20 km long and 9 km wide, the island rises 71 metres above sea level. A real colour paletette, BelleÎle has many different landscapes.
This diversity is what makes its charm : moors, high cliffs, green water creeks, and also woods, valleys, streams, fields and long sandy beaches.
The air is very clean. Summers are warm, and winters are mild, thanks to the Gulf-Stream. Also most mediteranean plants grow easily there.
Things to visit on Belle-Île en Mer ?
The Vauban Citadel
This imposing military fort is situated at the entrance of the harbor in Le Palais. Built on the ruins of the Gondy family's castle, it was bought by Louis the 14th's finance minister Fouquet and fortified by famous engineer Vauban. A private property since 1960, it is now a museum that retraces the whole history of Belle-Île en Mer.
La Belle Fontaine (The Pretty Fountain)
Also called "Aiguade Vauban", as it was built under his supervision in 1703, it was used to resupply ships in fresh water. Classified as a historical monument, the building houses a 860 cubic metre water tank.
Nestled in a beautiful site at the entrance of a deep ria, Sauzon confirms and tends to develop its role as a marina replacing its primary vocation as a fishing port whose activity reached its peak in 1878.
The church at Locmaria
The oldest church on the island, set back from a small shady square, is very beautiful with its all white exteroir and its pepperbox-shaped steeple. Inside, you can find two impressive models of warships that were born during religious processions, and two fantastic paintings.
Bangor and its great Lighthouse
Built in 1835, it is one of the most powerful in France with a range of 32 nautical miles. Towering 90 metres over sea level (with 250 steps to reach the top !), you can admire a superb view over the island and the mainland from Lorient to Le Croisic.
The remarkable natural sites on Belle-Île en Mer
The Aiguilles (Needles) of Port Coton
The painter Claude Monet showed in a famous painting the fascinating beauty of this site; this name is justified by the fact that, in bad weather, the surf accumulates in the form of large foamy flakes similar to cotton.
The most beautiful beach of the island where the sea breaks in impressive rolls. Caution is required when swimming, which is supervised in July and August. The beach is overlooked at the rear by an impressive 30 metre tall dune with a rich diversity of fauna and flora.
The fortified beaches of Grands Sables and Samzun
Les Grands Sables is the longest beach on the island (about 1.5 km). It is ideal for water sports such as sailing, windsurfing or sea kayaking.
The beach of Samzun is dominated by the picturesque village of the same name, with its 19th century houses.
The Pointe des Poulains
Dominated by a small lighthouse with a range of 23 nautical miles, the site offers a grandiose panorama from where the view extends on a clear day to the island of Groix, Lorient and Quiberon bay. Nearby is a fort, which actress Sarah Bernhardt acquired in 1893.
Usseful links for your visit :