La Baule, Brittany: the best of la Bretagne France

La Baule Brittany

Ahhhhh. The fresh air and the sea.  

We made it to La Baule

We arrived on a blustery day and a slight spray of rain.  It lasted only a few minutes and instead of looking for a cab, we decided to walk to our Airbnb.  Great decision!


It was a beautiful walk and it was wonderful to find ourselves strolling through these authentic neighborhoods.  The houses were of a certain style which is unmistakably La Bretagne.   Often a white stucco-style exterior along with colorful wooden beams decorate the structure.  There is often a peaked roof and a front room that looks like a small lookout.  Perhaps it was?   Each house has a name and one can’t help but wonder about the many stories and memories that each home holds.  If only those walls could talk!

la Baule

Coming from New England, I can’t help but compare the similarities of this sea side town. We are here in April for a wedding and most of the homes are closed.  It is not summer yet and all of the windows and shutters are tightly shut for winter.  La Baule is clearly a summer getaway for most.  For the lucky few that are here now, one can enjoy the quiet, the beautiful bay and the simple delights like warm crepes and the sound of the sea. 

We were here for a wedding and the first night was a get-together in a crêperie.  Again, we decided to walk as we just needed to make it to the next town of Pouliguen. 

We were staying on the other side of the bay so it was about 30 minutes by foot.  As we walked along the bay and down to the harbor we were surrounded by the sound of the calm sea as it lapped against the shore.  We past by so many nice restaurants that are spaciously dotted along the beach.  They all looked inviting as they were lit up for the evening.  Cozy outdoor spaces were set up and a few palm trees were inviting you in.  The summer vibes are there but for now, these places remain slightly empty.  In one, we heard the sound of a nightclub, and in another, the clinking of glasses.  The sounds and smells of nightlife tempt our senses.

As we left La Baule and crossed into Pouliguen there was a shift in the atmosphere.  Where the seafront of la Baule is lined with modern apartments, this new stretch began to feel more authentic.  Many of the structures remain true to their original state.  Homes and hotels that were built in the late 1800s stand to remind us of what it must have all looked like at one time. Each structure tells a story of vacation and seaside getaways.  They’re all beautiful and appear to be very grand. 

La Baule Brittany 7

As we came to the end of the bay, we turned right past the yacht club, where we were then walking along the harbor in Pouliguen.

In my opinion, there is nothing nicer than this.  As the boats slept, firmly attached in their slips, we could hear the slight clanking of nautical lines as they tapped against the many masts.  

I love this sound for when I was a child this slight tapping noise rocked me to sleep on many a summer night as I lay in my bunk off the shores of New England and Long Island Sound.  

The boats look so calm and I often wonder where they’ve been, who’s taking care of them and where they’ll go next.  There is so much life on boats and there are always many stories to tell. 

We continued our walk, following the U-shape of the harbor until we reached the other side.  

In the distance, we could see a small restaurant and the tiny paned windows that were lit up from within.   There was music and laughter.  We’d found the Crêperie we were heading for.  

As it was the night before the wedding, we were all there to say hello and meet those we didn’t know.  We stuffed ourselves with jambon/fromage and caramel/beurre sale as we toasted the bride and groom (to be) and reunited with old friends.  

Eating crepes in Brittany is like nowhere else.  

We caught up.  Saw all of the kids we’d known so well over the years and eventually said our goodbyes, excited for the wedding the next day. 

The minute we walked outside, the heavens opened up and the rain was coming down hard. The wind was also blowing and there was no chance of finding a taxi back to our place.  We laughed it off and bravely started making our way back.  Much to our surprise, the rain disappeared as quickly as it had arrived and we were once again enjoying the fresh sea air.  

We seemed to be completely alone.  There wasn’t a sound but our voices and soft steps as we relished in the sound of the sea.  

The nightlife we’d passed on the way there was now closed and La Baule was quiet.  

Baule Brittany

We finally made it back to our weekend home and had one last look at the bay before we turned in for the night.  

Being in Brittany was beautiful.  The weather was questionable but this didn’t change the charm of being there.  In fact, this is what it means to be there!

We loved it and hoped to return again soon.

Have you ever been to La Baule or to that area of Brittany?


About the Contributor

Suzanne Vidal

I have a long history with France as I married a French man in 1988 and have 3 dual-national children.  I've lived in different parts of France over the years and I'm currently living in Aix-en-Provence.  I enjoy sharing my experiences and bringing France to life via storytelling.  Read more on my blog or follow me on Instagram @suzannegrossovidal.  À bientôt!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.