Located in Morbihan, Auray is a picturesque town with a lovely old quarter, which enjoys mild short winters and long blissful summers. It is a good base from which to explore the Gulf of Morbihan, the Quiberon Peninsula and Carnac.
The town is set in a bend in the River Lock, which is spanned by a seventeenth century bridge. In the ancient quarter, St. Goustan, you can wander around the little cobblestone streets admiring the partially timbered fifteenth and sixteenth century houses.
The Place de la Republique is in the town centre, where the Hotel de Ville is located, and you can find the seventeenth century St. Gildas Church in the next square.
Auray attracts visitors who enjoy the picturesque setting, those who like history and people who like to absorb the feeling of a bustling Breton market town. It is ideal for horseback riding, trekking, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, walking, and there are even underwater photography courses there.
Don’t miss these gorgeous beaches!! There are small sandy beaches on the coast but bear in mind that the name of this coast is the Cote Sauvage (the Wild Coast). More protected beaches can be found in the south and east of the peninsula, which when the wind is high may be a good idea.
Auray Churches & Religious Buildings
2. Built in 1636, the St. Gildas Church (L’Eglise St. Gildas) has an interesting organ and altar piece and is worth a visit.
3. The Church of St. Sauveur (L’eglise St. Sauveur) was built sometime during the 19th century and houses a model battleship armory, which dates back to 1865.
4. Declared a historical monument on 4th November 1982, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit which was built in the 13th century was the last remnant of the Montpellier Ordre du Saint-Esprit’s headquarters. The Order was abolished in 1762 by Pope Clement XIII.
5. There is also the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes which was built between 1862 and 1878, and of course the Basilica of Sainte-Anne d’Auray.
6. The Auray Monastery is actually located in Brech, which is about 20 minutes from the town centre. It houses the bones of those who were shot by General Hoche’s troops in 1795 and, was built by the Duke of Brittany in 1382.
7. Enjoy the ancient quarter and port, St. Goustan
It is like a mini city with lots of shops, bars, restaurants and artisan dwellings, where people still live and work today. This restored medieval town centre is a great place to visit.
Considering travelling to Auray with children – then download the Colour & Learn free colouring page below: Auray France: St. Goustan Port
8. You can get a holiday fishing permit for around €15 euros. There is perch, pike and carp in the lakes, the River Blavet passes through the town itself and as well as this there are seven more salmon fishing rivers in the area.
9. The Golette Museum is an interesting museum in the town.
10. Enjoy a round or two of golf. The Auray golf course was host to the French professional championship back in the late 1980’s. More recently it was voted one of the top 40 French golf courses by a French golfing magazine.
Golf de Saint-Laurent, Auray
Phone: 02 97 56 85 18
Nearby Golf Courses
Golf de Baden
Kernic, F-56870 Baden
Phone: 02 97 57 18 96
Golf de Rhuys
Domaine de Kerver
F-56730 St Gildas-de-Rhuys
Phone: 02 97 45 30 09
11. There is exceptional horse riding in the area with plenty of stables on hand which offer guided tours and hirelings. Between the beaches and the forests there are bridle paths.
12. See the islands. From Auray you can visit the islands of the Gulf of Morbihan. Although legend had it that there are as many islands in the Gulf as there are days in the year, there are only around forty. Most of them are now private property with the exception of the biggest ones l’Île-d’Arz and l’Île-aux-Moines.
Another uninhabited island, Gavrinis (thought to mean Goat Island), is home to the passage grave, a megalithic monument of great importance. The area of the gulf is rich in megalithic monuments, with stone circles, passage dolmens, giant menhirs and stepped pyramids which contain underground dolmen chambers.
13. Enjoy the wonderful summer musical evenings. During the months of July and August there are evening performances of Breton music. Breton songs and old sea shanties are performed.
14. Take the plunge! The area is ideal for sailing, swimming, scuba diving, surfing and even underwater photography.
15. Go walking and hiking in the countryside. For those who enjoy walking it is a marvellous location for countryside and coastal walks.