CSCC Reports 2008: Sea Kayaking Gulf of Morbihan - July 2008Having remembered my forum password, I thought I might put up a few links about Brittany.
The Golfe du Morbihan (around Vannes) offers a good intro to sea kayaking. The name means "little sea", and refers to a large inlet with many islands. Near the entrance to the gulf the currents are stronger, and you can head out to the "ocean" or open sea. Further in you get quiet paddling over oyster beds, where the motor boats aren't allowed.
I've paddled for several years with a couple of hire locations:
Base de Kayak, St Armel: http://www.bretagnekayakdemer.fr/
Kerners Kayak: http://www.kerners-kayak.com/
Both will do half or day trips, guided, or you can hire boats. They also run various courses, if you want several days' tuition. St Armel often stuff a bottle of cidre in the guide's boat for thirsty clients at lunchtime... Kerners' down near the entrance to the gulf, close by a campsite. If you're just passing by, both offer sunset trips, so you can recreate that Thames evening experience I've camped on the iles Logoden, off Arradon. No facilities (not even fresh water), and lots of boat picnickers during the day. I believe it's owned by the council, so they allow people there. As a reminder to take your rubbish home with you, the name means "mice island" - although we never saw any!
Vannes a touristy old town, with a branch of Nature et Decouvertes if it's a really wet day and you need retail therapy. They have rowing boat jousting in the summer, although I've never made it in the right week. Watch out too for the Festival Interceltique an hour up the coast at Lorient - a week of Celtic music/food/drink/entertainment, with guest Celts from Galicia, Wales, Australia, etc Early August each year. Cidre, crepes, galettes, Breizh Cola (Cola du Phare Ouest), beers, and unspellable cakes will keep you fed after paddling.
A few pictures to round off: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=7522&l=f6d25&id=656937564