France’s Five Port City

Nestled on the northwest coast of France in the culturally rich region of Brittany, Lorient’s past is one marked by conquest and conflict—a stark contrast to the bucolic riverside villages and windswept beaches that surround the town. Once the chief port for the French East Indies Company, Lorient has also been home to a base for the French Royal Navy, and acted as a headquarters for German U-boats during WWII.

With such a rich history, it’s slightly surprising the architecture of Lorient is more of the modern age. During German occupation the town was nearly razed to the ground by Allied bombing. Today post-war construction sits next to Art Deco homes that were lucky enough to survive. In recognition of the bravery of its residents and extensive rebuilding efforts, the city as a whole was awarded both the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre in 1949.

Seafood lovers won’t be disappointed with a visit to Lorient. As one of France’s main fishing ports, you can follow a fish’s journey from sea to stew. Check out the auction action at Keroman as fishermen unload the day’s catch, head to the market at Merville, then settle in to a waterside restaurant for a dish of Cotriade—a hearty chowder-like soup full of potatoes and the freshest fish selection of the day.

Can’t get enough maritime adventure? Hop on a boat tour to Ile de Groix or Belle Île for an intimate escape to sandy beaches, secluded coves, and charming villages.

Ile de Groix

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Ile de Groix

Ile de Groix

A short ferry ride from Lorient brings you to one of Brittany’s hidden gems. Lighthouses, brightly painted cottages, and small chapels dot the coastline that can easily be walked or cycled in a day. Take a break at Plage des Grands Sables and stick your toes in the sand of Europe’s only convex beach.

Keroman Submarine Base

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Keroman Submarine Base

Keroman Submarine Base

This former German U-boat base was so well fortified it resisted all Allied bombing attempts during WWII, leading to the destruction of much of the surrounding town. Today, visitors can learn about its subsequent role as a French Navy base and tour the Flore a working French submarine.

Éric Tabarly Sailing Museum

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Éric Tabarly Sailing Museum

Éric Tabarly Sailing Museum

This interactive museum is dedicated to ocean racing and the contributions of Éric Tabarly—a true pioneer of modern sailing. Take the helm in a 4D yacht simulation, hear the tales of seasoned sailors, and race for the win in a virtual regatta.

Lorient, France At a glance

Current Weather:
28°C / 82 °F
Wed
21°
16°
Thu
22°
14°
Fri
23°
14°
Sat
23°
16°
Current Time:
9:19:02 pm2017/08/22 21:19:02 pm
CEST
Tuesday, August 22
Offset:
UTC/GMT +02:00
Currency:
Euro
Exchange Rates:
  • 1.18
  • 1.48
  • 0.92
  • 1.49
  • 75.46
  • 3.71
  • 20.78
  • 1.62
Local Details:
GPS: 44°47'43.7"N 0°23'13.77"W
Size: 17.48 KM2 (6.75 MI2)
Population: 58,135
Density: 3,326 Pop/KM2 (1,284 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: +33

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