Property: See what €50,000 buys you in Morbihan, Brittany - and €1m

The natural harbour of the Breton gulf is a secret gem

View of Vannes in Morbihan, Brittany, France, with inset map
The department's prefecture is in the up-market, medieval town of Vannes
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Main cities/towns: Vannes, Lorient, Pontivy

The name Morbihan takes its name from the Breton words for 'little sea', referring to the large natural harbour of the Gulf of Morbihan.

Tourism plays a large part in the local economy and most businesses are located on the coast – but only around 6% of tourists are foreigners.

Morbihan is a gem that the French like to keep to themselves.

This is helped by the lack of autoroutes – although, like most of Brittany, the region has good route nationale roads linking Vannes, the up-market prefecture, with Lorient, the slightly larger, gritty fishing and shipbuilding port city to the north-west.

TGV trains to Paris, which trundle along local lines before hitting high-speed routes, take around four hours. Nantes has the nearest international airport, with Ryanair flying to the UK most days. Lorient has an airport with regular flights to Toulouse.

Away from the coast, Morbihan is rich farming country, with milk and poultry dominating. Around half the land is used for farming, with woods and rolling hills covering the rest.

Not surprisingly, property prices are highest near the coast, while inland it is still possible to find old houses with everything to do for under €50,000.

One example is a small, 40m2 house, with living room and shower on the ground floor and one bedroom upstairs. 

It has a good slate roof and a once-loved but now overgrown conservatory across the back. Land with the property measures 376m2 over two gardens, both very overgrown. It is in the commune of Guern in the middle of the department and has an asking price of €29,700.

At the other end of the scale, lots of nice-looking, if ordinary houses pop up when you set the price point at €1million-plus, all beautifully located on the coast.

€50,000 or under

The slate roof is in good condition

This traditional stone and slate-roofed house, with everything to do except the roof, was advertised in the commune of Le Faouët in the centre of the department for €45,000.

Currently the 144m2 living space is divided into a living space and a bedroom. The enclosed garden covers 372m2. See: Ref: 208128147

€575,000 or under

The 162m2 house in Marzen

Just 20 minutes from the beach, this house is in a suburban lotissement and was built in 2001 in the small town of Marzan. It has a tower to add that extra bit of class.

No agents are involved in the sale and the five-bedroom house has 162m2 of living space and a 4,992m2 garden.

Shops, schools and the hospital are all within walking distance, and a port suitable for a sailing yacht is just 5 km away. The asking price is €575,000. See: Ref: 448802525

Over €1million

Picture of house
The eight-bedroom stone house in Etel near Lorient

On the water’s edge in the commune of Etel, not far from Lorient, this house overlooks a natural harbour and is just two minutes from the village with shops and restaurants. 

This eight-bedroom house has a living area of 243m2, a 2,500m2 garden, and an asking price of €1,965,000. 

It was built out of stone in 1972 and needs a bit of work to freshen it up, which will probably start with an alternative to the oil-fired central heating. 

For days when leaving home for a swim is too much trouble, a small above-ground pool fitted with a counter-current swim-training device has been installed in the garden. 

There is also access to a mooring space for a small boat. See: Ref: GB2-205