With its bright blue hull and its tall orange sails, l’Indomptable in Saint Goustan is one of the most photogenic boats you’ll ever see. When my father offered to sail it during our visit to Brittany, I thought it was a joke. Sailing is one of the best things to do in Brittany, and it’s even better on such a beautiful boat!
Sailing one of the most beautiful regions on one of the most beautiful boats… Was I dreaming?
L’Indomptable is moored in Saint Goustan, a lovely port on the Auray river in the South of Brittany. I love the authentic look of Saint Goustan and that’s why I included it in my Best Of Brittany list. Sure, it has changed a lot from being a poor suburb of Auray to becoming a touristy port; and don’t expect to witness the local way of life there. A bit like Locronan, Saint Goustan is a village that’s now made for tourists. But the money that tourism brought allowed them to renovate a few places and keep the village alive. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in Brittany.
A short stroll along the quays feels like travelling back in time, with the cobbled lanes, the stone bridge, and the old looking half-timbered houses. I could easily picture my father’s childhood souvenirs (minus the restaurants and the hotels). So boarding a vintage ship was a perfect addition to the picture.
The historic vessel was built in 1947 in Brittany to fish scallops. It was totally restored a few years ago and can now be hired to sail from Saint Goustan around the Gulf of Morbihan and Quiberon. With tons of islands around, it’s a splendid area where to navigate.
We all had a chance to manoeuvre the ship and raise the sails. It was a fantastic experience. If you’re a beginner, that’s not a problem. The skipper is on board to give you instructions and advice.
We were lucky with the wind: we could sail all the way to the ocean and back and never needed the motor. The cruise was delightful.
Up to 12 people can be onboard and a day tour costs 600 euros. Visit indomptable.eu for more information.
Where to stay?
Saint Goustan is a lovely village, but it’s also very small. There are only a few accommodation options, so I suggest extending your search to Auray if you want to stay nearby. Best Western Auray* is located near a forest and has free access to a hot tub – which sounds like a good combo for a relaxing stay. Hotel Le Branhoc* is only 10 minutes away by foot from Saint Goustan lovely harbour.
If you want to explore the lovely Morbihan region, I recommend staying in Vannes City Centre*. It’s a beautiful town to explore, and there is a good choice of accommodation and dining options.
Where is Saint Goustan (Auray)?
Saint Goustan is the port of Auray, located in the south of Brittany – the most western region of France. It’s easily accessible from Lorient and Vannes, which can both be reached by direct trains from Paris.
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You’re right- that IS the most photogenic boat ever!! What a treat to sail it! Was the right bumpy, or smooth?
Hi, Tamara. It was very smooth and easy! We mostly sailed on the river and only a short time in the ocean 😉
Some people just find it hard to deny the call of the sea! I’ve never gone sailing like this before but it must be a really relaxing experience, looking at all the scenic spots. P.S. I love that photo of the boat with the water mirroring the sky.
Thank you, Jayce. Sailing can be relaxing in smooth waters (it was the case on this trip), but it’s a lot of work and efforts when it’s rough. I love it in both situations 🙂
Such a beautiful boat! That looks like a lovely way to spend the day. They did a great job of restoring it, too — can’t believe it’s already 70 years old! How cool that they even gave you the chance to maneuver it yourselves, must have been a memorable experience.
Thank you, Jolina. Yes, they did an amazing job. It took them a couple of years I believe and they had to do a lot of research on top of the manual work to actually restore it. It’s always a special feeling to maneuver a boat, and this beautiful one was special indeed.
I never tried a sailing trip, but I’ve always found the idea of it super-romantic! If you had a group of 12 friends that’s super cheap to rent out the boat for the day! The boat really is super beautiful and I would absolutely love to take a vintage sail boat out!
Hello, Page. We did it as a family trip with my father so I didn’t get the romantic side of it. But I’d love to escape to some remote places as a couple: that would definitely meet my idea of romanticism! 🙂
Short and sweet post! Beautiful photos. I just would probably not be able to live with myself for a day of 600 euros!
Hi, Carolina. You’d need to convince a few friends to join to get a more affordable price 😉
Sailing sounds so relaxing especially on a vintage boat. Such a serene way to travel. Raising the sails sounds like a blast!
Hi, Debra. We had a calm day with just enough wind so we didn’t need the motor: perfect for relaxing indeed! 🙂
It indeed looks like a dream! I am so jealous! I’ve never sailed before and it’s something I really want to try.
Hi, Kirstie. I hope you’ll get to try sailing soon! It’s very fun 🙂
I”d love another sailing adventure. Friends chartered a bare bones boat to cruise the BVI’s and we loved the quiet adventure of sailing from port to port. It would be wonderful to cruise through such a historic region as you did and with your father no less!
Elaine, cruising the BVI’s must be an epic adventure. I’d love to visit the West Indies one day, and hopefully sail there.
Loved your pictures! We have never tried sailing but it does looks very fascinating. Saint Goustan sounds like an amazing place with the cobbled lanes and the half-timbered houses. A sail on a vintage ship is definitely one of its kind of experience.
Thank you, guys. We had a blast taking photos as the contrasts of the boat were fantastic to play with 🙂
Seems like a beautiful and serene experience. The water looks quite calm and lovely. The sailing experience as you described seems like stress free and perfect to take in those sights.
Hi, Ami. Yes, this sail was very calm indeed. Just enough wind to use the sails all the way 😀