4 days in the heart of Lorient

OUR TRAVEL : 4 days from April 12 to 15, 2022

WHERE? In Lorient, capital of Morbihan

HOW TO GET THERE: The train is the best way to get to Lorient in just 3 hours from Paris.

WHEN TO GO? We advise you to go outside the school holidays, the Lorient area lives at the rhythm of its inhabitants, the beaches are calm and the terraces are easily accessible. 

WHY GO THERE ? For the richness of the landscapes from the inland to the coast, to live an adventure on the water, to cycle on the island of Groix and for the pancakes of course!

ACCESSIBILITY: Find all our addresses on our map Mapstr !

Just before the Easter weekend, we spent four days in the Lorient area. Despite having family ties in Finistère, this was our first stop in Lorient. Having no idea what to expect, we loved being surprised, from inland to the coast, by so many different landscapes, most of them accessible by wheelchair. We'll tell you all about it right here, let's go!

Lorient, a city steeped in history

The origins

Founded at the end of the 17th century, Lorient owes its development to the Compagnie des Indes, created by Colbert to trade with Asia, particularly India for its fabrics. It was here that he had his new ship, the Soleil d'Orient, known as the Orient by the workers, built. The city will keep its name!

Despite the bombings of the Second World War which devastated the town, two period buildings have survived. TheHôtel Gabriel and its place d'armes, where the goods were deposited to be counted before the auction. The second stands above the port, the Tour de la Découverte. It allowed the Company to ensure the proper return of the ships and to avoid any smuggling before entering the port of Lorient.

A colourful city centre

Like a pied-de-nez after the war, Lorient has decided to make its walls burst with colour. On the city's main streets, from the pastel green to the bright red of the building nicknamed the Technicolor, you will see all kinds of colours!

Artists, most of them local, also wanted to put their mark on it. Keep your eyes open, there is a graffiti on every street corner. Their favourite playground is just behind the submarine base, where many disused buildings are their delight!

For colours that will delight not only the eyes but also the taste buds, head for the Halles de Merville. Here, seafood is in the spotlight: oysters, sea urchins, clams, cockles... everything is there! We're just about ready for a glass of white wine to accompany them!

Lorient La Base

This former submarine base, created by the Germans during the war, was renovated in the late 1990s.

This area has been redesigned to welcome the greatest French and international sailors. Lorient is proud to be the home port of 10 sailors who regularly take part in ocean races such as the Vendée Globe.

At the time of our visit, the Imoca, 18-metre monohulls and Ultym, huge trimarans, were out after the winter break. The skippers are making the final adjustments before the start of the Bermuda 1000 Race in a few days.

Right next to the base, the imposing Cité de la Voile Éric Tabarly allows young and old alike to discover the world of sailing while having fun. The course has been entirely designed to provide a visual experience with numerous life-size models and reconstructions, but also a tactile one. No need to hold back in front of a foil or pieces of sail, you can touch everything!

The main floor has an immersive space with simulators to test yourself against the best to get your boat out of the harbour, hoist the mainsail or steer in a storm. A pool, equipped with buoys and fans, allows you to pilot a motorised boat... watch out for the wall!

To complete the experience, a 4D cinema lets you experience the most difficult moments of a sailor during the Vendée Globe with water and wind projections as if you were there!

We didn't have time to do it this time but it is also possible to visit the submarine base and the submarine Flore.

Before heading back to the centre, don't miss a stop at the Comptoir Groix et Nature to buy some products made in Groix but above all to taste them at one of their tables... divine!

Along the Blavet

When you think of Brittany, images of a rugged coastline, beaches and water sports immediately spring to mind. This visit to the Lorient region allowed us to discover the richness of the interior.

Many villages have developed on the banks of the Blavet, which links Lorient to Pontivy. This is the case ofInzinzac-Lochrist, a few kilometres north of Lorient. It is here that we have planned an activity a little different from our previous experiences!

On theisland of Locastel, an old hall has been refurbished to house a kayaking club run by enthusiasts. Its particularity? A white water park, a few hundred metres long, allows you to try kayaking in a strong current in the middle of the rocks. The instructors accompany you at every stage to enable you to have maximum pleasure in this unusual environment.

Don't worry, if you prefer a quieter outing, go up the Blavet, which is lined with forest, passing through the various locks. A real moment of relaxation in a sumptuous setting.

As you approach Lorient, the village ofHennebont is a stopover not to be missed. Created by Napoleon III, the National Stud has been located here since 1857. The origin of this institution goes back to the 17th century with the aim of providing war horses. Over the centuries, the objective has evolved with the development of the equine industry in transport, agriculture and finally horse racing. This is why the various stables of the Haras include magnificent stallions and imposing draft horses.

To end your visit in style, we recommend that you attend the equestrian show under the big top set up in the main courtyard. Four riders poetically transport you into their imaginary world by combining their dressage techniques with a message that is close to their hearts.

Before continuing your discovery of the interior, stop at the Relais de Saint Caradec on the banks of the Blavet. The team welcomes you in a warm atmosphere to taste delicious dishes made with local products. As a bonus, if the weather is good, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the half-timbered houses of the old town from the terrace.

Once you've had your fill, head for the towpath that runs along the Blavet for almost 60 kilometres. Whether you are walking, cycling or horse riding, this natural area is the perfect place to get out and about. The locals are the first to come and enjoy it as soon as the sun comes out!

A coastline full of surprises

Lorient's advantage is its proximity to the coast. From the city centre, climb on an An Oriant bike to reach the Kaolins greenway. It is 10 kilometres long and links Lorient to the village of Courégant on the coast. It is a pleasure to pedal along an old railway line used to transport kaolins, a mineral used in the manufacture of porcelain. Between forests and fields of rape, the noise of cars is far away and you are carried away by the song of the birds!

Once on the coast, you'll discover white sandy beaches that have nothing to envy to the Caribbean beaches. So don't forget your swimming costume before you leave! The "voie verte" continues between Guidel and Larmor-Plage either by the cycle track or by a coastal path. Take a break to watch the many surfers who have come to confront the incessant rollers, a real spectacle!

Brittany is renowned for its sailing schools and Lorient is no exception. Just next to Larmor-Plage, the Centre Nautique de Kerguélen is the ideal place to take to the water. After having sailed a dinghy in the bay of Ajaccio in 2020, we tested the catamaran! Once installed, Laurent, our instructor for the day, gives me the helm and Myriam is in charge of the jib. Following his wise advice, we follow the wind to gain speed. On one side the fortress of Port-Louis, on the other the island of Groix... the setting is sublime!

The island of Groix, a little jewel

Just in front of Lorient you can see a spit of land that stretches for a few kilometres, it is theisland of Groix. It is the pride of the people of Lorient and has nothing to envy to Belle-île a little further east. 

To get there, nothing could be easier: whether you have a car or not, numerous shuttles run back and forth in less than an hour from the port of Lorient throughout the day. We advise you to take the first one to make the most of your stay on the island.

As soon as you arrive, go to Coconuts Location to select your bike. The electric version is ideal for touring the island's roads. The first stop is the town. From here you can head east to the white sandy beaches or west to the Pen-Men lighthouse. Stop by the Boulangerie Mahé to grab a sandwich before setting off to discover the best spots on the island:

Pointe des Chats lighthouse: its red head stands at the south-eastern tip to warn boats of the rocky plateau ahead.

The Sables Rouges and Grands Sables beaches: in the off-season, these two beaches look like paradise with turquoise water licking the sand. You may wonder why "red sand"? Particles coming from the sea bed are deposited on the sand and give it this particular color.

La Chapelle Saint-Léonard: It overlooks the small village of Quelhuit. Take a look inside to see the many ex-votos left by the sailors.

The point of Pen-Men: On arriving at the west of the island, you will come face to face with the lighthouse of Pen-Men. Painted in black and white, it contrasts with the green vegetation at its feet. Then venture to the edge of the cliffs to be mesmerised by the play of the waves hitting the rocks. As the sun beat down, a cloud of mist suddenly enveloped the island, giving it a mystical... magical look!

Aiden by Best Western: Just opposite the train station, it is ideally located to enjoy Lorient. Its "Compagnie des Indes" atmosphere invites you to travel, we warmly recommend it! Rates: from 115€ per night. Accessibility: The hotel is fully wheelchair accessible. We were in room 307 and there were no grab bars in the shower or seats. You can ask the reception to provide you with a metal chair from their terrace but be careful with the supports.

Ty Mad: Just a few metres from the pier, this hotel is the ideal starting point for visiting Groix! After a good breakfast, hop on a bike and set off to discover the island. Rates: Approximately 160€ per night for rooms and studios. Accessibility: Studios 1 and 2 are fully wheelchair accessible. There are no grab bars in the toilet or shower. A backless shower seat is also available. Access is from the rear of the hotel via a steep street before descending through the hotel car park. 

Loco Loca : At the foot of the Aiden Hotel, this restaurant has a South American atmosphere that should please most people! Prices: count between 3€ and 10€ for tapas and from 18€ for the dishes. Find here all the information. Accessibility: It is fully wheelchair accessible (toilets too).

Le Relais de Saint Caradec: On the banks of the Blavet, opposite the old town of Hennebont, enjoy a meal made with fresh and local products before setting off on the towpath. Prices: about 18€ for the full menu. Accessibility: It is fully wheelchair accessible (toilets too).

Tavarn : This tavern is a must in Lorient! The main dish? A hot andouille with a homemade purée to die for... Nothing better than a beer or a cider to accompany it! Prices: Count between 6 and 15€ for the dishes. You can find here all their suggestions. Accessibility: The restaurant is accessible (there are 2 possible entrances). The toilets are not accessible (access is too narrow). 

Ty-Rouille: Right next to Lomener beach, this crêperie is delicious. Don't miss their terrace if the weather is good! Prices: Pancakes start at €4 Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible (toilets too).

La Grange : Not far from the Tavarn, the décor of this crêperie caught our eye. A rich menu where everything is good! Prices: from 4€ for the crêpes and about 12€ for the salads. Visit here their menu. Accessibility: The restaurant is fully wheelchair accessible (toilets too). There is a ramp to access the terrace.

The Harbour Boys : Run by the son of the owner of the Ty Mad hotel, this restaurant offers delicious seafood (mussels, spiders, clams)! If you are staying overnight, enjoy a drink on the terrace as the last boat leaves for the mainland! Prices: from 16€ for the dishes. See here their menu. Accessibility: The restaurant is accessible (toilets too). The entrance is in the courtyard of the Ty Mad hotel. 

Le Comptoir Groix et Nature : Right next to Lorient La Base, this bistro will delight your taste buds. In association with the Groix et Nature brand, you will taste their famous preparations for the aperitif before enjoying the catch of the day... a treat! Prices: from 15€ for the dishes Accessibility: It is entirely accessible by wheelchair (toilets also).

White water park of Lochrist : Passionate instructors will make you discover the white water park on the Blavet, sensations guaranteed! Prices : Find all the information on their website. Accessibility: The premises are fully wheelchair accessible (showers, changing rooms and toilets). The kayaks are inflatable and therefore flexible at the seat. They can raise the backrest to allow everyone to remain seated during the activity. The access to the water is on a seahorse and they will give you a hand during the transfer. Work is planned from September 2022 to create a terrace at water level with a gallows.

Haras National d'Hennebont : One of the last French national stud farms. Stroll through the different buildings to see the different horses and watch the show to get a good look at them! Prices: For the visit of the stud farm, count 8€ per adult and 5€ per child. For the show: 12.5€ per adult and between 3€ and 7€ for children depending on their age. Reservations are recommended. Accessibility: The stud farm is fully wheelchair accessible (toilets and all areas) as well as the marquee where the equestrian show takes place.

An Oriant bikes : The best way to discover Lorient and its greenway! You can pick them up at one of the sales points or self-service at various locations in the town. Prices: Count between 5€ and 18€ for a day's rental depending on the model of bike (manual or electric). Find here all the information.

Kerguelen Nautical Centre : Laurent will accompany you for a sea trip on a catamaran to rediscover the feeling of sailing... great! Prices : Find here all the information on the course we were on. Accessibility: The centre is fully accessible (showers, changing rooms, toilets). You enter the water on a seahorse to avoid damaging your chair in the salt water. The most difficult part is getting on board. At least 2 people are needed to ensure smooth movement with the waves that are battering the boat. Once on board, all that remains is to find a comfortable position.

Compagnie Océane : This company has several boats that go to Groix every day. Fares: 16€ per adult, 8€ for a person with reduced mobility and their companion. Accessibility: The boats are fully wheelchair accessible (including toilets). There are ramps to access the dedicated area on the ground floor. The staff is also there to help you if necessary, especially on the boarding platforms which are quite steep. 

Coconuts Location: Just a stone's throw from the port of Groix, it only takes a few minutes to pick up a bike and set off on an adventure around the island. Rates: 12€ per day for a VTC and 25€ per day for an electric bike.

Cité de la Voile Éric Tabarly : A museum for young and old dedicated to sailing. Games are available all along the route to test your sailing skills. Don't miss the ocean racing simulator! Prices: €13 per adult, €10.35 for a person with reduced mobility (free for their companion) and €7 for children. Accessibility: The site is fully wheelchair accessible (including toilets). There is a lowered ticket office at the reception. A magnetic loop is available and the tour is also being designed for the visually impaired.

These few days are far too short to enjoy all the facets of this surprising city. We will definitely come back to enjoy this unique living environment that makes it so charming!

This trip was made in collaboration with the Region of Brittany and Lorient Bretagne Sud Tourisme. Do not hesitate to visit their website for more information!

2 responses

    1. Bonjour,
      Pour tous les voyages, on indique les tarifs de tous les hébergement, activités et restaurants afin que chacun puisse faire le sien comme il l’entend 😊

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