Brittany’s Most Beautiful Islands

Around the mainland, off the coast of Brittany, lie numerous islands. Small and large, near and far, rough and mild – there is something for all nature lovers. There are about 20 islands and island groups worth mentioning in the departments of Finistère, Morbihan,

Côtes-d’Armor and Ille-et-Vilaine, plus several uninhabited islets. Six of the better-known islands of Brittany are presented here – without this sequence being an answer to the question: Which is the most beautiful island of Brittany?

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Archipel Glénan

The Glénan archipelago exudes a lushness and joie de vivre that is unique in Brittany. It is easy for visitors to forget that they are only a few kilometres from the mainland of Finistère. Especially on the showpiece of Glénan, the beach of the main island Île Saint-Nicolas, one feels more like being in the South Seas amidst shallow turquoise waters, fine white sand and cloudless skies.

The archipelago off the coast of Fouesnant comprises 11 islands and a number of smaller uninhabited islets. Holiday homes, hotels or camping are prohibited on the main island as well as on the other islets of the archipelago. However, the main island is an excellent destination for a day trip.

Île de Batz

Île de Batz is a prime example of a perfect retreat. It is true that there are also visitors to Île de Batz who land on the ferries and take a day trip to the northernmost island of Finistère. However, there is no question of crowds of tourists here. Even in high season, the crowds are no comparison to other Breton islands.

Located off Roscoff, Île de Batz offers plenty of Brittany on 320 hectares: sea, wind and a varied coastline. Around the main town of Porz Kernog, rocky bays and secluded beaches invite you to enjoy the sea undisturbed. Especially the bays on the north side of the island are blessed with fine sand and are often deserted.

Île de Bréhat

Off the coast of Paimpol lies Île de Bréhat, one of the most beautiful islands in Brittany. The island owes its name “Island of Flowers” to the many exotic and indigenous plants that thrive here in the mild climate. There is hardly ever frost on Île de Bréhat, which is washed by the Gulf Stream. Optimal conditions for agaves, mulberry trees, hydrangeas, eucalyptus trees and camellias.

From the Pointe de l’Arcouest on the mainland in Paimpol, you can reach the island in about 10 minutes by ferry. Many guests of Bréhat rent a bicycle there and discover the island on two wheels. At one and a half kilometres wide and 3.5 kilometres north-south in extent, the island is an ideal size for non-regular cyclists to venture on a bike tour.

Île de Groix

One of the most famous gems in the sea off Morbihan is Île de Groix. Europe’s only convex beach, colourful shimmering rock formations and different species of birds – the island holds all these treasures.

The Île de Groix can only be reached by ferry. After a 45-minute crossing from Lorient, the boat docks in the harbour of Port Tudy. It is only advisable to have your own car if you have rented a holiday home on the Île de Groix and are staying longer. Day visitors should explore the island on a hike or get around by bicycle. This is best suited to the rhythm of the island.


Ouessant is for visitors with a taste for the rugged and wild side of Brittany. The island off the coast of Finistère offers virtually no trees, no real bathing beach and hardly any sights in the conventional sense. Those who set foot on Ouessant from the ferry can expect bizarre rock formations, lots of wind, roaring waves and impressive lighthouses.

The main island of the Ouessant archipelago stretches over 15 square kilometres off the northwestern tip of Brittany. This makes the island just the right size for a day trip.


Belle-Île is a timeless beauty. Famous personalities succumbed to the charm of Belle-Île-en-Mer and today the island is still one of Brittany’s top attractions. Whether on an island holiday or a day trip, Belle-Île will delight beach holidaymakers, hiking enthusiasts and culture lovers alike.

The grassy expanse of the inland is nowhere near as spectacular as the coast. For 80 kilometres along the Atlantic Ocean, rocky sections alternate with bays and fine sandy beaches. Special sights are the picturesque points “Aiguilles de Port Coton” and “Grotte de l’Apothicairerie” on the western side of the island.