L'île Vierge in Plouguerneau

Virgin Island

A little history...

A hermitage

for Cordeliers

Inhabited for a very long time, an archaeologist is said to have found a Bronze Age burial mound on the island, of which nothing remains. 

In the Middle Ages, occupants left 2 Merovingian coins here. 

A convent settled on the island from 1434 to 1507: the convent of the Friars Minor of the Observance (Franciscans). They tried to live on the island, even growing plants. Eventually, however, they left the inhospitable island and scattered to the mainland, founding 3 convents, including that of the Angels at Aber Wrac'h.The convent built on the island has left few traces, but a plan of the Virgin Island dating from 1842 shows the walls of a substantial ruined house.



In the 17th century, Vauban installed a cannon battery on the south-east side of the island to counter the English and protect the port as part of his fortification plan.

Seaweed fishermen on Île Vierge

Seaweed harvesters

Throughout the 19th and up to the middle of the 20th century, the island was frequented by seaweed harvesters who dried seaweed on the dunes and burned tali (kelp) in ovens built on the dunes. The work of the goémoniers was punctuated by the light of the lighthouses; their glow signaled the start and end of work by going out at daybreak and coming on at sunset. You had to get to the shore early to "hold the spots", because the best and most plentiful kelp spots belonged to the first occupant. 

L'île verte: a treasure trove of wildlife

This 6-hectare island, protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral, is home to a generous natural environment. Lichens color the granite, and the dense, low-lying lawns resist the spray and bloom in fine weather. Birds also love to nest here. The songs of gulls, long-billed oystercatchers and gannets will soon hold no secrets for you! 

Please note: part of the island is inaccessible from mid-February to the end of July to respect the birds' nesting area.

Gulls on Île Vierge
How do I get there?

Port de l'Aber Wrac'h: Free parking in the marina.

Pointe du Castel Ac' h: Free parking near the pointe du Castel Ac'h, or 300 m away.

Getting there with Google Maps