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La Roche Bernard - a little city of character

La Roche Bernard is called "a little city of character" by the French authorities, meaning not that it is a city in the British sense of the word (a large urban centre with a cathedral), but that it is a place of history and charm, where traditional period buildings and other features of interest can be found and where there exists a special atmosphere. La Roche Bernard is truly deserving of this title, as any visitor to its picturesque port on the Vilaine River, its mediaeval quarter or even its restaurants (La Roche Bernard is known to locals as a Ville Gastronomique) will testify.

A vibrant and picturesque air

Unusually, perhaps, for a small town or village, which is probably a more apt description of La Roche Bernard, there is much to see and plenty to do around the various areas of the village. The port, formed from a natural harbour, gives a really vibrant and picturesque air to La Roche Bernard, and the yachts that come and go constantly in the summer are always interesting to watch. The port is set on the River Vilaine, and the village gazes down onto it from its commanding position on a promontory above. The bridges over the Vilaine at this point are also worthy of note, with two renowned working bridges, and one ruined by the bombing of the Second World War.

Historic and modern parts to La Roche Bernard

The historic quarter has all the charm of mediaeval Brittany, with half-timbered houses, pretty stone cottages and narrow streets. There are also a number of art and craft shops to enjoy. The more modern part of the village has a good market selling local produce, held on Thursday mornings. There are also several very highly acclaimed restaurants, as you might expect from a "Ville Gastronomique", including one which is Michelin starred. La Roche Bernard also has a public swimming pool.

A popular spot with many

Brittany has long been a favourite spot for British visitors and settlers, as well as for the French and many other nationalities who succumb easily to its many charms. Morbihan is one of the most desirable areas of the region, with a relatively warm and sunny climate, care of the Gulf Stream, and its south facing beaches that are protected from the wilder winds that the rest of coastal Brittany can experience.

Visit the coast and mediaeval Vannes

The coast is near enough to La Roche Bernard for sunny seaside days to be very much a part of life, with Quiberon being an excellent coastal destination, but there is much more to discover as well as the Atlantic and it resorts and beaches. A visit to the wonderful mediaeval city of Vannes is highly recommended, as is a trip to see the mysterious megaliths at Carnac.

Activities on offer

The area lends itself to enjoyment of many different sports and leisure activities. Try sailing, windsurfing, pony trekking, golf, walking, cycling and fishing, to name but a few of the possibilities.

How to get there

If you want to fly, the airports of Nantes, Rennes and Dinard are the nearest that offer direct flights from the UK. Nantes is served by Air France, Ryanair and easyJet; Rennes by Flybe; and Dinard by Ryanair and Aurigny. Ferry travel is another option, with the ports of St Malo and Roscoff both being within an easy drive of La Roche Bernard. Drivers will find the village from the N165.

Property prices and availability in and around La Roche Bernard

Morbihan is generally considered to be the most expensive of the Breton departments, but that is not to say that there isn't some very reasonably priced property around. On the market at the moment in the department, it is possible to find properties requiring renovation from just 7,500 Euros, while in La Roche Bernard itself there is currently a lovely village centre apartment for sale for just over 146,000 Euros. And at the higher end of the scale stands a very unusual luxury property built in the form of a dome, for 385,000 Euros. The countryside around La Roche Bernard and its surrounding villages may offer even cheaper properties, and a good variety of potential homes.

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La Roche Bernard AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS La Roche Bernard?

La Roche Bernard is located in the north-west of France. It lies in the south-east of Morbihan, right near the border with the Pays de la Loire.

La Roche Bernard Property Map


Brittany Guide

Brittany Property Map


Morbihan Guide

  Morbihan Map

Population: 761

Access: By air: Fly to Nantes, Dinard or Rennes. By boat: The ferry ports of Roscoff and St Malo are the nearest. By road: The N165 is the nearest major road and brings you within a short distance of the village.

Economy: The economy, once revolving around the salt trade, is concerned with tourism and with its port.

Interesting fact: The village is home to a Michelin starred restaurant.

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