Considering a day trip to Houat Island with kids? We thoroughly recommend it!
One of the highlights of our road trip around southern Brittany was a day trip to Houat Island, located northeast of Belle-Île.
The island is just 5 km long by 1 km wide and has some of the most spectacular coastline I have ever seen. The photos below give you an idea of the long sweeping beaches with hidden coves, and the colourful village overlooking the fishing boats in the picturesque harbour of St-Gildas.
We travelled with Vedettes L’Angelus. Our boat departed from Port Navalo at 8.30am and returned nearly 11 hours later. The boat journey itself was just one hour each way so we had 9 hours to explore Houat Island independently. If I’m completely honest this was a couple of hours too long for my two young boys who thoroughly enjoyed spending time on the beach but did tire easily during a walk along the coastal path. I however could have stayed on Houat Island for a few days, exploring the pretty village and people watching from the village coffee shop and restaurants.
Tips for visiting Houat Island with kids
* There are several boat operators who offer trips over to Houat Island including a traditional sailing vessel – Krog E Barz. (You do need to book in advance as it is extremely popular). The length of time you spend on Houat Island differ from operator to operator. It’s worth considering how long you wish to stay on the island for and how you wish to travel across, (by regular sightseeing boat or hauling on the rigging of a traditional sailing boat).
* Be prepared for all weathers. We were very fortunate to experience a glorious day whilst visiting Houat Island. although the heavens opened for about 15 minutes in the morning and we did all get soaked as there was nowhere to take cover. You will need warm layers for the boat ride anyway so keep this in mind when packing.
* Take a picnic – There is a coffee shop overlooking St-Gildas harbour and one in the village centre plus several restaurants. We did however find them to be quite expensive so it’s definitely worth packing a picnic to enjoy on one of the many beaches.
* We found the coastal path we walked along to be fairly accessible with a push chair although it’s worth considering a baby carrier with younger children too. For families with older children Houat Island has 10.5 miles (17km) of coastal paths, so pack your walking boots!
* Take tablets if you are prone to sea sickness. We had quite a rough crossing on the return journey with several people, mainly kids, being sick due to the swells. I definitely wouldn’t let this put you off visiting because Houat Island is absolutely stunning, I would however be prepared in case of rough seas.
Have you visited Houat Island with kids? Please do pop your thoughts and tips below. We would love to hear about your experience.
Disclosure – We were invited as guests of Brittany Tourist Board to review the boat tour to Houat Island. All words and opinions are, as always, my own.
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