Glenan Archipelago

Beaches of fine sand, turquoise water, an omnipresent nature … It is often said that the Glénan are the Breton Caribbean, a paradise that has so much to offer.

The archipelago is composed of nine main islands and numerous islets. Only St. Nicholas Island is habitable. The whole archipelago is classified as a nature reserve.

It is a magical territory to be discovered 11 miles from Sainte-Marine.

An explosion of nature

Since 1974, the archipelago has been classified as a nature reserve. Some islands are an indispensable landmark for seabirds throughout the year and particularly at nesting time. 140 species of birds are regularly counted there. More than 30 species are present year-round and 110 species are migratory.

Botanically, it is also a remarkable place with the Narcisse des Glénans, a protected endemic species that flowers only on the island of Saint-Nicolas from April to June.

During the crossing you may also come across dolphins or seals which are often visible near the archipelago.

A mythical archipelago in the field of boating

The Glénan archipelago enjoys a great notoriety in the field of water sports. This is obviously due to its characteristics and aesthetics but also to the fame of its sailing school “Les Glénans” established since 1947.

Today the sailing school “Les Glénans” is the largest in Europe with 15,000 trainees welcomed each year.

A rich history

When looking at the Glénan Archipelago, one can imagine that it is a jewel that has been preserved from man for a long time, yet the first traces of human activity date back a long time ago. Burials dating back to the fourth millennium BC have been discovered here. At that time the Glenan Achipelago was not an island, the sea level has risen considerably since then.

In the Middle Ages its ownership will be regularly discussed but the archipelago will not know notable human activities.

In the 15th century and perhaps even earlier, the archipelago was an interesting den and shelter for privateers and other wreck plunderers who watched for the passage of merchant ships. In addition, the seabed was dangerous and led many ships to shipwreck. From the 18th century, the Glénan archipelago saw the development of fishing (seaweed farming, fish drying, etc.) and agriculture. Numerous initiatives will see the light of day but the conditions remain complicated to perpetuate such activities.

How do I get there?

To get to the archipelago from Sainte Marine, you can take the Vedettes de l’Odet, which offers excursions. If you have your boat licence, you can also rent a boat or use your own.

The crossing time with a rental boat is between 30 and 45 minutes by motorboat and one hour with the Vedettes de l’Odet. In view of the nature of the funds, we encourage you to be humble and above all to be very vigilant if you go by your own means.