Belle Ile & The Citadel
Belle Ile, "la bien nommee", is the largest of all the Breton islands with a coastline comprising cliffs, creeks and beaches, sloping gently down on the North side while presenting a wild face to the open sea. Le Palais, the small island’s capital is dominated by a star shaped citadel built in the 16th century on the orders of King Henri II (1519-1559) dominates the island's little capital. It was later enlarged by the Dukes of Gondi and by Fouquet, the double ramparts and powerful corner bastions show Vauban's influence. A perfect expression of classical military architecture, the citadel offers a promenade through the past. Meet Fouquet or the Cardinal of Retz, Louis XIV and the "poison affaire", the Chouans and Cadoudal and many more characters that made the story of this sentinel of the sea. Walk from pier to the Citadel for a guided visit of this “Battleship of the Atlantic”, with the overview of the Parade ground discover soldiers’ quarters, prison cells, gunpowder storage, kitchens... From the Governor Bastion and its gardens view over Le Palais port and little town, the coastline and far away Islands of Houat and Hoedic. The guide will select areas to visit inside the Citadel: museum, prison cell, officers’ quarters (exterior only)… to fit the visit to allowed timing. Then drive to Port Coton. En route see the Grand Phare from the coach: the island’s tallest lighthouse. Join the original Port Coton Needles, pyramids of rocks worm and shaped by the ocean where foam may fly like cotton balls on stormy days. Head on to the Pointe des Poulains the Northern island cap, loved by the artist Sarah Bernhardt, with a passage at Kervilahouen, a peaceful inland village where the Impressionist Claude Monet spent some time, painting the same stretch of nearly wild coast 36 times in all weathers. Then you will reach Sauzon, the picturesque harbour over the entrance of a deep estuary, known for its colored facades. After your visit to the citadel, you will return to the tender dock through the charming port of Le Palais. here you will have time to browse on our own before boarding the tender back to the yacht.
Notes: No coaches are allowed in Le Palais. There’s a 10 to 15 minute walk from pier to the coach parking lot before boarding (moderate walk with a slope) Please advise if this will be a challenge and a minivan may be arranged (If available). Coaches are also not allowed in Sauzon, it involves 10 minute walk one way (moderate with small slope). Guests should be advised about walking, low lintels and some narrows ways. The guide will select areas to visit inside the Citadel: prison cell, officers’ quarters (exterior only)… to fit the visit to allowed timing. Sites may be seen in a different order. A minimum participation is required to operate all Yachting Land Adventures and some have limited capacity. All adventures and prices in the SeaDream Yachting Land Adventures program are subject to change.
Port: Belle Ile
Duration: 4 hours
Voyages where this land adventure can be found: