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Do you know Quimperlé?
The town of Quimperlé sits on the banks of the Laïta, formed where the Isole and Ellé rivers converge. From the narrow medieval streets and the floral bridge to the Ursulines’ Chapel, there are so many lovely sights to see in this Breton town steeped in history.
Dubbed the “Mont-Saint-Michel of the land”, Quimperlé extends from the quays to the upper town on the hills, and lives to the rhythm of the tides and ever-changing light. It is home to some outstanding religious buildings such as the old church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption (or Saint Michael), which crowns the upper part of the town, and the Abbey of the Holy Cross, a jewel of Romanesque art with a surprising round shape. The Ursulines convent and chapel are also worth a visit. They host a varied series of temporary exhibitions and are a stopover for pilgrims on the Camino de Compostela.
As you wander through the streets, you may come across the magnificent Archers' House with its protruding half-timbered façade. If you get the chance to visit it during an exhibition, you’ll also remark its granite fireplaces and beautiful wooden beams. And don't miss the Maison-Musée du Pouldu, where Paul Gauguin and his painter friends stayed in 1889 when they came to decorate the place, and the 15th-century Kernault Manor, which sits in 30-hectare grounds managed using eco-pasture methods.
Sporty visitors and nature lovers will find something to please them at Quimperlé too. Although the town is not right on the coast, it lies tucked away in a land of rias (known as ‘aber’ in the local Breton language), which are narrow, shallow bays where the ocean and rivers meet.
You’ll therefore find a vast array of water-based activities and can navigate the River Laita on your choice of vessel... a stand-up paddleboard, pirogue, kayak or even a megacraft, a giant inflatable board. For a blast of bracing sea air, the beaches and coastal ports are just a 20-minute drive away. For example, you can visit Le Kérou beach with its welcoming beaches and crystal-clear waters. Or enjoy a lovely stroll around the characteristic harbours in the area, such as Doëlan, Brigneau or Merrien, specialised in oyster farming or fishing.
The region around Quimperlé also boasts over 1,300 km of paths for your walks and hikes, including the well-known Customs Officers’ path (GR34) which passes by here. Inland, in the midst of nature, the Devil’s Rocks are an impressive set of granite boulders formed by the River Ellé, in a wonderful setting for one of your walks. So, if you’re staying at one of our campsites in the Morbihan, take a trip to Quimperlé!
Did you know?
- The River Laita is still home to noble fish such as salmon.
- The town has been awarded the “Historic Town of Brittany” and “Area of Art and History” labels.
- Even the present-day tourist office has historical links as it was once a dwelling for monks from the abbey.
- On the banks of the Laita, there are the remains of a former Cistercian abbey that traces 600 years of history of the monks – the Saint Maurice abbey site.
On your agenda?
In short, Quimperlé is a historical destination teeming with art and culture and surrounded by nature. Whether you look to the rivers or to the many interesting buildings, this town is unique. It is also a great place for gourmets to stop over and indulge in the best of Breton cuisine, including, of course, crêpes, oysters, andouille sausage and cider.
You could try out the innovative restaurant Le Labo Gustatif, which combines unusual flavours with healthy produce from experimental micro-farms. On a more traditional note, Ty Billig crêpe house is one of the best in town, housed in a typically Breton setting near Saint Michael’s church, with a surprising brocante-style decor.
Not far from Quimperlé, one of our Breton campsites will be the ideal base from which to explore this lovely area.