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)

Brittany Islands

Brittany Islands

Here is a view of Belle Ile. The landscapes are just great!

Same beach, after take-off, flight back to Paris

Beach and cliffs at Belle-Île

Getting there

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.

Paris to Brittany Islands Map

Paris to Brittany Islands Map

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.

Climbing above the clouds

Climbing above the clouds

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.

Bridge on the way to l'Île d'Yeu

Bridge on the way to l’Île d’Yeu

Île d’Yeu

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!

Port at L'Île d'Yeu

Port at L’Île d’Yeu

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!

Our bikes, delivered at the plane

Our bikes, delivered at the plane

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!

First lunch at L'Île d'Yeu

First lunch at L’Île d’Yeu

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).

The beach, day one

The beach, day one

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.

Picnic at the beach, Ile d'Yeu

Picnic at the beach, Ile d’Yeu

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.

Happy couple picture

Happy couple picture

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.

Philosophy time at night

Philosophy time at night

Philosophy time at night

Philosophy time at night

Philosophy time at night

Philosophy time at night

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!

The beach, day two

The beach, day two

Empty beach for ourselves

Empty beach for ourselves

Cartoon-like picture of us at the beach

Cartoon-like picture of us at the beach

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.

Crossing to the next island

Crossing to the next island

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!

Happy crew flying ourselves to the next islands

Happy crew flying ourselves to the next islands

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!

Arrival at Belle Île

Arrival at Belle Île

Belle Ile

Coming soon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>