There is no better place for golfers to escape the crowds than Morbihan, with its mild climate and good choice of courses close to welcoming resorts and spectacular coastal scenery.
The 18 hole, par 72 course at Golf de Baden, Baden, skirts the shores of a pretty sea inlet overlooking the Iles du Morbihan.
Top class golfing with wide open fairways and heathland, The hilly 18 hole course at Golf de Val Queven, Lorient, runs alongside the River Scorff, skirting woods and crossing valleys. The clubhouse offers a warm and welcome with panoramic views.
Both clubs offer trolley and buggy and clubs hire, pro shop, restaurant and putting green. Baden also offers coaching.
The relatively short championship links course at Golf de Ploemeur - Ocean is one of the toughest in Southern Brittany - particularly in winter when winds off the sea prove a challenge. Golf de St Laurent, Auray, has 18 and 9 hole courses, and a well stocked bar and excellent restaurant to greet you at the end of your round.
Centred at the birthplace of Yves Rocher and the Yves Rocher brand name, the gardens have more than 1,000 plant species and where new species are continually being introduced and studied.
Visit the Vegetarium, the first museum of its kind in Europe devoted to the plant kingdom which gives an insight into the plants used in medicine, food, perfume and industrial products such as fibres and dyes.
There is an exhibition of family photographs and information regarding Yves Rocher’s early life and it explains the manufacturing and distribution processes of the company’s plant-based beauty projects and a guided tour overlooking the factory floor.
For more information and reservations tel: (00 33) 2 99 08 35 84
The small town of Carnac in Southern Brittany is well known as an extraordinary megalithic site. Explore the long rows, stretching over a mile, of more than 3,000 recorded standing stones.
Dating back to about 4,500 BC, these menhirs, dolmens and burial mounds remain an impressive visitor attraction.
For more information contact:
Tourist Information Office
73 Avenue des Druides BP 6556342, Carnac
Tel: (00 33) 2 97 52 13 52
Hire a kayak, or a sailing dinghy and discover the surroundings of La Trinite-sur-Mer from a great viewpoint.
Ecole de Voile
Cours des Quais
56470 La Trinite-sur-Mer
Tel: (00 33) 2 97 55 73 48
Walking in Morbihan can suit all levels of fitness from gentle rambles around the standing stones at Carnac, and the shores of Lake Guerledan, or along the even footpaths of the Nantes-Brest Canal with its many locks, to more challenging coastal path routes and inland forest trails. Bird-watchers will find lots to delight along the rivers Sarre and Blavet.
The region has more than 700km of GR routes, 240km of towpaths and 390km of coastal paths mostly well signposted. West of Carnac, the alignments of Kerzerho offer a circular 8km walk amongst Neolithic remains.
Go island walking in the Gulf of Morbihan. Ile d’Arz has excellent views, old salt beds and beaches for swimming or take the ferry from Lorient to Ile de Groix.
Brittany has a wealth of good rivers and lakes for fishing and the Blavet, with its lack of river traffic and easy riverside access is one of the best. The consistent depth and width of the Blavet make it ideal for matches and festivals.
Fishing around Lorient, Baud, Melrand and Pontivy, Breem and Gardon are abundant, there are also plenty of perch, other coarse fish and salmon with a chance of catching pike or sea trout.
Permits are available locally for a day, week or year and cover the whole of Morbihan.
Most of the fishing ports around the gulf, such as Arzon, offer sea-fishing trips.
Fishing from a seaside beach does not require a permit and there is sea fishing along the coast in many of the coves.
The unspoilt River Blavet has very little river traffic and a trip along its peaceful waters is one way to see some of the most beautiful inland scenery of Morbihan. Look for kingfishers and herons, cormorants and deer and spot trout and salmon gliding beneath the water.
The river was canalised in 1842 between Pontivy and Hennebont to form part of the Nantes-Brest Canal and the many locks make the trip more exciting. Stop downstream at the pretty village of St Nicolas des Eaux and look for the chapel of Saint Guildas perched on overhanging rocks as the river flows on to Hennebont and its meeting with the sea at Lorient.
Take a boat trip from Lorient to Hennebont and canoes can be hired at Canoe Kayak club Pontivy (00 33) 2 97 25 09 51. Some boat trips to discover the Blavet Valley from St Nicholas des Eaux have a buffet onboard or reserve a night-time cruise (00 33) 2 97 51 92 93.
Canoes and kayaks can also be hired here and at the Club Nautique Evel-Blavet at Baud (00 33) 2 97 51 10 83.
Created in the eighteenth century by an amateur botanist, Branfere Park set in 80 acres between Vannes and La Roche-Bernard, is a delightful mixture of rare plants and animals from around the world.
Animals wander about freely and families can enjoy being amongst wallabies, storks, zebras, flamingos and many other creatures. The park also has 6 lakes and a restored seventeenth century castle.
Open July - Sept 1000 - 2000 (gates close 1830), April - 30 June and 3 - 30 Sept 1000 - 1930 (gates close at 1800).
Located west of Pontivy near Priziac, Parc Aquanature is 70 hectares of deer park with 15km of walking trails, horse riding, guided tours and freshwater aquarium and fish breeding. Open March - November.
Set in marshland on the southern edge of the Gulf of Morbihan, Chateau de Suscinio near Sarzeau is a moated castle used as a hunting lodge by the dukes of Brittany from the thirteenth century. Abandoned during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some of the stone was demolished and sold.
The restored castle - including a rescued tiled floor - is now a museum of Morbihan’s history and can be visited daily April - Sept, 1000 - 1900, and excluding Wednesdays with shorter daily hours out of season. Major renovation work continues and exhibitions and events are often held at the castle in summer.
This is just a selection of some of Morbihan’s established markets. Most start early and are morning only even if not listed as such. They are full of lively sights and sounds and great places to pick up seasonal produce. Ask at local tourist offices for others in the area you are visiting.
Monday: Pontivy, Redon, Gourin, and Auray - morning
Tuesday: Lanester, La Trinite-sur-Mer, Port-Louis - evenings July and August
Wednesday: Carnac, Vannes, Le Faouet, Bubry (small)
Thursday: Hennebont, Locmine, Saint-Pierre, Malestroit - morning
Friday: La Trinite-sur-Mer, Ploermel, Mauron, Languidic
Saturday: Baud (small), Quiberon, Vannes, Josselin & Port-Louis - mornings
Sunday: Carnac, Ploemeur, Auray, Saint-Guildas de Rhuys, Locmaria (Belle-Ile)
Some of the main fish markets are open to the public such as Audierne and Loctudy. Remember they start early - 0600 - with produce set out along the quay.