- General information about L’Île-d´Arz
- How to get to Île-d’Arz from Vannes?
- Where to stay ?
- What to do in Île-d’Arz?
- Best restaurants in the island
- Other activities
General information about L’Île-d’Arz
The island of Arz (We don’t pronounce the « z ») is a Breton island located in the Gulf of Morbihan, known for its mild oceanic climate, its wild nature and its cosy places that delight travelers and its inhabitants: The Ildarais.
Schools in Île-d’Arz or rather the unique school of Île-d’Arz
Considering the number of inhabitants, the island of Arz has only one school with a single class which currently has only 6 students. Once in terminal, the students are forced to go to Vannes to study. A boat shuttle ride that takes 45 mins to get to the high school in Vannes and 45 mins to return to the island and return home by bike.
6 months before entering high school, students receive training which consists of introducing them to city life, because in Île d’Arz, there is no single traffic light, nor roundabouts.
Île-d’Arz or the island of the captains
Nicknamed The Island of the Captains, due to the fact that its inhabitants worked a lot in the French and merchant Navy, in addition to the sailors who came to settle there.
It is also called Sailors and Captains, due to the long absences of the Ildarais sailors who left the island to navigate, leaving behind their wives who became the “guardians of the island”, which gives to this island a matriarchal character.
How to get to Île-d’Arz from Vannes?
A few meters away from the city center of Vannes, there is the port of Vannes, the main footbridge which gives direct access to the Gulf of Morbihan.
Here is the list of departure ports with boat buses, listed from the closest port to the center of the city of Vannes:
|Parc du Golfe
The Boat bus schedules and prices are available on the website: https://www.ile-arz.fr
After walking for 15 minutes from the city center, I arrived at Port of Vannes – Parc du Golfe. The first thing that struck me once on the boat was the number of bikes carried.
The view from the water bus :
The view from the boat is absolutely stunning. You will have the opportunity to see several neighboring islands, starting with Boëdic Island (which is owned by Christian Latouche, the founder of Fiducial society. In 2018, he was the 76th French fortune, with 1.3 billion euros), Boëd Island and finally Drenec Island.
And here we are on the Île-d’Arz!
It goes without saying that as soon as I put my feet on the island, I fell in love with its authentic charm, its wild and splendid landscapes and its pleasant calm. In short, the island is a real Eldorado.
The landscapes are sublime and very diverse, with green fields containing coves of fine sand as well as marshes and mudflats.
No matter where you are on the island, you are always surrounded by the sea! You will find sailing enthusiasts there, as well as many and many bicycles. Well, I did not hesitate to get one to cycle around the island.
Where to stay ?
Most visitors tend to leave the island in the evening around 10 p.m. But if you plan to stay there for a day or more, the Île-d’Arz, despite its small size, offers you a variety of choices for accommodation:
|Hôtel Restaurant L’Escale d’en Arz
|This is the first thing you see on the island of Arz since it is located 5 meters from the pier.
|L’annexe de L’Escale en Arz
|address: cale de Béluré, Avenue Charles de Gaulle, 56840 Île-d’Arz
|A hotel residence: Fisherman’s cottage
|address: 120 rue monseigneur joubioux, 56840 Île-d’Arz
| Go to the website
You will find around 6 to 8 lodges for rent.
|Furnished rentals and Guest rooms
| For furnished rentals, the Île-d’Arz town hall provides visitors with an online form to choose a rental according to the number of people, or according to the geographical area of your rental on the island:
| Located about 500 meters from the pier and in front of the large beach the ‘La Falaise’. It has 73 sites for caravans or camping car, 15 sites for tents.
It is preferable to make a reservation 6 months in advance by calling 02 97 44 33 97 or by sending an email to
Where did I spend my stay?
Since my friends and I wanted to spend only one night on the island, we booked 3 months in advance at the Hotel Restaurant L’Escale d’en Arz, located 5 meters from the pier.
When we arrived at the hotel and wanted to check in, we were told by the hotel that an error has occurred in our reservation and that they have tried to reach us on the phone for two days without success.
Given that the hotel was overbooked, we were offered to spend the night in a house located in the center of the island, and 1.3km away from the hotel. The house, which was generously fully covered by the hotel, was the house of the island nurse.
Before settling in, we decided to reserve two bikes that the hotel gave us us for a day and a half for the price of half a day. Imagine that after 30mins, no bikes were available.
The alternative house was a large house, very well equipped and decorated and we were very happy with it. How lucky we were! to be upgraded from a hotel room to an entire house, with a strategic location, overlooking the avenue de Charles de Gaule and in the center of Le Lan.
What to do in Île-d’Arz?
1) For sailing courses: You can contact Les Glénans Sailing School or FFV Sailing School of the Sport and Culture Association of the Île-d´Arz.
2) Outdoor hiking: With its 18 km of coastal path, you can walk them with or without a bike. It’s nice to do both. It is possible to do everything on foot too.
Remember to book your bike in advance, within the first 2 hours of your arrival, otherwise you may not find one.
3) Rent a bike
To rent a bike, you can contact:
|ARZ LOCATIONS VÉLOS
|L’ARZ ET LA MANIÈRE
Port de Béluré 56840 ÎLE D’ARZ
|Reservations and prices, you may call :
02.97.44.33.58, 02.97.44.33.65 or 06.80.96.14.80
Le Bourg 56840 ÎLE D’ARZ
4) Shore fishing: Another activity that the island offers you. You will notice that visitors are fishing everywhere, from the shore, with their children, it is a lot of fun!
Best restaurants in the island
You won’t be surprised to see that half of the restaurants are full, to the point that you will have to wait for your turn or find them closed. Remember to book 4 hours in advance by calling the restaurant of your choice.
In any case, if you happen to wait for your turn, keep in mind that it is worth it. The dishes in all the restaurants on the island are delicious and carefully prepared.
Below is the list of the restaurants:
|RESTAURANT L’ESCALE EN ARZ.
|Débarcadère de Béluré
02 97 44 32 15
|CRÊPERIE DU CAP
02 97 44 34 55
02 97 44 32 26
|LE PERROQUET BLEU
|Av Ch de Gaulle
02 97 44 30 15
|Rue François Rio
06 19 54 16 34 / 02 97 44 31 91
02 97 44 33 65 / 06 80 96 14 80
|CRÊPERIE LES ÎLES
02 97 44 30 95 / 07 49 40 11 18
Fermé le Lundi en basse saison
(BAR – TABAC – PRESSE)
02 97 44 33 80
Where did I eat during my stay?
L’ESCALE EN ARZ HOTEL / RESTAURANT: In which I ordered a salmon dish with dessert. This one was so good that I ended up asking for a 2nd.
CRÊPERIE DU CAP: I had two large crêpes rolled in caramel and another salted one, as well as an ice cream. (Don’t try to understand my taste !!)
LA GUITOUNE: The food here was incredibly delicious.
A real treat!
How did we spend our day on the island?
After we settled in, the first activity we did was a bike ride, and we stopped every 30 minutes to take photos and admire the nature of the island.
We started with Ballon d’Arz, then we headed towards the center of the island to discover its restaurants, its architecture, the Church of the Nativity of Notre Dame and the mill.
We continued to Rudevent Beach. We bathed quickly and continued on foot, while dragging our bikes. We took a sand bath and we got submerged by the surrounding nature. 45mins later, we took a detour to Bilhervé and Ménézic in which we discovered several hidden and pleasant places, and we took the opportunity to fish crabs and release them into the sea.
We also tried all the activities suggested by the town hall on their website:
- The tide mill
- The Beluré mill
- The priory
- Les cales
- Kernoël’s mansion
- The old houses of Penero
- The Varech’s warehouse
- The Salines of Rudevent
Towards the end of the day, we went back to RESTAURANT L’ESCALE EN ARZ to eat and have ice cream.
The next day before our departure, we took advantage of the time we had left to go and taste the craft beer in the fountain bar.
At the hotel, when we wanted to return the bikes, we realized that someone made a mistake and took my bike. Anyways, since all rental bikes remain on the island, that was not a problem.
The evening was excellent for a night walk.