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The villages of the Ile d’Yeu

Port-Joinville, Saint-Sauveur and La Meule

Ile d’Yeu is also the name of the island's municipality, made up of three main centres of habitation, each with its own character

Port-Joinville, to the north, is home to the port and marina, Saint-Sauveur is the centre of the island with its Romanesque church, and La Meule and its hamlets are to be found along the wild coast in the south.

Port-Joinville

As the seasons pass, the harbour comes to life with the comings and goings of the ferry companies, the regular link with the mainland.

Allowing year-round access to the island, the marina is a docking and berthing place for sailors - seasoned and amateurs - making a stopover on the Ile d'Yeu.

Fishing boats return from their campaigns out to sea, while coastal fishermen set out to pick up their traps. This continual coming and going is an integral part of the life of the port, a sight enjoyed by islanders and visitors alike.

Take a coffee on the port to appreciate this scene of every day life and get a feel for 'island time'.

The heart of the village

While strolling in the surrounding lanes, you'll find yourself immersed in the history of the island - the enchanting names of the streets and alleys (rue du secret, le coin du chat (cat's corner!)). A little imagination and you are in another world, the world of a fantasy island and its legends.

The buildings too have personalities - the "lighthouse of the newly-weds", the Place de la Pylaie square, the Norway monument, the church of Notre-Dame du Port and the old canning factories.

If by chance, you are on the Ile d’Yeu at the right time, you'll be able to join in one of the most popular island customs at the the Norway monument - you'll have to come to find out what it is!

Lots of charming little shops and craft stalls line your walk around the port, all making  their contribution to the life of the island

Saint-Sauveur

The village of Saint-Sauveur has all the charm of a rural community, but with all the advantages of a seaside resort.

The lines of small white houses with brightly coloured shutters are grouped around the Romanesque church. Some have small cobbled courtyards adding to the romance of the island's ancient capital.
In summer, the main street comes to life with market stalls offering local products such as the famous prune tart, locally caught fish, seasonal fruits and vegetables and specialties based on lamb from the island.

Saint-Sauveur is the second centre of the island, with lots of shops open all year round a mini market, lively cafes, and a bakery where you can enjoy the famous betchet, another specialty of the island.

La Meule

Port-Joinville is only a stone's throw away, but the village of La Meule is a much more calm and serene place, with its small port, the only true refuge along the "wild coast" of the island. The chapel of La Meule overlooks the village, the port and its picturesque fishing huts.

The third largest centre of population on the island, La Meule today includes the hamlets of Ker Arnaud and Ker Rabaud. The village has grown inland from the port to higher ground, safe from the sea. Many houses are typical examples of the 19th century island style.

Guided tours of the villages of the Ile d'Yeu

Learn all the secrets of the villages of the island, told by enthusiastic guides.

Discover the guided tours program :

Discover all our guided tours by downloading the brochure: