Across the estuary in Port-Louis is the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes, a pretty dismal temple to imperialism (JanMarch, Oct & Nov daily except Tues 26pm; April & May daily except Tues 10am6.30pm; JuneSept daily 10am6.30pm; closed Dec; €5). Time would be more enjoyably spent on a boat trip, either up the estuary towards Hennebont or out to the Île de Groix. This 8km-long steep-sided rock is a somewhat smaller version of Belle-Île, and holds some gorgeous beaches to encourage day-trippers.
Lorient's tourist office, beside the pleasure port on the quai de Rohan (July & Aug MonSat 9am7pm, Sun 10am1pm; SeptJune MonFri 9am12.30pm & 1.305pm, Sat 10am12.30pm; tel 02.97.21.07.84, www.lorient-tourisme.com), can provide full details on local boat trips and organizes some excursions itself. Unless you arrive during the festival, there's a huge choice of hotels. Among reasonable, fairly central options are two on rue Lazare-Carnot as it curves away south of the tourist office: the Victor Hugo Hôtel at no. 36 (tel 02.97.21.16.24, www.contacthotel.com; under €30), which offers an action-packed €16 menu, and the Hôtel d'Arvor, at no. 104 (tel 02.97.21.07.55; under €30), also with a good-value restaurant. There's an HI hostel, next to the River Ter at 41 rue Victor-Schoelcher, 3km out on bus line C from the gare SNCF (tel 02.97.37.11.65, firstname.lastname@example.org; €8.08). Good central restaurants include Yesterday's, 1 cours de la Bôve (tel 02.97.84.85.07), a brasserie near the town hall that serves an excellent €15 menu, and Le Café Leffe (tel 02.97.21.21.30; closed Jan), in the same building as the tourist office, facing the port.
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