Secluded Beach of Ile Vierge

Back in early summer 2014, I had a cool hike with a community called Brest Walk and Talk. I was living in Brest, Brittany (or as the French call ‘Bretagne’), for about two years back then and I was having a short break in early June before carrying out an internship which I described a bit here.

June and July (well, sometimes May too) are the best months to enjoy Brittany. People normally joke about Brittany’s weather because blue sky is so rare and we are used to going out without umbrellas even in heavy rains, because the rain usually accompanied with strong winds, thanks for its situation at the tip of European Continent bordered only with the Atlantic Ocean. It is quite common to find Brittany having grey skies while the other parts of France have clear ones.

That is what makes this hike so special! Cathy, the leader of this group, promised us that she would show us a taste of Mediterranean in our own Brittany. I was thinking, what? That is not possible. The ocean that I know in Brest only bring high waves and wide range of tide. A ‘beach’ that you see in the morning could be disappeared, ‘eaten’ by the sea during nighttime because of this wide range! So after getting lost and all, we finally saw what Cathy told us.

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It’s real! Though in my own eyes it looks surreal, lol. The color of the sea, the chilling boats, the green-purple-yellow plants which brought us to the ‘summery Brittany’ vibe, it’s perfect!

After being mesmerized by what we witnessed, we continued a bit and there it is. The beach we were looking for..

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It is totally secluded, not many people are there, and it is super pretty! As you can see, it is located down below our standing point, and you would not believe what we went through to get there. We needed to go down a very steep, rocky, and winding rout (thanks anyway for the person/people who actually made an effort to do that!) and both hands are essential as scrambling is quite unavoidable. One funny thing, though, that I did find some children in the beach – I mean their parents taught them to scramble that early how cool was that!

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We took a little break in the cobbled beach. Ate our lunch, had some chats, and this beach is the place where I declared my love to apricots. Yes, apricots. They are only available in summer so I had not really check them out in the supermarkets. Someone brought quite a lot of them and in a hot weather (which, again, quite uncommon in Brittany), this treat is perfect! It’s not that sweet, it still contain water but not as soggy, and it is so refreshing.

After we finished our lunch, some of us started to check out the water. I hesitated at first because it was cold! Cold waters is commonly found in the coast of Brittany and actually, because of its geographical position, you will never ever find warm water in the beaches. Ever.

But I was so curious! And I wanted to swim! So I convinced myself that I can do that and tried to adapt with the shallow waters first. Being used to it, I started to swim with the other friends that are already quite far and began to enjoy it! There was even a flow of warm water somewhere while we were swimming!

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As you can see the water is perfectly clear. Some of us brought a snorkel set and I had a chance to borrow it. That picture with algae, is exactly what I saw underwater.

One thing that made me remember this trip the most is that, when we were swimming, we saw a seal! I was so excited and happy when the head of the seal rose above the water for a moment and then it dove somewhere else. It was really cute, even though we only saw it for only a little while.

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Feeling satisfied, we headed back to the beach to explore the coastline. There are various living creatures there, which names I do no even know. But it was amazing to see how this ecosystem survives in Brittany’s cold weather.

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We even found an underground cave during our walk. There was this small stalactite which is still very active. Charef, the co-leader of this hike, told us that we could drink the water because it is basically fresh mineral water. We tried the water and it was good!

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We headed back to the beach, where half of us are still chilling and had to accept the fact that, we needed to climb back the steep winding route in order to go back home. That’s Brittany for us!

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