Lorient, Brittany: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Lorient in Morbihan

Visit Lorient (Brittany, France)

MAP & PLACES TO VISIT

Lorient is found in the Morbihan department of Brittany, on the southern coast at the mouths of the rivers Blavet and Scorff, near Quimper. It has historically been an important fishing and industrial port, a role which continues today.

The town was flattened by allied bombs during the war to prevent freshwater and supplies from reaching the German submarines based here (the base itself was too fortified to damage). As a result there is little in the way of historical monuments in Lorient, but despite this tourism now plays an increasing role in Lorient.

Exploring Lorient

You will enjoy walking around the bay admiring the many yachts that are moored here. Many of the buildings that surround the port are relics of the days when the French Navy had a large base in the town, and most places of interest are also close to here.

These include an 18th century watchtower, two windmills in a park area, the Hotel Gabriel (a post-war building built exactly like the 18th century building that stood here before the war), and the 18th century Maison de l'Imprimeur (the only remaining building of what was once an extensive complex).

One of the biggest attractions at Lorient is the German submarine base that remains here from the Second World War. In a curious turn of fate, the base was first extended by the French Navy and used for nuclear submarines, then later it became a tourist attraction, and you can now visit the Museum and a real French Navy submarine.

The modern town has a bustling centre with all commerces that you would expect in a vibrant large town, including a large number of shops.

Modern architecture in Lorient

You can also see some interesting examples of 20th century contemporary architecture in Lorient such as the Chamber of Commerce (1920's, art-deco style), the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Victoire and the residential block called the 'Banana' (1950's) and the Town Hall and apartment block called the 'Echasses' (1960's), and the Youth Hostel (1970's).

More recent very contemporary additions are the Grand Theatre (and the fountain in front of the theatre) and the Cité de la Voile.

Scorff river valley

Activities around Lorient

There is something for everyone in the area around Lorient including the Scorff Valley and Blavet Valley: picturesque countryside, traditional ports, Brittany villages and beaches.

Among the highlights are the Gavres peninsula (on the southern edge of the Blavet), the picturesque riverside setting for the villages of Honnebont and Pont Scorff, and the beaches of the Ploemeur and Larmor Plage regions on the coast to the west of Lorient.

The Ile de Groix is an island just off the coast from Lorient and popular with visitors.

Lorient inter-celtic festival

Between the first Friday and the second Sunday of August, Lorient plays host to a very large Celtic festival, with many representatives from the Celtic countries. It is during these ten days that the town is at its most lively and entertaining, although accommodation in the town can be very hard to find.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Morbihan guide and the Brittany guide.

See also:

Map of Lorient and places to visit

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Tourist classifications

Lorient is classified as a listed town of Art and History

Address: Lorient, Morbihan, Brittany, 56100, France || GPS: latitude 47.76, longitude -3.45

Plan your visit to Lorient, Brittany

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Zoo de Pont-Scorff: zoo or wildlife park (6km)
  • Parc Victor Chevassu: remarkable garden (7km)
  • Massif Dunaire de Gavres-Quiberon: grand site of france (11km)
  • Jardins de Kerambar’h: remarkable garden (28km)
  • Megalithic site of Carnac: national monument (34km)
  • Carnac: most beautiful village (34km)
  • Presqu'île de Quiberon: site of natural beauty (38km)

Market days in Lorient, France

Regular market(s) are held in Lorient each Wednesday & Saturday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Lorient (Francais)