The wild west coast of Quiberon Peninsula in Morbihan, France is the perfect place for getting back to nature. Fine sandy beaches, hiking trails, sweeping creeks, arches hollowed by waves, dunes, and water sports, make the area a famous seaside resort in the summer. It takes about two and a half hours from Nantes by car. If you visit Paris, you could also spend a day or two on the west coast of the Quiberon peninsula to see the different areas of France.
We went there at the beginning of autumn during our two-week Brittany coast road trip. Blessed with the golden autumn sunshine, it was perfect weather to explore on foot.
The Quiberon Peninsula is a dream setting between two seas with breathtaking landscapes, the Atlantic Ocean and its wild coast on the one side, the bay of Quiberon, and its fine sandy beaches on the other side. We spent the whole day roaming on the rugged west coast of Quiberon. The 8km-long Côte Sauvage (wild coast) is a paradise for hiking.
We had stopped at the following places:
- The southern end of the Quiberon Peninsula
- Port Maria
- Chateau Turpault
- Port Guibello
- Plage Port Bara
- Arche De Port Blanc Roche Percée
The southern end of the Quiberon Peninsula
Our journey started at the southern end of the Quiberon Peninsula, Le Conguel headland. The closest parking is the Parking Conguel near a public toilet. On the way to the Le Conguel headland, we were already excited by the open views of the ocean.
Built from the 18th century until the 19th, Port Maria was the first sardine port in France in the 1950s. It used to have thirteen canneries, but today, there are only two left. We visited one cannery the other day. Nowadays, Port Maria in Quiberon is the base to transport passengers and goods to the islands of Belle-île, Houat, and Hoëdic.
Most restaurants are at the harbour front. We popped into one of the restaurants, which offered us a 3-course seafood menu for as low as 25 Euros.
Built on the rocks, Château Turpault marks the entrance to the Côte Sauvage. It is a private manor not far from Port Maria, offering a great photo opportunity during the high tides and the splendid view of Belle-Ile-en-Mer in the distance.
Continue driving along the wild west coast, we saw this beautiful spot accidentally. So, we turned back and made a stop there as well. The waves were quite strong, but a few locals were diving there. We did the cliff walking and also discovered many cone-shaped rock piles. No information shows what they signify.
Plage Port Bara
Located near the village of Kergroix, Port Bara beach, a secluded beach encircled by jagged cliffs, is another beautiful spot on the wild west coast of the Quiberon peninsula. But due to ground swells, swimming is prohibited there. Nevertheless, the landscapes are magnificent.
Trails on the cliffs go through high dunes and lead to our final place of the day, Arche De Port Blanc Roche Percée (Port Blanc Arch Pierced Rock)
Arche De Port Blanc Roche Percée
Roche Percée means “pierced rock” in English. At low tide, we could take a peek at the arch. It was the perfect time for the sunset view because the evening lights just passed through the arch, creating a romantic and spectacle nature scene.
From the clifftop, stairs were going down to the arch. But the stairs were partially collapsed. Therefore, access to the arched rock was forbidden. We admired the exceptional view and this breathtaking landscape until the sun was below the horizon.
Travel Tips for the Wild West coast of Quiberon Peninsula
Where to stay
As a holiday destination, Quiberon has many hotels and apartments. Some have very good locations, for example, the following accommodations are all at the beachfront:
How to get there
The SNCF train at Auray goes to Quiberon and ends at Gare de Quiberon. The train has several stops on the peninsula. It is possible to walk from the train station to the nearby sites.
But if you want to look around and visit more places, it is better to have a car. Form the RN65, exit at Auray, and then drive in the direction of Quiberon. The D768 is the only major road to the Quiberon Peninsula. Some examples of distance are: Paris-Quiberon (505 km ); Nantes – Quiberon (160 km ); Rennes- Quiberon ( 155 km )
The Quiberon peninsula is linked to the mainland by a sandbank so narrow that at one point, you can see the sea on both sides. The narrowest point is about 22 metres wide.
Be aware of safety
Beaches of the wild coast of Quiberon Peninsula can be dangerous due to groundswell. Visitors must respect swimming restrictions. By all means, be careful as the coast remains wild even in the calm weather.
The 8km-long Côte Sauvage (wild coast) cliff hiking trail is not a shady trail. Make sure to protect yourself from sunburn. It could also be quite windy.