Les Huniers is a gite or cottage in the town of La Roche Bernard. Unlike many properties that advertise as being in the sought after location of La Roche Bernard, but are actually some kms away, this gite is in the Vieux Port area of this beautiful town. It is a wonderful location, being just a few paces away from the historic Customs Quay with its quaint restaurants and bars and a 2 min walk from the shops and the old quarter of the town. You can leave the car and walk. Walk to the shops, walk to a bar or restaurant, take a stroll around the Vieux Port after dinner. The gite is newly furnished with taste and offers luxury accommodation for up to 4 people in 2 bedrooms . It has a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher. Outside is a secluded walled garden and a raised sun terrace The river Vilaine, nearing the end of its journey to the sea, provides some stunning scenery. Sitting in one of the bijou bars of the old port watching the sun dip down behind the rocky sides of the Vilaine is one of life's great pleasures. Sandy beaches are about 10km away and there are many scenic local walks. As well as the old port the new marina is a short walk away and the area will have particular appeal to boating enthusiasts. There are some excellent local restaurants. For a special gastronomic experience there are two Michelin restaurants nearby and many excellent restaurants within walking distance of Les Huniers. A major attraction of this property is that you can leave your car and walk to local amenities.
This is a fantastically beautiful area that is, surprisingly, not well known by many Brits and indeed French people. Below are a few gems, - there are too many to list them all, but these are some of our favourites.
A pretty medieval walled town that was built on the wealth of salt merchants. To this day Guérande salt is revered across France and you will see it often in up market restaurants. Salt production is still important but the town now is full of boutiques, art shops, restaurants and cafés. It’s touristy, but that is because it is so pretty. At least the tourist bit is done with taste.
A pretty fishing port and a marina. The town is a warren of tiny, pretty, flower decorated streets and many restaurants offering some good value choices. La Vigie overlooking the port is good for seafood and to eat on the terrace with a good view. Le Nord Pole make their own, really good ice cream.
Mesquer not far from Piriac is a pretty natural harbour with some lovely beaches on the Quimiac side
Is about a 15min drive from Guérande. Another pretty fishing port with quaint granite buildings and narrow streets that is always busy even out of season. Surprisingly the TGV runs here and so Parisians and Nantais can get there tout de suite. I think there must have been a French transport minister with a villa nearby. Take the drive down the Côte Sauvage towards La Baule.
A favourite of the Parisians and the place is a bit more swanky than the fishing ports. It has a large shopping street with designer label shops and boutiques.
Not as pretty as Le Croisic or Piriac but has a great beach. It is an active fishing port. La Godille is a simple but good restaurant, mainly seafood, but other choices available. Le Terminus restaurant opposite the fishing port is excellent.
La Brière National Park
The National Park known as La Brière is the second largest wetland in Europe, after the Camargue. The whole park covers some 40,000 hectares, with 7,000 hectares of marshland at its heart. The area is a wonderful place for wildlife.
The Brière has the greatest density of thatched houses in France - there are even estates of new houses with thatched roofs and some, rather bizarrely, have thatched garages! Auberge Le Nezil restaurant near Saint Lyphard is a thatched cottage (a chaumière) which serves excellent food
There are numerous walks and cycle tracks but probably the best way to see La Brière is by boat (chaland). These small boats are available for rent (with a guide) in the little ports of: île de Fédrun (Saint-Joachim), Port de Bréca (Saint-Lyphard), Port de la Chaussée Neuve (Saint-André-des-Eaux), Port des Fossés Blancs (La Chapelle-des-Marais), Port des Prises du Coin (Herbignac).
Down the Vilaine - The Barrage at Arzal, Penestin etc
The dam separates the sea and the tidal estuary of the Vilaine from the river. The bridge lifts every 2 hours to allow boats through the lock. There is a good viewing area and you can see the salmon ladders and some educational exhibits. You can follow the minor coast roads down to Penestin via the pretty oyster port of Tréhiguier. (A good seafood restaurant here). At Penestin there are some lovely sandy beaches and a typical Breton coastline. On the other side of the estuary towards Damgan is another oyster port of Penerf and a bit closer is Pen Lan, and Billiers a fishing port with some nice cliff top walks. A Michelin star restaurant here.
Penestin has some great beaches and is about 15mins by car. The best known beach is La Mine d’Or. A long sandy beach dotted with rocks and rock pools at low water. It is several kms in length and a must see. If you travel along the Route Côtière in the direction of Piriac there are numerous secluded coves and beaches.
Up the Vilaine
You can take a boat trip from La Roche or from Arzal and there is a boat with a restaurant. Up stream from La Roche is Foleux. A pretty port that has a bar/restaurant on the Béganne side. Further up stream just before Redon, the Vilaine links with the Nantes/Brest canal and at Redon there is a canal that joins the Rance. So you can paddle all the way to St Malo if you wish.