Fancy a night stormwatching from an island lighthouse?
Can you imagine what it would be like to spend a weekend stormwatching and birdwatching from your very own island lighthouse?
Soon it will be possible, as the EXPERIENCE project will launch a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stay in an island lighthouse off the Brittany coast.
Ile Noire (Black Island) is a small island in Morlaix Bay which is no longer inhabited but which is home to a heritage stone lighthouse still used to warn ships of the rocky coastline.
Work is already underway by our partners in Brittany to create unique accommodation in the lighthouse to appeal to off-season visitors, due to open for short stays in autumn 2022.
The experience will begin when visitors take a a boat to reach the island, before exploring their four-floor accommodation, which will feature a new seaview terrace where they can relax in shoulder season sunshine and dine on freshly harvested local seafood. The lighthouse comes complete with stunning panoramic views ideal for stormwatching, birdwatching or simply relaxing with a glass of wine – the perfect getaway from everyday life.
Ile Noire will also be a fantastic base for experiencing Breton culture, as it overlooks Morlaix Bay and the impressive fort - the Château du Taureau.
The environmental challenges of the renovation work are considerable, especially taking into account the sustainability ethics of EXPERIENCE and by the accommodation being on an island location which is not supplied by the mainland's water and electricity network.
This requires careful consideration of energy and water production. Solar and wind power systems will be installed to generate electricity, and wastewater treatment will be processed by a sustainable sanitation system, or, to put it bluntly - an earthworm compost toilet!
Ile Noire was made famous by Hergé who was inspired to use it as a location for the Adventures of Tintin Comics, which will be a focus of new off-season itineraries to capitalise on this unique regional selling point.
Other attractions in Morlaix Bay include oyster farm visits (Carantec & Plouezoc’h), the lodge of Ile Louët The Cairn of Barnénez – the oldest megalithic monument in Europe, an ornithological reserve where you can spot roseate terns, geese, little egrets and even peregrine falcons, and Le Reder Mor, a replica of a typical fishing boat from the Baie de Morlaix.
Demand for such an unusual experience is expected to be high. A neighbouring island, Louet Island, was booked for every night for the following year within 60 minutes of release. In 2018, 681 people spent up to two nights enjoying the views and going home with memories to last a lifetime!