Luxury holidays in Belle-Île-en-mer

During a 5-day stay, we discovered the peaceful island life between nature and ocean at Belle-île-en-mer. Cut off from the rest of the world just 45 minutes by boat from the mainland, we’ve rarely had this opportunity to disconnect from everyday life and to relax in a outstanding nature place. Belle-île-en-mer offers a true haven of peace, where the natural landscapes impress and inspire us at every turn. They were also the focus of attention for Impressionists such as Monet, who painted numerous canvases here. Discover why, just like Sarah Bernhardt 130 years before us, we fell in love with Belle-île-en-mer. 

An island of nature

Belle-île-en-mer is Brittany’s largest island, off the coast of Quiberon, and a veritable showcase of nature surrounded by an impressive ocean. The gradations of blue never cease to amaze, from emerald blue like a Caribbean beach at the Pointe des Poulains, to midnight blue at the Aiguilles de Port Coton.

A coastal path winds around the island, allowing you to enjoy every panorama and admire the island’s changing landscapes from one side to the other. Sometimes wild, with cliffs crashing against the waves, sometimes calm, with fine sandy beaches. You feel like you’re on the other side of the world, disconnected from everything, and a sense of well-being comes over you.

Aiguilles de Port Coton

Discover along the coastal path, the Aiguilles de Port Coton formed by islets and rocks which majestically rise out of the water and are whipped by the waves of the ocean.
Their name comes from the scum that forms like cotton in stormy weather. The cliffs that surround these rocks are just as impressive and form a magnificent spectacle to admire at any time. We advise to come at sunset, the view is incredible, and is the meeting place for holidaymakers and locals alike, the air is pure and it’s a calm that reigns when the sun goes down. We couldn’t resist and went there every evening, as the Aiguilles de Port Coton are right next to our hotel.
The Aiguilles de Port Coton were the object of the admiration of the impressionists and in particular of Claude Monet who stayed two months on Belle-île-en-mer. During his stay, Monet painted nearly 39 canvases representing the beauty of the island’s landscapes.

La Pointe des Poulains

La Pointe des Poulains is one of the most beautiful places on the island with the Phare des Poulains which majestically adorns the tip of the island. Built in 1868, it has helped ships navigate for over 150 years. The Lighthouse has been classified as a remarkable heritage since 2004.
The place is enchanting, with its fine sandy beach and turquoise waters, it feels like being at the end of the world. We take the time to admire the beach, and take the path that goes around the lighthouse. We could stay here forever as this place is wonderful.

La Pointe des Poulains became popular with the arrival of Sarah Bernardt, a great actress recognized worldwide, who stayed on the island every summer between 1894 and 1922.

Sarah Bernardt and Belle-île-en-mer

It was in 1894 during a stay on the island that the great actress Sarah Bernhardt fell in love with Belle-île-en-mer. She thus bought a military building on the Pointe des Poulains, just a few meters from the Lighthouse. From that day on, the great actress will come to stay in Belle-île-en-mer every summer for thirty years accompanied by many friends and famous friends. Sarah Bernhardt’s villa is open for visits to understand the love of the actress for the island.

The beaches of Belle-Ile-en-Mer

During our stay we discovered many beaches all around the island. From the small inaccessible cove (except by canoe) to the large extended beach, Belle-île-en-mer has a number of extraordinary beaches. Here are a few that stood out to us:

Pointe des Poulains beach, for its setting, its view and its turquoise waters worthy of a postcard.
The beach of Donnant, an incredible beach of fine sand from which to admire the sunset leaves an unforgettable memory (say locals).
The beach of Vazen, a very long beach and it is a long walk away, it is sublime because it is very confidential and with an exceptional color gradient.
The Grands Sables Beach in Locmaria, a huge beach with fine sand, it is ideal for a day at the beach because it is not windy and the sea is calm. Perfect for water activities and family swimming.

The best thing is to explore the island and at the bend of a path to discover a beach or a cove on which to land and sunbathe.



Le palais et Sauzon

Le Palais, main city of Belle-île-en-mer is made up of the Citadel Vauban, local traders and the port which connects to the mainland. It is a pretty town to visit and the Vauban citadel is a must. It is also at Le Palais that you can rent a car, bicycle or scooter. We opted for the car because the island is rather large and there are not really any cycle paths, especially the coastal paths which are not allowed for bicycles.

Sauzon, a small town with its crazy charming port, not far away from La Pointe des Poulains, we fell in love of this place. A calm and great serenity emanates from this place, it is a real pleasure to walk there. It is in Sauzon that we have found the best restaurants on the island, a well-hidden little paradise.

Exceptional stay at Grand Large

We stayed for 5 days at the Hotel du Grand Large on the coast near the Aiguilles de Port Coton. We were conquered by the place, so family and the staff so benevolent, we had a most pleasant stay. The hotel is ideally located on the edge of the ocean, offering an incredible panorama and a direct path for strolling along the coast of Belle-île. A few minutes on foot we are at the Aiguilles de Port Coton, ideal for admiring the sunset. The hotel is on a human scale and offers a delicious gourmet restaurant, a sun terrace with an ocean view and a swimming pool in the heart of nature. The place is perfect to rest and enjoy the holidays.

Gastronomy in Belle-île-en-mer

The gastronomy of the island is very local, lots of fish and seafood, but also goat cheese from the island and the famous Breton “crêpes” and “galettes de sarrasin”.
The restaurants are scattered throughout the island, our preference is for the port of Sauzon which has several quality restaurants, and the Marie-Galante restaurant at the Grand Large hotel.


To live a dream holidays in Brittany between nature and relaxation, do not hesitate to contact your travel designer to create for you a tailor-made stay in Belle-île-en-mer.

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