Bénodet, France – Brittany’s Oceanside Resort Town On The Odet River

I arrived on March 28th from Ploërmel. A bus to Vannes. A train to Quimper. A bus to Bénodet. An old building full of the sights, sounds and smells that take me back to so very many places in Europe I’ve had the pleasure of being. My stay is on the top floor. A studio again but this time with a standard bed and frame and no couch. A dining table, two chairs and a wardrobe. A small kitchen with a two-burner hot plate and no oven but this time – a microwave! A bathroom with sink, toilet and clogged shower. I was going to the store anyway and picked up some clog remover. It worked.

I have a view over rooftops from this high perch. I love watching the birds. Two of them building a nest in an old chimney. It slopes down toward the beach from here. I can walk there in three minutes. In between distant rooflines I can see little stretches of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Odet River. Not bad for $505 per month. Not bad at all. 

The Atlantic Ocean between trees and a chimney. I’ve spent a lot of time
looking out at the ocean from my widow.

Bénodet is a self-proclaimed 5-star resort town. A “dream destination.” The town is full of friendly locals who will repeat back a “bonjour” or “bonsoir” if they aren’t first to say it. Note that very little is open outside of essentials from late September through early April. I can only imagine what this town must be like in July and August when most Europeans take their vacations. If you like crowds and a party atmosphere, I bet it would be just your thing. I’m already seeing signs of what that must be like as “spring break season” just kicked off this last weekend and will continue through my last day here.

Personally, I much prefer the quiet of the off-season. I often had the entire beach to myself late at night. I would stroll around with booze in my cup being the troublemaker myself instead of scowling at actual scofflaws.

Strolling the area day or night is absolutely delightful. Daytime especially as there is so much to see. It is truly beautiful here. You can walk along the river from the east end of town where it meets the Atlantic back up to the port/marina and along the cove that fills at high tide and drains to a trickle at low. Or you can walk beside the ocean on the sand, the rocks or the promenade. The best of the tide pools await if you continue along the shore on the way out of town.

Looking west from the “Table d’Orientation” (Orientation Table) back toward Bénodet.
The best tidepools are just a little further along the shore.

There is a pub, a casino, a movie theater, a wellness hotel with a seawater therapy spa and several dining options. Boats in season take passengers either just across the river to Sainte-Marine, up and down the Odet to and from Quimper or for a sightseeing cruise, to bays along the Brittany coast or to islands out in the Atlantic just over 10 miles south of shore. 

There is an outdoor market on Mondays where you can find all kinds of foods, goodies and wares. A grocery store on the edge of town aids those like I who are on a tight budget. The only other options for food shopping are two poissoneries (fish markets), a butcher shop with some deli items, a convenience store with a good selection of produce that is fairly priced and three boulangeries/patisseries (bakeries/pastry shops). An excellent half of a ”baguette de tradition” can be had for just 60 centimes at the one on Rue Jean Charcot. Enough for two meals for a solo traveler if you’re adept at preserving such bread overnight. Good luck not succumbing to the other delicious delights on display. Your sweet tooth will be salivating!

Perhaps most remarkable is the organic produce automat! You can walk into an unattended shop and pay the machine to open a door for you which hides many wonderous things on full display! Carrots, leeks, cauliflowers, bags of potatoes, jars of honey, loaves of bread and much more. I must return and buy something just to use the automat. It reminds me of FEBO in Amsterdam, which I wrote a blog post about some time ago.

A full-wall automat vending machine in Benodet, France selling organic produce, bread and other food staples
An organic food automat! I imagine this being a smash success with
the funky foodies in my hometown of Portland, Oregon.

I could enjoy myself a very long stay here. Sadly, I must move on in two short weeks. I’d gladly return to this very spot. 

I feel like a king here. 

I will post a few more photos of this magnificent place, here…

Front facade of a home in Benodet, France with a flowering tree and bushes and ocean blue front door and shutters
Some of the homes here are most stunning. I find this one to be one of the most stunning.

Bénodet Beach, looking East. Shooting into the early morning sun.

Looking across the Odet River at Sainte-Marine, which is accessible by car or
by a tiny ferry boat which makes the trip back and forth during the high season.

3 thoughts on “Bénodet, France – Brittany’s Oceanside Resort Town On The Odet River”

    1. Your test of the town seems to reveal that it passes with flying colors and shall be marked for a return visit at some point.

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