One of the great delights of a holiday within a (Breton) biscuit toss of the coast is easy access to really fresh seafood, and seafood restaurants. While there are just as many tourist traps in Brittany as there are in elsewhere in France there are some gems to be found.
During our week, one of the first places we visited was Etel, just to the east of Lorient. The town’s high point was in the thirties when it was the home to a flourishing fleet of tuna boats of a type known locally as a Dundee; a large ketch that fished using lines from long outrigger poles. To celebrate the history of the Etel fishing fleet, there’s a small museum: the Musée des thoniers.
It’s a really charming little local museum; staffed by volunteers (some of whom speak excellent English) and I can easily believe that quite a few of the old boys are ex-fishermen. The majority of the museum’s exhibits are models of the various types of fishing boats, but there is also a small cinema projection area, where four times a day they show three films about the history of fishing from Etel.
Once you have been round the museum it is well worth the drive to the other side of the river to see the abandoned decaying wooden fishing boats on the beach. Picturesque, and very popular with the local wedding photographer from what we saw. A perfect place for a picnic or for kite flying.
Details: Musée des thoniers – 3 impasse Jean Bart 56410 Etel – firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission was a few Euro each. It is worth calling ahead to check they are open as it is a very small operation.