Belle-Île-en-Mer, 14 kms off the coast of mainland Brittany, our last port of call in France.
As sunlight slowly breaks through the clouds, the morning brightens revealing a sea so still, like a mirror. I can’t wait to get aboard the zodiac to shore. There’s not a breath of wind as we head off hardly breaking the surface of the sea and round the bow of the ‘Silver Cloud’.
It’s impossible to get to Belle-Île except by ship. Sailing through the entrance to the little harbour, boats rock gently in their moorings and pretty white fishermen’s cottages dot the shore. Le Palais is the island’s main town with a 16th century fort standing guard near the harbour.
Claude Monet beat me here by more than a century. “I am in a magnificent untamed land, a formidable heap of rocks and an incredible sea of colours!”
Today is my first organised tour of the expedition cruise. It’s nice to be taken for a drive right around the island. The furthest stop was at Pointe Des Poulains in the northwest of Belle-Île where Sarah Bernhardt holidayed in a Napoleon III castle located in a most beautiful wild setting.
The last small harbour township of Sauzon has the most wonderful selection of cafés and restaurants.￼￼ ￼ This is where I’d love to return to.
If I were here longer, I would need to taste their famous butter, crêpes, cider, oysters, and lamb.￼
This is truly un Belle￼ Île!