Tourism and holidays in Lorient the bay, the inter-Celtic captial

  • 1 day
  • 1 weekend
  • In town
  • Must see

Your gateway to Southern Brittany!

Fall in love with this medium-sized city (nearly 60,000 inhabitants) with its many facets, labels and rankings: “City of Art and History” and “Remarkable Sites and Cities”.

Almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War, it was reconstructed during the 50s and 60s giving it an exceptional character that combines history and modernity.

Located in the middle of a bay, between the sea and rivers, you will be enchanted with the variety of its architecture, its marina in the town centre, its shops in the pedestrian zone. Move out of the town centre and you will discover neighbourhoods where life between land and the sea is good.

Rue du Port, rue piétonne aux nombreux commerce


History in Motion

Maquette au Musée de la Compagnie des Indes à Port-Louis.
© Xavier DUBOIS. Maquette au Musée de la Compagnie des Indes à Port-Louis.

Lorient was initially a strategic place, chosen at the beginning of the 17th century by the French East India Company to develop its fabric, porcelain and spice trading business. The town of Lorient was born in 1666 out of this flourishing activity. But this strategic position was also the reason for its 90% destruction in 1944. Today, it still bears the marks, including the submarine base around which a new district developed, highly appreciated by the inhabitants of Lorient, Lorient la Base.

The town of Lorient has been able to take advantage of its painful history to develop its assets of today.

Lorient La Base: a unique place

Steeped in history, Lorient la Base is a place of heritage where you can discover the submarine base. It is also a place of wonder, with ocean racing boats, the Eric Tabarly Sailing Museum, the Flore submarine, the submariners’ museum. You can also eat, have a drink there or have fun with friends in “trendy” places.

Do you like contemporary music? You will love the concert hall Hydrophone: an unexpected place (in a repair cell of German war submarines) and an attractive and varied programme.

Quality of life and hospitality

Terraces and strolls:
life is good here!

As you walk through the city, you will delight in its tranquillity and the energy it exudes. You will enjoy strolling around the semi-pedestrian town centre. When wandering from street to street, you may be surprised by an avenue of palm trees or a small shady square with a bronze man sitting on a bench. You may even promise to return for a drink at one of the many terraces.

You will find plenty of opportunities for shopping. What a pleasure to exchange a few words and a smile with the people of Lorient, as you shop. You will feel welcomed, with friendship and simplicity.

Lorient Terrasses sur la Place Polig Montjarret
© Xavier DUBOIS. Terrasses sur la Place Polig Montjarret à Lorient.
Lorient Miroir d'eau
© X. DUBOIS. Le Miroir d'eau à Lorient.

Green spaces and ocean:
the air is good here!

The town is open and welcoming, and the sea is always nearby. Jules Ferry Park has a pond, children’s games, benches and walkways. L’enclos du port with the quai du Péristyle offers the best view over Lorient and the bay. What a joy to sit by the water’s edge in the sunshine. The cry of the seagulls will transport you, as will the view of the boats in the marina: you are in Bretagne Sud, in Lorient, by the ocean.

The annual Interceltic Festival: life here is lively!

Grande Parade, Festival Interceltique de Lorient

Lorient Interceltic Festival, from the 6th to the 15th of August 2021, the year of Brittany!

For 10 days, life in Lorient is all music, dancing, exchange, smiles and hospitality. You will hear Galician, Breton, Scottish, Irish, Asturian and other languages spoken by visitors from all over the world. A cultural, artistic, gastronomic journey for everyone.

2021 poster of the lorient interceltic festival

Lorient, a land of 7 ports

Have you found the 7 ports? We’re here to help you…

Lorient is a passenger port, with sea crossings to the island of Groix and large cruise ship stopovers. With all the cargo ships unloading their freight, Lorient is also a commercial port. Those huge grey ships and the frigate sneaking out of the harbour… it’s a military port. Follow the gulls, which in turn follow gillnetters or trawlers, this is the fishing port, the leading one in France.

There is also a dry port: check out the boats stacked on shelves in a cell in the base. The yachts leaning in the waves in the wind? The masts pointing skyward? A marina, and Europe’s largest ocean racing centre.

Getting around ecologically and easily

If you arrive in Lorient by train: rent a bike or just use the bus lines which offer a frequent service around Lorient and its surroundings. You will find bus stops and bike rental shops near the station.

If you come to Lorient by car: to explore the city, leave your car in a  car park. Parking is free in the blue zones. Just remember to use a parking disc (on sale at the Tourist Office). On foot or by bike, you will love the atmosphere in its streets, squares and gardens ….

Take a boat across the bay: the batobus (or boatbus) will take you from one side to the other.

Balade à vélo à l'Enclos du port dans le centre-ville de Lorient.

Markets in Lorient

Discover the specialities of Lorient and its surroundings:

  • the covered market at Halles de Merville, from Tuesday morning to Sunday morning from 7am and on Friday from 4pm to 7pm; outside the market on Wednesday morning and Saturday morning.
  • Organic Market on Tuesday evenings from 4:00 to 7:00pm outside the Halles de Merville.
  • Keryado Market, Place de la Liberté, Friday mornings.
  • Kervénanec Market, in the car park of the shopping centre, rue Émile Jouannic, on Friday afternoons.
  • Place Polig Monjarret Market as well as the Cours de Chazelles, on Saturday mornings.
  • And the surrounding markets.
© Emmanuel Lemée - Le marché, tous les mercredis et samedis matins, autour des Halles de Merville - Lorient
© Emmanuel Lemée - Le marché, tous les mercredis et samedis matins, autour des Halles de Merville - Lorient
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