Official tourism website of Lorient South Brittany
The bay and its ports
Lorient, a town with
a multitude of ports
Come and stay in Lorient Bretagne Sud, where sailors from all over the world like to meet! The bay has more than ten ports, for a variety of uses. Lorient Bretagne Sud offers many stopovers along its 100 kilometres of coastline, in the heart of the Morbihan department, nestling between two tidal rivers: the Etel to the east and the Laïta to the west.
The constant presence of the sea has allowed Lorient to create its maritime identity and develop its port activities over the centuries. For a long time nicknamed the town of 5 ports (commercial, military, fishing, passenger, sailing), Lorient now has a 6th or even 7th port with the offshore racing hub and a dry dock.
L’Espace des Sciences / Maison de la Mer has made available an augmented reality application, Explo’r@de, to discover the maritime and port activities in the bay of Lorient. It can be downloaded on Google Play Store or App Store. In particular, it includes a tour of the ports with a trip around the bay and a visit to the shipyard in Locmiquélic.
The Ports of Lorient
The bay of Lorient was formed at the confluence of the rivers Scorff and Blavet. Both rivers have sculpted the landscape. Along their banks, the towns of Port-Louis, Gâvres, Locmiquélic, Lanester, Lorient and Larmor-Plage have grown up.
Each has its own story, linked to human activity. From the original port of the French East India Company to today’s offshore racing hub, the bay is a symbol of the dynamism of Lorient Bretagne Sud.
The Commercial Port
The oldest of Lorient’s ports, created by Colbert in 1666, in response to the development of the French East India Company, has had a profound influence on the area.
Lorient has had to adapt over time and today the commercial port is a pure, industrial landscape. The coming and going of cargo ships can be quite mesmerizing, giving an opening to the world through the flags on the ships tied up in the dock.
The Fishing Port
Your senses will immediately let you know that you are in the special and noisy atmosphere of this unusual place, the leading fishing port in France.
Open your eyes, take a deep breath and follow the guide to meet up with the fishing professionals. You will get to know the various species of fish and shellfish, including the “demoiselle”, better known as langoustine for which the port of Lorient is famous. You will leave with a basket of fresh produce and a head full of advice to delight your taste buds.
The Passenger Port
Fancy a trip out to sea? From Lorient, you are 45 minutes by boat from the island of Groix all year round, departing from the boat terminal or during the tourist season from Lorient La Base.
Do you have a couple of hours to spare? Change your perspective and hop onto the world’s cheapest cruise by crossing the bay in a Batobus.
Lorient, ideally located at heart of Southern Brittany, is also a preferred stopover for cruise ships. You might get a chance to admire one of these giants of the sea!
The Military Port
In 1778, Lorient arsenal took over from the Compagnie des Indes. Later, it would become a strategic place in the history of the Second World War. This “town inside a town”, spread over Lorient and Lanester, is an integral part of the life of the inhabitants of Lorient. Even today, Naval Group employs more than 4000 people.
For reasons of security, visits are not allowed on company premises. However, you can come and admire the boats built here during their trials in the bay of Lorient.
The marina located right in the centre of Lorient, is an ideal starting point for discovering Lorient Bretagne Sud. It is equipped with all the services and equipment you will need for your stopover.
The Offshore racing hub
The Lorient La Base ocean racing hub is a reference in the sailing world. Take stroll along the pontoons and admire the Formula 1s of the seas. These boats sail the world’s oceans and line up at the start of some of the greatest round-the-world races, such as the Vendée-Globe or the Route du Rhum.
The dry dock
No room on the pontoon? Lorient has the solution!
Sheltered in one of the cells of the former submarine base, the dry port offers 280 berths for motorboats under 7.50 metres. Covered, closed and semi-automated, boats can be made available on request.
Other Ports in the Bay of Lorient
The bay of Lorient, with its natural sheltered position, is an exceptional area for sailing!
Six other marinas are waiting to welcome you and offer many services. They are an excellent starting point to explore the island of Groix and all the islands in South Brittany such as Belle Ile, Houat, Hoëdic.
In Larmor-Plage, a charming seaside resort, this port is excellently located very near some great places to visit: enjoy the terrace at the Villa Margaret or the Tour du Monde, an emblematic restaurant frequented by sailors from all horizons.
Port Louis Marina
This port is located right in the centre of a small characterful town, home port of the Classic Yachts.
At the end of a peninsula and the entrance to the Grand Site de France Dunes Sauvages Gâvres Quiberon, this port is a haven for boaters looking for peace and tranquillity.
Charm, quiet and authenticity with all the latest facilities: welcome to Minahouët country, to the ports of Sainte Catherine and Pen Mané!
At the border between the Morbihan and the Finistère, this is a sheltered, quiet and authentic port. Located on the mouth of the river Laïta, access requires care and knowledge of tide schedules.
Gateway to the River Blavet Valley, this port is located in the centre of a medieval town. Sailors can discover the famous market of Hennebont every Thursday morning.
Small Picturesque Ports
Nestling between small creeks and long beaches, there are some typical small Breton ports, such as Lomener, Kerroc’h, Port St Nicolas …. You will find them on the coast between Larmor-Plage and Guidel, or in the commune of Ploemeur.
Picturesque scenery, with irresistible charm, these places offer a lively atmosphere and flamboyant colours especially at sunset in season. Guaranteed!
Port Tudy, on the island of Groix
Located 7 miles from Lorient, the island of Groix is a stopover not to be missed during your stay in Lorient Bretagne Sud.
The main port on Groix, all passengers on the cruise shipping companies pass through Port Tudy. It’s a lively place to meet people! Enjoy the atmosphere, the terraces, live music in season and disconnect from the mainland.
Lorient Port Center
After Antwerp, Genoa, Le Havre, Dunkirk, Houston (USA), Ashdod (Israel) and Livorno, Lorient Agglomeration adopted the missions charter of a Port Centre in the worldwide network of port cities in 2016.
Shipbuilding and repair, fishing, trading, boating and ocean racing, marine tourism. Lorient Port Centre is a dynamic local port with maritime and port know-how that is sometimes hidden from the general public. Lorient’s strength compared to other maritime territories is that the approach brings together all sites and sectors locally.
In Lorient, the ports are an important part of the local economy for the 218 830 inhabitants of the agglomeration: 14 000 jobs related to the sea, the first fishing port by value… Lorient Port Centre encourages vocations in the young and creates opportunities for exchange between the worlds of business and education, but also between businesses and tourists, companies and institutions…
Recently, a guidebook was created for the Port Centre, written by Laure Faye and illustrated by Mr QQ. This is a playful and educational booklet offering children the opportunity to discover ports and their professions. Their guide, a black-headed seagull, puts on a fisherman’s oilskin, the port manager’s helmet and the outfit of a captain from the French East India Company. The first issue is available, and others will follow.