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Lorient, France

Lorient, France, is a small city poised on Brittany’s spectacular southern coast at the confluence of two rivers. It’s not as big or glamorous as Paris, but Lorient is rich in maritime history and activity. Go inside the cramped confines of the Flore Submarine; visit Europe’s only sailing museum, Cité de la Voile Éric Tremblay; or learn about Lorient’s unique history as a trading port with a tour of the French East India Company Museum. A 40-minute drive away, stroll amid the Carnac stones, fascinating megalithic burial mounds and tombs. If shopping is more your thing, spend the day ambling this attractive city. Much of it was destroyed during World War II, but what was rebuilt is modern and charming. Get your neoclassical fix with a tour of Hôtel Gabriel, built in the 18th century. Lorient has plenty of gorgeous beaches backed by rolling dunes. Picnicking is a popular activity, especially as the sun dips in the late afternoon, but forgo the cooler of deli sandwiches. Indulge in Breton-style buckwheat crepes, freshly caught shellfish or butter biscuits. Wash it all down with chilled cider or apple brandy. 

Top 3 Things to Do in Lorient, France 

1. Lorient La Base

Head into the belly of a Daphne-class submarine.

2. Hôtel Gabriel 

Tour a neoclassical palace known for exhibitions and workshops.

3. French East India Company Museum

Learn about the city’s unique naval and trading history at Port Louis.