out during processions, and two superb paintings.

 

Bangor and its Great Lighthouse : Built in 1835, it is one of the most powerful in France with its 32 mile range. It towers 90 meters over the sea (250 steps ! ), and offers a beatiful view of the continent, from Lorient to Le Croisic.

 

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