The Bay of Morlaix
A superlativesailing area
The Bay of Morlaix has been a land of sailors for centuries. The bond between land and sea is solid, ancient, and thriving. The pleasure boat industry has existed in the Bay of Morlaix for over a century, from the point of view of boat building as much as sailing. From 1930 to the present day, serious yachting has always found a ready supply of excellent skippers here. Pleasure boating in the Bay of Morlaix is an integral part of local culture, enjoying a vast training ground (210 nautical square miles) of great natural beauty.
Numerous safe moorings
Set off from your home port for mini-cruises in the Bay of Morlaix! Local authorities along the coast provide a number of mooring sites, all checked annually: moorings of incomparable loveliness at the foot of steep cliffs, in the shelter of wooded coves, in delightful creeks with clear water inviting the diver in, at the edge of sandy beaches perfect for swimmers, in small coastal or estuarial ports still used by fishermen…
In the Bay of Morlaix land and sea, inseparably linked, have created amazing landscapes latticed with rias and strewn with islands and islets. The famed ecological richness sheltered here, highly conducive to the activity of local fishermen, oyster farmers and shellfish breeders, also prompted the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) to create the Roscoff Biological Station (www.sb-roscoff.fr ). The Bay of Morlaix is listed in the EU Natura 2000 Network of areas containing rare or endangered species. A Natura 2000 area is not a sanctuary but adopts measures to temper the effects of human activity in order to protect the biodiversity of the area.
Seals, fish, shellfish and crustaceans
The channels in the bay are home to small calcareous algae, which accumulate in maerl beds that are essential to the stability of the ecosystem: their interstices provide excellent shelter for the growth of young clams, cockles, scallops, sea bass, sea bream and hake… You are perfectly welcome to fish mature specimens, as long as you observe the fishing seasons and the regulations concerning quantity and size! Ormers, periwinkles, scallops, lobster and spider crab are the delight of fishermen on foot and free-divers. Richly decorated with seaweed of all sorts, the seabed is a feast for the eyes. Algae and fish are the daily diet of the dozen or so grey seals that inhabit the nourishing waters of the Bay of Morlaix.
Winter and summer birds
Nearer to the coast, eelgrass beds grow in the sandy bottom protected from the swell. This plantis a choice dish for the barnacle geese that come to winter here along with a large number of mud-dwellers (small wading birds) and ducks. In the spring, sea birds enjoy the tranquillity of the islets for nesting. The Île-aux-Dames Association Nature Reserve provides shelter for three species of tern, including the rare Dougall's tern, of which less than a hundred breeding pairs remain in France. The peregrine falcon, which disappeared in the 1960s, returned to the Bay of Morlaix in 2009. Boat trips out at sea offer exceptional bird-watching opportunities: www.bretagne-vivante.org
A natural paradise all for you
The Bay of Morlaix, with its kaleidoscopic motion, liquescent light and fascinating islands, stretches from the Côte du Léon in the west to the Côte duTrégor in the east. Its equally magnificent shores, cultivated up to the edge of the sea and speckled with woods, rivers, small market towns, bell-towers, peninsulas and islets, harbour a remarkable wealth of natural and man-made heritage. In accordance with the weather, your crew and your inclination, any number of activities or sightseeing trips are on offer, on land or out to sea!