When touring the south of Brittany, you will want to hop on one of the 42 islands of the Gulf of Morbihan. Visiting an island is one of the best things to do in Brittany. How about going to Ile d’Arz for one day? We loved our time there!
The biggest island in the Gulf of Morbihan, Ile Aux Moines, is the most popular one. But the second-largest island in the gulf, Ile d’Arz, has many charms too. If you’re keen to leave all traffic behind to walk along the coast and relax in a quiet village, you’ll love spending a day on the Isle of Arz. The island is very flat and you’re never further than 400m from the sea.
Is it worth going to Ile d’Arz for one day?
Definitely! We spent one short day on the Ile d’Arz as we left Vannes late in the morning. Still, we had plenty of time to chill and enjoy the island.
There’s a map at the end of the article to follow our itinerary, and it also includes more information on how to go to Ile d’Arz.
However, if you can spend the night on the island, it’s worth it. It’s even calmer once all the day visitors have gone. Sunsets can be stunning. If you’re looking for accommodation, you’ll get a fantastic combination of sea views and delicious cuisine at L’Escale d’en Arz*.
Is it better to walk or hire a bike to visit Ile d’Arz?
You can choose to hire a bicycle or to walk to explore the island. I have the same advice than for visiting Belle Ile en Mer: walking is the best way to get the best views. With a bicycle, you will be limited to the inland roads and won’t be able to access the coastal walk.
Coastal walk on the Ile d’Arz
The coastal walk is 18-kilometre long. We didn’t complete it entirely during our day trip on Ile d’Arz, but it’s feasible. We preferred to walk slowly and stopped many times to take photos and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
In addition to the scenic coastal views, one of the main attractions on the island of Arz is the fascinating tidal mill, le Moulin de Berno. It was built in the 16th century and is still working today thanks to the hard work of volunteers. Nearby, a few wrecks are adding original touches to the landscape and photographs love them.
The Ile d’Arz is also reputed for bird watching, so keep your eyes open during your walk. The Gulf of Morbihan is one of the best places in France to see migratory birds.
Lunch and local products
We arrived just before lunchtime and made sure to stay close to the “bourg”, the town centre of the tiny village on the island. There are a few restaurants but they are quickly full during the peak season. Make sure to have an early lunch if you don’t want to wait for too long.
You’ll find a few creperies on the island to eat a galette, a traditional dish in Brittany.
Later in the afternoon, we stopped at a nice cafe with different types of refreshments to please everyone in our group. Some opted for a local beer from Brittany while others got tempted by the chocolate ice cream made by the local farm on the island.
Where is Ile d’Arz?
It takes about 20 minutes by boat to reach the Ile d’Arz from Vannes maritime port, which is not the one in the town centre. In summer, a shuttle will take you for free from the town centre (Port of Vannes) to the maritime port.
The boat trip is a great opportunity to see the stunning Gulf of Morbihan.
We had to queue to buy tickets and it made us miss the boat we were initially planning on boarding. If you can, book your ticket in advance.
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