Plage de Kerminihy, Morbihon (56), France

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This beach is about 10Km Northwest of Carnac and stretches between the mouth of the river Etel and the ruined blockhaus at la Roche Seche. According to the web site of the Union des Campeurs Naturistes nudity has been 'tolerated' since 1983. It is listed in local tourist publicity brochures and the 1:25000 IGN Cartes Touristique Locales (TOP25 0821OT) identifies it as 'plage naturiste' and shows three car parks. A sketch map is available from the Carnac tourist office.

The beach is sandy and is over 2Km long. It is backed by a narrow line of dunes. It faces southwest and is open to the Atlantic swell so the surf can be heavy at times. Clear signs denote that bathing is safe at the southern half (toward la Roche Seche) but is forbidden on the northern half (toward Etel). Presumably the danger comes from strong tidal currents associated with the river mouth. Rod and line fishermen colonise these troubled waters for a couple of hundred metres. On a hot day at the weekend the whole length of the beach is crowded. Nudity starts abruptly where the fishing stops.

It is very much a family beach patronised by locals from the inland areas. Nudity is not compulsory and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Like all French beaches we have visited it is obvious that single women feel safe there. During the week, do not be surprised to see more than one mother and toddler group. Unlike most of the UK beaches that are backed by dunes, the area is almost entirely free of those lone males who seem to spend the day doing creditable imitations of a meerkats.

Access & Parking
If you want to get to the northern end, go into Etel and then follow the left bank of the river downstream as far as you can.

For the central part of the beach, start from Erdeven and head for Kerminihy. Head southwest out of this village and if you pass under a height barrier you will know that you are on a road that leads to a large car park about 150m behind the beach. Many just park on this road before the car park. Part way along this road there is a left turn that provides an alternative route to the southern end of the beach.

For the southern end of the beach, start from Erdeven and head for Kerouriec. As you leave Kerouriec there should be a height barrier and a 3-way roundabout (the roundabout is decorated with a small boat). Take the first exit (i.e. turn right) and look for signposts to la Roche Seche. If you see a green painted abstract sculpture you will know that you are heading in the right direction. The car park is large and, of the three, is the closest to the beach. However it fills up very early because it also serves the non-naturist Kerouriec beach.

If one wishes to get to one of the less crowded parts of the beach away from the car parks there is a hard surfaced track that runs behind the line of dunes. This is easier underfoot than soft sand.

The paint-daubed hut to be seen among the dunes some distance behind the la Roche Seche is a smelly but useable toilet.

Nearby accommodation
From personal experience, Mike & Val Hopkins can recommend a (non-naturist) B&B at Kerimel that is less than 20 minutes from the beach by car.

Ian Murray reports that, according to German contacts, there is a naturist camp site about 5 miles inland - it is worth using, but is not well endowed with facilities. They went to the beach every day. This may be the one reported by John Bevis (8/2/2001) who wrote "The nearest site to Carnac/Quiberon is Bretagne Sud between Belz and Erdeven. It is about 18 kilometres north of Quiberon. The address is La Pinede Ensoleillee, Route de Cohenno, 56550 Belz Tel 02/97 55 61 55 but they do not seem to worry about booking beforehand. The site is very handy for the naturist beach at Kerminihy."

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