Yachting Monthly|August 2020
The Gulf of Morbihan provides Nick Chavasse with delights aplenty, including quaint anchorages and medieval towns ripe for exploring
Nick Chavasse


For those of us who are time-poor but who want to seize the moment, either on our own boat or on a charter, it is reassuring to know that there are plenty of cruising hubs from where we can enjoy some of the best of the region in only a few days. This new series, A Week Afloat, commissioned by Yachting Monthly and Imray, visits some ideal destinations and suggests a one-week itinerary. Each article, complete with expanded information about cruising each area, will be available as a PDF download via Imray’s website or Google Play Books.

The Gulf of Morbihan is a fabulously scenic inland sea of 50 square miles and about 40 islands, affording some protection from the weather, and busy with boats of all shapes and sizes. It is the perfect place for a week’s cruise, with sandy beaches, history and legend to discover and gastronomy to enjoy. The River Auray leads up to the charming town of Auray in the north-west corner of the gulf. Vannes, in the northeast corner, is a place of winding cobbled streets, full of character, colour and beautiful medieval architecture as well as having a stunningly good market.

It is difficult to charter a boat from the Gulf of Morbihan itself. The main charter base is La Trinité in Quiberon Bay about five miles WNW from the entrance to the gulf. La Trinité is also the name of its flourishing oyster river with excellent sailing facilities and plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. It is often described as the home of the racing fraternity and is where France’s 1970 America’s Cup yacht is kept. Provisioning is easy at the town’s Carrefour supermarket, supplemented with fresh produce from the twice-weekly market and numerous fish markets on the quay.

A week’s charter will give sufficient time to sample some of the Gulf of Morbihan. You could, however, spend several weeks exploring the myriad of delightfully secluded anchorages. The islands just outside Quiberon Bay are perfect to visit in good weather. Belle-Île is the largest with a couple of proper harbours and lots of anchorages. The smaller islands of Houat and Hoëdic are also very attractive with lovely walks and idyllic spots to anchor with beautiful beaches.


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August 2020