photo courtesy of www.brittanytourism.com/

The large harbour of Lorient, south Brittany, offers five marinas to choose from – www.sailingtoday.co.uk/cruising/gulls-ey…

One of the main marinas is Port Louis

The natural thought might be to head for the marina in the city centre. This is a long concrete basin with trees alongside that shade the car parking. The city centre is a little sprawling and not that large, yet has all the shopping from boutiques and down. Charm, perhaps, is not much in evidence, but once again, money is clearly being spent here on upgrading the city.

However, the first marina as you enter is Port Louis. The HM dory zapped out to greet us, led us to a berth and leapt out to take our lines, though another occasion in midweek, the marina was full and we agreed to hang off the fishing vessel pontoon for the night. They found us a berth the next day.

If you just looked at your pilot guide chart, you should note this marina is about 2.5 miles from the entrance to the town- by water. In high season, there are bus and ferries running between key points, euro 4 for a day pass on them all. Out of supplies? Drop into the commercial centre by bus on your way back from a little tour in the town and stock up at the large Intermarche. Jump back on the next bus which drops you at the HM office. Note, do not get romantic about the idea of the ferry terminal at the “old fishing port”. In reality, this is a wasteland of hideous derelict buildings. Fortunately, the bus arrives 30 seconds after the ferry drops you off to whisk you away. The place looks like a film set for a war zone.

The little village of Port Louis is rather quaint, helped by spacious ramparts, cobbled streets, a beach and all you need nearby. An outstanding baker even by French standards, up in the town, though a smaller one close to the marina. The town history stems from the spice trade. I don’t know that it is a “hidden” gem, but tie this location in with the ferry and bus network, and it comes up trumps. The Citadel is worth a stroll around; it also houses an exhibition on the history of the French Lifeboats, a small gallery of the Port Louis classic sailing boats and an exhibition of nautical seabed exploration and “treasures”. All free, on our visit, but little in English… All in all, a very pleasant stopover. Fuel is over on the other side, but note it is on the “outside” of the marina, south side, just inside the breakwater dog leg. By far the cheapest fuel we have come across.

Gavin May kindly provided the above report – 2021

Contact information for Lorient marinas

Adress : Boulevard Adolphe Pierre – 56100 Lorient
Tél : 00 33 297 211 014
Fax : 00 33 297 211 015
VHF : Canal 9
E-mail : port-lorient@sellor.com

Harbour Master’s Office – Opening Times
Monday to Saturday : 9.00 am to 12.00 pm & 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm (Closed Sunday)
July & August : 8.30 am to 12.30 pm & 2.00 pm to 8.00 pm (everyday)

There is a very large festival in the area each year in August – www.brittanytourism.com/matching-what-i-…

Other helpful sites are – www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the…

Noonsite also has useful information – www.noonsite.com/place/france-2/atlantic… and includes links to the main marinas

Kernevel Marina
Locmiquelic Marina
Lorient Marina (Port de Plaisance)
Port-Louis Marina