Sainte-Anne d'Auray travel guide

Photo of Sainte-Anne d'Auray

Visit Sainte-Anne d'Auray (Brittany, France)

Photo Gallery Book hotels, flights, car hire

Situated a few kilometres from Auray in southern Brittany, Sainte-Anne-d'Auray is usually mentioned only as a small footnote in travel articles about its larger neighbour.

Explore Sainte-Anne d'Auray, pilgrimage town

France This Way review: I only discovered the town because I happened to be staying in a hotel in Sainte Anne d'Auray when visiting the region, but found it very interesting and recommend that you visit when in this part of Brittany.

An important pilgrimage town, it was from 1623 - 1625 that the current focus of Sainte-Anne-d'Auray was set in motion, when Sainte Anne (the mother of the Virgin Mary) 'appeared' several times to a local peasant called Yves Nicolazic. During these apparitions Saint Anne told Yves where to find a statue of her - the statue was then found on the site of an ancient 6th century chapel. 

basilica and monument

Following this discovery and the ensuing influx of pilgrims, Yves built a chapel and Sainte Anne d'Auray soon became the biggest pilgrim destination in the region. As a consequence the entire town centre was turned over to monuments related to this miracle and the needs of the pilgrims, and there is a fascinating collection of buildings related to the event for visitors to discover.

Central to the complex is a large church with attached cloisters, and you can also see a fountain and a couple of statues, and several grand monuments - all set in extensive gardens - make for a very unusual 'town centre' in Sainte-Anne d'Auray which is well worth a visit.


Not much remains of the original small chapel in Sainte-Anne d'Auray beause it was replaced by a basilica in 1865. The basilica has an impressive bell tower which is 75 metres high. The attractive 'scala sancta' (saint's stairway) was originally in front of the chapel but was moved stone by stone to its new position when the basilica was built.

In total each year more than 800 000 pilgrims visit the sanctuary, and in particular every year on the 26th July thousands of pilgrims visit the town and its church.

Apart from the sanctuary and monuments there are a few creperies and a couple of gift shops elsewhere in Sainte-Anne-d'Auray, but little in the way of other sights to detain you.


Attractions nearby

The region around Sainte-Anne d'Auray has an interesting variety of places and attractions for visitors, including the port town at Saint-Goustan (part of Auray), the standing stones of Carnac, the lovely historical town of Vannes and of course the beaches and islands of the Morbihan coast.

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

See also: 

Photos of Sainte-Anne d'Auray

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • ste-anne-auray-1
  • ste-anne-auray-basilica
  • ste-anne-auray-fountain
  • ste-anne-auray-memorial
  • ste-anne-auray-sacristy
  • ste-anne-auray-scala-sancta
  • ste-anne-auray-statue

Arrange a visit to Sainte-Anne d'Auray

Book hotels, car hire and flights

Organise your visit using the options shown...

Hotels in Sainte-Anne d'Auray best prices


Reserve excursions

Map of Sainte-Anne d'Auray and places nearby


Visit near Sainte-Anne d'Auray with France This Way reviews



The picturesque harbour area of Saint-Goustan is a lovely place for a promenade after exploring the town of Auray

Saint-Goustan guide


Auray is a an attractive town with lovely views across the port of Saint-Goustan

Auray guide
La Trinite sur Mer

La Trinite sur Mer

The quiet harbour town of La Trinité-sur-Mer is where you can discover a traditional Brittany harbour before tourism took hold...

La Trinite sur Mer guide
Ile aux Moines

Ile aux Moines

In the Morbihan Gulf, the Ile-aux-Moines is also very easy to reach - very enjoyable to spend a day exploring but you might not be on your own!

Ile aux Moines guide


The quiet small town of Locmariquer is best known for the famous oysters produced here, and available in the local restaurants!

Locmariaquer guide


An unmissable highlight in this region of Brittany, the half-timbered houses in the centre of Vannes make it one of our favourite French medieval towns

Vannes guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Morbihan

Address: Sainte-Anne-d'Auray, Auray, Lorient, Brittany, 56400, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.704167, longitude -2.952778

Plan your visit to Sainte-Anne d'Auray, Morbihan

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Source - Vincin (Rivière de Conleau): site of natural beauty (8 km)
  • Jardins de Kerambar’h: remarkable garden (10 km)
  • Étang de Toulvern: site of natural beauty (12 km)
  • Pont du Vincin: site of natural beauty (13 km)
  • Saint-Philibert (Morbihan): site of natural beauty (13 km)
  • Moulin à marée de Campen: site of natural beauty (14 km)
  • Vincin: site of natural beauty (14 km)
  • Megaliths of Locmariaquer: national monument (15 km)
  • Embouchure - Vincin (Rivière de Conleau): site of natural beauty (15 km)
  • Presqu'île de Conleau: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Vannes: town of art and history (16 km)
  • Embouchure - Marle: site of natural beauty (16 km)

The French version of this page is at Sainte-Anne d'Auray (Francais)