Varied coastline with many scattered islands, bays and estuaries
Area for connoisseurs with plenty of authentic nature, picturesque coastal towns and culinary delights
Mild climate with moderate and steady winds during the summer months
Pure sailing in tidal waters with occasionally strong tidal currents
The West Coast of France stands for pure and authentic sailing – with everything that goes with it: tides – navigation with tidal differences of up to 13 meters, strong tidal currents up to 3 knots and above, and precise trip planning, as a number of the very well-equipped marinas are equipped with tidal barriers and therefore are only accessable during the flood period. Once under sails, high concentration is the order of the day. You will be rewarded with a beguiling cocktail of authentic nature, culinary delicacies from the sea and excellent wines. Weather conditions are pleasant during summer with air temperatures of around 25 ° C (water 18-20 °) and steady, moderate winds.
Northern Brittany with its wild and rough nature stretches from St. Malo to the west and southwards to the Pointe du Raz. The trip to the Channel Islands is recommended from St. Malo. It is 37 nautical miles to the first of the islands, and around 50 to Guernsey. The Channel Islands do not belong to Great Britain or the EU. Their special status is called Crown Ownership of the British Crown. A detour to the tide-independent and safe berths in Lezardrieux or Paimpol is worthwhile.
South of the Pointe du Raz you enter Southern Brittany, an area with a cosy touch and a variety of attractions at short distances. You may need to make a choice between the options depending on your time budget. In the Bay of Quiberon, The Atlantic Islands – Ile d’Hoedic, Ile d’Houat and Belle Ile – are waiting for you in the Bay of Quiberon. They offer wonderful beaches, quiet anchorages or hiking trails. The Gulf of Morbihan leads up to 10 nautical miles inland and comes up as a relaxing microcosm with lots of charm around 60 islands, of which only a quarter are inhabited. The beautiful harbors, cafés and restaurants of the Gulf invite to forget about time. Some crews are reported to have gotten lost in the charming environment. Vannes, the “most beautiful dead end for sailors” is located at the very end of the gulf in the Marle river lies Vannes and a must for every trip. Another idyllic river passage with berths and moorings leads to Auray, a regional center for culture and arts.
The coast between Brest in southern Brittany and Biarritz on the border to Spain is commonly known as Biscay. Up to La Rochelle, the coast is rocky and rich with islands, followed by the almost straight sand and dune coast to Biarritz. Highlights on this route are a detour into the Gironde estuary with a visit to the world famous wineries. It takes roughly half a day to Pauillac if you use the flood current. Or the Arcachon Bay and Cap Ferret with its Oyster benches. Be aware of eventually very strong currents when entering the Gironde or the Arcachon Bay! The Bay of Biscay is notorious for its violent winter storms, caused by the influence of North Atlantic lows. In the summer half year, however, the influence of the high of the western Azores dominates with mostly pleasant wind and weather conditions.
The oceanic climate ensures warm summers with temperatures up to 25 ° in August and mild winters. The water temperatures reach up to 20 ° in summer. During this period Moderate west or northwest winds with an average speed of 10 knots are dominant during this period of the year, while violent storms can occur during the winter period, especially in the Biscay region.
April / May to September. August should be avoided due to the high number of tourists in the region.
Flight connections via Paris to Nantes or Bordeaux. There are direct connections to these cities from some major European airports.