Week-end at Brittany Islands 2014
Belle-Île-en-Mer and l’Île d’Yeu are incredible and unexpectedly interesting islands for adventurous airtrippers like us, willing to spend a week-end in nature. These islands are still authentic and feature some historical artifacts from ancient Gaul. They have beautiful landscapes and fantastic beaches, without too many tourists. They are quite small, therefore easy to navigate by bicycle or electric car, which can be delivered at the plane! Finally, food is excellent, and represent well the French region of Bretagne. So a week-end airtrip to these natural islands is always a great and fun experience.
The two islands are located near the coast of Bretagne (French Brittany), just two hours from Paris. (Technically, Île d’Yeu is in Vendée, near the border of Bretagne)
Here is a view of Belle Ile. The landscapes are just great!
Flying from Paris to the Brittany islands is a breeze: it took less than two hours each way. What’s more, getting from one island to the other is as easy as a 25-minutes hop, to be compared with other means such as ferry + car that can take several hours. Therefore, this airtrip can be organized in a single week-end, spending one day at each island.
Climbing at 8500 or 10500 ft (allowed flight levels for VFR to the west) allows for a faster and more efficient cruise (less friction due to atmosphere, less fuel consumption). Flying even higher than that is actually less efficient, because the amount of air is no longer sufficient for the non-turbo engine. Also, an oxygen supply would be necessary.
During cruise, we were able to spot interesting features on the ground. I found this picture of a bridge near the coast, as we were ready to cross the ocean to the island.
We shot this picture when arriving at Ile d’Yeu. We can see here the island’s port, where boats come and go to flow tourists on and off. A boat would take more than an hour to cross. With the plane, it took 10 minutes!
After we landed, we prepared our daypacks and took our bikes, which were delivered for us at the plane! This will be our mean of transportation during our stay on the island!
Most important thing first, we headed to town (the one with the port) to eat lunch. It was time to celebrate our successful flight to the island! Now we’re ready for some adventure!
The beach we selected was a bit crowded, but it was still OK. It’s the largest one facing west, meaning that it’s full in the late afternoon (only side of the island to get some sun at this time).
Some time before sunset, we went to the supermarket to buy some picnic food, and headed to a smaller beach near the airfield. We had a great picnic with some Champagne to celebrate our airtrip.
We also some nice people from Germany, with whom we played a few songs.
Then we came back to the plane. The couple took this picture to remember these great moments.
Once we set up camp, we started playing music and singing for a while. Then, we just chatted watching the stars, under the plane’s wing.
Next day, after breakfast at the town’s boulangerie, we toured the island to find more beaches. This one was stunning, and empty of tourists! We were literally just the four of us on this beach. That’s surprising for a week-end in the middle of July and August!
OK. After spending more than 24 hours on this island, we were ready to hop onto the next one (yes, this is just a week-end!).
Hoping to the next island
This flight takes just 25 minutes above the water. A flight plan is mandatory for any flight over water, for safety reasons. Here, we’re flying quite high to benefit from a more efficient cruise, but not too high as the efficiency is reduced by the amount of energy necessary to get this high, for such a short journey.
We are on the way, and our ‘captain’ in the back manages to sleep a few minutes after we are airborne. It is so relaxing to fly!
We already arrive at Belle Ile. It’s a beautiful island with cliffs everywhere. This one is larger than Ile d’Yeu, so we’ll need to rent a car. It’s already waiting for us at the airfield!