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Brittany and her surrounding islands

Brittany is a beautiful region situated in the north west of France. Not only it has beautiful landscapes but also beautiful islands to explore: 797 along its coastline. In this article I will talk about the most famous ones.

Belle-île-en-mer

The Belle-île (Ar Gerveur in Breton) is located in the Morbihan department. It is not far from the Quiberon Peninsula and it is the largest island of Brittany. This beautiful island is like a magnet for tourists thanks to its temperate climate, its amazing coastline, its around 60 gorgeous beaches and its renowned “Festival Lyrique en Mer”. The main town is called Le Palais, there you can see the Citadelle Vauban which was built by a famous military engineer during the 18th century. The fort now hosts a luxury hotel-restaurant and a museum where you can find out more about the island’s history. The second largest town is Sauzon, a little fishing village, recently become a port for pleasure boats.

Molène

Molène (Molenez in Breton) is the largest island of a twenty-islands archipelago. It is quite small with an area of only 75 hectares. The community and the only port are in the east part of the island. A local delicacy is Molène sausage, which is known for being smoked with seaweeds. Even if it is less popular than its neighbour Ouessant, it is welcoming more and more tourists each year. It has one hotel, two pubs and two restaurants.

Ouessant

Ouessant (Eusa in Breton, Ushant in English) is an island in the south-western end of the English Channel which marks the north-westernmost point of metropolitan France. It is famous for its maritime past, both as a fishing community and as a landmark in the Channel approaches. More than 50,000 ships per year pass this way, therefore it is not a surprise to discover that there are six lighthouses around the island. The best known is Créac’h, which has one of the most powerful lights in the world and can reach a distance of about 80 miles. At its base is located the Museum of Lighthouses and Buoys.

L’île de Sein

The Île de Sein (Enez Sun in Breton) is an island of Finistère department, located in the Atlantic Ocean, eight kilometres from the Pointe du Raz. It barely emerges from sea level and undergo floods quite often. That is why the community and the houses are close to one another, surrounding the port to endure the elements. The Men Brial lighthouse is the place where you can find some exhibits of sea rescues carried out by the islanders. The island’s only museum, the Écomusée, shows Sein’s history and daily life through the years.

“Qui voit Molène voit sa peine / Qui voit Ouessant voit son sang / Qui voit Sein voit sa fin”. “Who sees Molène sees his pains / Who sees Ushant sees his blood / Who sees Sein sees his end”.

Breton proverb

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