Que lire avant le voyage ? Tout pour s'immerger à Belle-île avant votre séjour, à Belle-île la plus grand des îles bretonnes, en Bretagne Sud
©Que lire avant le voyage ? Tout pour s'immerger à Belle-île avant votre séjour|©Karine Piquet

Getting into the mood: what to read before your trip

The inspiring and (so) well-named Belle-île-en-mer is the subject or the setting of many books, novels, travelogues, photo books…

The largest of the Breton islands, off the coast of Quiberon and the Gulf of Morbihan, inspires authors, photographers and watercolorists. Belle-île-en-mer is well represented in the major travel guides, notably Guide Vert Bretagne. Belle-île en mer is classified *** by Michelin as a destination, which is worth the trip.

And this island passion goes back a long way! Flaubert, the first “tourist” of the island, offers us, as early as 1847, his sometimes rough look at his trip to Belle-île in the work “Par les champs et les Grèves“.

Claude Monet he, makes the trip to Belle-île in 1886 and finally decides to stay 2 and a half months. He writes his impressions of the sea as if he were talking about a lover “this sea mate, I feel that every day I understand her better, the wench, in short I am crazy about her…”. Side cinema, Belle-île is not in rest! Many shootings took place there…We cite “LUI“, the film of Guillaume CANET released in October 2021, a very personal film which has as a setting Belle-île and in particular Locmaria and Sauzon…Here is our selection of books and films to prepare your trip and better immerse yourself in the atmosphere belliloise…

Enjoy reading and viewing!

What to read before your trip?

Our selection

Belle ile Colors Nature

This book presents 25 circuits of discovery of the island, in loop, combining interior and littoral sites while dwelling on the life of the beaches, botany, geology and the elements of understanding of the landscapes.

The itineraries described are punctuated by numerous photos and original drawings for an airy and dynamic presentation.

Interspersed between the circuits, renewed or updated thematic articles deal with naturalist subjects (birds, flora, insects, mushrooms) or related to human activities (water, fishing, agriculture, landscapes).

The aim of this book is to allow the inhabitants and regular visitors of Belle-Île to better appreciate the multiple facets of this living, fragile and admirable jewel-island in all seasons.

Discover Belle-Île by the coastal path - Michel Damblant

The beauty and diversity of Belle-Île’s landscapes seduce the visitor from the first steps on the coastal path.

Throughout the pages of this guide and your journey, you will discover all the natural, historical and patrimonial treasures:
* The people who have marked the history of this outpost on the western border of France.
* The rare and protected plants that bloom on the coast and the fauna, not only composed of sea birds.
* The geological specificities visible along the rocks of the coast.
* Places slightly off the path with unsuspected charm.

The text by Michel Damblant, landscape architect, who has lived on Belle-Île and walked all the trails for 30 years, was supervised and completed by Yves Brien, naturalist, who is a good connoisseur of the island’s specificities.

The Tour de Belle-isle-en-mer - Eva Jouan

The Tour de belle-isle-en-mer in four days by Eva Jouan in 1907.

Touring Belle-isle had always been my dream (…) And this trip left me with such an intense impression of enjoyment, that I want to transcribe it, in order to preserve an even more vivid memory of it.”

A very small book to devour before or after the trip to get a lasting impression of the landscapes described by the poetess and woman of letters Eva Jouan in 1907, 3 years before her death. It was Eva Jouan who nicknamed her island “La Bien Nommée” in one of her Belle-isle poems in her collection De la grève, published in 1896.

Dictionary of island love - Hervé Hamon

It is not because he has sailed from Greenland to Polynesia, from Japan to Chile, that Hervé Hamon is a postcard collector. And it is not because he likes sailing that he is fascinated by coconut palms and white sand.

The island, before the island, is the journey to the island. With all the unimaginable imaginations. That of the conqueror, the exile or the migrant, the naturalist or the missionary, the slave trader or the pirate, that of the deportee, that of the person who dreams of being king of a pure world. The one who leaves one island for another. The islands are not ships at anchor, but mountains, even if they are only a few meters high. They are the sensitive plate of our world surrounded by water, they tell us about our desires, our wars, our beliefs, our hopes. They speak to us of ecology and globalization as much as of distinction and solitude.
It is not surprising that literature has seized upon them. Melville in the Marquesas Islands, Hugo in Guernsey, Chekov in Sakhalin, Perec in Ellis Island, Albert Londres in Devil’s Island, Solzhenitsyn in Solovki, Dumas in If, Césaire or Glissant in Martinique, and so on.

Films and TV movies

what to look at before the trip?

Film side

La Fleur de l’Âge, by Marcel Carné, Anouk Aimée and Arletty, a cursed film never completed (1947).

Traitement de Choc, by Alain Jessua with Alain Delon and Annie Girardot (1972).

Chouans, by Philippe de Broca (1988).

Lui, by Guillaume Canet with Virginie Efira, Laëtitia Casta, Mathieu Kassovitz and Gilles Cohen (2021).

For TV movies

As for the series and TV movies featuring Belle-île, we invite you to discover :

Dolmen, starring Ingrid Chauvin.

Entre Vents et Marées, by Josée Dayan with Muriel Robin and Nicole Garcia.

Murder on Belle-Île, with Charlotte de Turckheim.

Balthazar, with Tomer Sysley and Hélène de Fougerolles.

Would you like to share other books or movies about Belle Isle? Tell us how you liked these books or movies by sending us a message on info@belle-ile.com

Extend your experience in Belle-Île