As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore.
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"beautiful island", a name full of promises, and the island keeps them all. The largest island of the Ponant islands is a land of contrasts: natural harbors and deep rias, deeply embanked coves facing a blue turquoise sea, long fine golden sandy beaches, superb dunes, jagged cliffs and grottos…
This little paradise is divided into 4 Communes ( French administrative territory) : Le Palais, "the capital" with its vigil, an imposing Citadel, Sauzon, a cute, pastel-coloured harbor, Bangor and the great lighthouse of Gouphar peering over the wild coast, and finally, Locmaria, where its village huddles around a small church chock-full of legends.
From the Palais, where you'll come into port, a picture perfect road will lead you up hills and through pastures for a final destination of Sauzon. Monet painted this charming little port when he stayed in there for several months in 1886. A little further down the road, you'll find the very old village of Bangor and its church.
Lyrique en Mer/Festival de Belle Ile is the largest opera festival in western France. Founded in 1998 by American opera singer Richard Cowan, the Festival produces two staged operas every summer, conducted by Music Director Philip Walsh and directed by Mr. Cowan, the Artistic Director.
Additionally, there are sacred concerts in all four of the island's historic churches, as well as many smaller concerts and Master Classes. Lyrique en Mer has wide support from the French business community as well as from the Conseil General, the Conseil Regional, and the Paris Senate.
Plenty of cars all styles are available to rent. Old 2CV or modern small buggies, make your choice! Most cars are quite small, better on the small roads. If you prefer you can rent a bike, motorbike or a scooter.
There are several creperies on the island: restaurants, specialized in the sweet or salted crepes from Brittany.
For Internet check with the local tourist office at Quai Bonnelle, Le Palais.
Local emergency nummer: 112
Most shops, businesses, information services, museums and banks in France stay open all day. The exceptions are the smaller shops and enterprises, which may close for lunch sometime between 12.30pm and 2pm. Basic hours of business are from 8 or 9am to 6.30 or 7.30pm Monday to Saturday for the big shops and Tuesday to Saturday for smaller shops (some of the smaller shops may open on Monday afternoon). You can always find boulangeries and food shops that do stay open, however, on days when others close – on Sunday normally until noon.
National holiday dates:
January 1 New Year's Day
Ascension Day (forty days after Easter)
Pentecost or Whitsun (seventh Sunday after Easter, plus the Monday)
May 1 May Day/Labour Day
May 8 Victory in Europe Day
July 14 Bastille Day
August 15 Assumption of the Virgin Mary
November 1 All Saints' Day
November 11 1918 Armistice Day
December 25 Christmas Day
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