In the heart of nature: the Bay of Saint-Brieuc opens onto the largest Nature Reserve in Brittany, a protected area recognised for the presence of its 40,000 birds in winter, flocking over an exceptional and varied landscape. Join us in this unique ecosystem: foreshore, salt meadows, dunes and mussel farms to explore on your own on the GR®34 or accompanied on a themed guided tour.
The salt meadows
The perfect time to explore the Nature Reserve? Come just a little before high tide, when the ducks, geese and waders come up to the shore.
In the blink of an eye, you'll find yourself in the salt meadows – green in winter, mauve in summer, red in autumn, and punctuated with sea lavender or salicornia depending on the season.
Explore the Reserve via the GR®34
Let's explore the paths of the GR®34, the customs trail, which runs along the coast and the Nature Reserve to reach the gates of the Bay of Saint-Brieuc. The coastal path leads from the salt meadows to the dunes, passing through shores and peaks and all the unique features of the Nature Reserve. Take in the foreshore from the belvedere located next to the Maison de la Baie, the beating heart of the Nature Reserve, carrying out missions both for protection and conservation, as well as to raise awareness.
Two sections of the GR®34 from Saint-Brieuc allowing you to discover the Nature Reserve:
- Saint-Brieuc - La Maison de la Baie (Hillion)
- La Maison de la Baie - Ponts Neufs Viaduct (Hillion)
See the birds
Heading towards the Hillion peninsula, stop at the Illemont observation hut and make use of its handy list of birds. A trained eye is worth two: remember to bring binoculars so you don't miss any of the sandpipers' aerial ballets. On the opposite bank, at the Langueux pebble beaches, you'll find another observatory at Impasse Bourienne.
As you progress towards the Pointe des Guettes, past the Pointe du Grouin and the Lermot beach, another landscape emerges to dazzle visitors. The dunes of Bon Abri appear, with fine and blonde sand against a backdrop of vegetation. Take in the picturesque scene, often completed with a galloping horse or the arrival of amphibious vehicles from the mussel beds.
Visit the mussel beds of Bon Abri
13,000 stakes of red-label bouchot mussels are sold here in summer. The largest Nature Reserve in Brittany, in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, lives and breathes according to the seasons and the rhythm of the tides. It is truly unmissable.
Explore with guides
Visitors are welcomed into the Maison de la Baie, where Guided Nature Outings will shed light on everything you need to know about this environment: a biotope rich in flora and fauna, governed by the tides. Not to forget, this bay has the fifth largest tides in the world. At times, the sea reveals over 7 km of foreshore in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, uncovering furrows that capture the light and the reflections of the clouds.