In his latest cruising feature, Peter Cumberlidge picks out the best remote island destinations you can easily reach from the UK by boat

Groix - NW cliffsÎle de Groix, Brittany

Size: 4nm long
Population: 2,300
Watering holes: Up in town you can eat superb seafood at the Hôtel-restaurant de la Marine

From a distance, Île de Groix has the kind of bold, mysterious profile island lovers find so enticing.

On a clear day you can identify the stubby lighthouse at its west tip; drawing closer you see a lone cottage on Pen Men point.

On the north coast stands the sémaphore coastguard station. Further east, you’ll probably see one of the squat mainland ferries pushing across the three-mile strait between Lorient and Groix.

Port Tudy harbour (pictured below) lies towards the east end of the north shore. You either lie to buoys in the outer pool or follow the mole to the visitors’ pontoons. An inner basin is mostly used by locals.

Port Tudy - waterfrontIn its heyday, Port Tudy was a tunny fishing base and old photos show the quays crammed with luggers and rakish bisquines that sailed offshore for fleshy thon blanc.

The waterfront still looks very Breton and has several quayside cafés, bistros and a shop where you can hire bikes or a Jeep for exploring.

The small town, Le Bourg, is up the hill from the port and peaceful country lanes lead to all corners of the island. Locmaria is an intriguing small harbour on the south-east coast, easier to visit by bike than by boat.

Don’t miss: Anchoring for a swim off the golden beach at the island’s NE corner

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Sark, Channel Islands
  3. 3. Yeu, The Vendée
  4. 4. St. Martin’s, Isles of Scilly
  5. 5. Skomer, Wales
  6. 6. Cape Clear Island, Ireland
  7. 7. Île De Sein, Brittany
  8. 8. Île de Groix, Brittany
  9. 9. Coll, Scotland
  10. 10. Houat, Brittany
  11. 11. Vlieland, Netherlands
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