With beaches of fine sand and plants you won’t find anywhere else, the Glénan Archipelago is something of an exception among the Breton islands. Accessible between April and September, Finistère’s southern Archipelago is formed of tiny islands gathered around St Nicolas, the only inhabited island in the Archipelago.
Each September sees the biggest gathering of the Glénan year, when it’s time for the traditional ‘Glénan Pardon’, a religious event that unites several hundred people.
Quite apart from the lagoon, and the fine sandy beaches that are so perfect for sunbathing, the Glénan islands are also the only place where the Glénan Narcissus grows in the wild, very particular type of Narcissus with cream colouring.
The White Heart of the Glénan Archipelago
From the beginning of spring to the end of the summer, the Glénan Archipelago is waiting to welcome you. Take a trip to the edge of the world in this collection of paradise islands.
And while you are here, why not set off in search of the treasure of the islands? Besides your photos, which will look as if they were taken on the other side of the world, the treasure of these islands is a small flower that can only be found in this group of islands: the Glénan Narcissus. Utterly unique, this flower blooms in April on Île St Nicolas and makes the most of the very particular island climate to grow into the little floral pearl that we know.
With the seabirds whirling overhead and surrounded by the tiny blue flowers of borage and thistle, head off to discover the floral beauties of Glénan.
The biggest sailing school in Europe
Some 70 years ago, two people who had been involved with the French Resistance during WWII decided to set up a sailing school on the Glénan islands, and they named it after the archipelago itself.
‘Les Glénans’ has since become the largest sailing school in Europe, and still respects its founding principles of volunteering, solidarity and sharing, which it teaches to its 15,000 participants every year.
Although ‘Les Glénans’ now has several sites throughout France, its original base in the Glénan isles is still very much its home port.
On this beautiful stretch of water, you can safely sail across turquoise waters. It’s the ideal base from which to learn sailing, whether on lightweight vessels or larger boats.
3, 2, 1…. dive in!
The Glénan islands are beautiful from the surface, but also underwater. The Glénan International Diving Centre (Le Centre International de Plongée des Glénan) offers taster sessions and diving outings all around the archipelago from April to September.
Whether it’s your first taste of diving, a ‘flipper trip’, an outing to discover the wildlife or diving to look at shipwrecks, you can choose from a wide range of options offered by the school, suitable for beginners right through to experienced divers.
The Glénan lights
You can’t have an island without a lighthouse, and the Glénan islands are no exception: two lighthouses keep watch over this archipelago. Neither can be visited at the moment but you can get up close if you’re in a boat.
On the Île aux Moutons, to the south, a first lighthouse welcomes visitors coming over from the mainland. Quite a distance from the archipelago itself, it has kept watch since 1879, showing where you’ll find the first group of islands (les Moutons and the Roche de Trévarec). The island is now an ornithological reserve, and is a great place for bird-watchers, especially to spot terns (a large part of this island is closed to the public).
As for Penfret lighthouse, you’ll find this on the island with the same name, to the east of the archipelago. It was put into service in 1837 and received Historic Monument status in 2015.
Getting to the archipelago
So, are you ready to set off? Find out about all our offers to help you get to the Glénan archipelago by motor boat or sailboat, for a day trip or a weekend break.
Come and discover these unique Breton landscapes, set between white sand and clear waters...
Ready to sail to the Archipelago?
Discover Glénan Archipelago and the Breton riviera in an all-inclusive break.