My wife and I spent a wonderful week with Michel in Belle-Île-en-mer in June 2016. I spent a pleasurable but intense 2 and 1/2 hours with Michel each morning trying to take my French to the next level. Michel was patient and supportive but also pushed me to improve my oral communication. I am at a level and an age where huge progress does not come readily, but Michel guided me carefully, and I believe I am much closer to where I want to be in my comprehension and hopefully my communication skills in French.
The days passed very quickly on Belle-Île with class in the morning and lots of sightseeing in the afternoon. The coast of Belle-Île is spectacular and we spent as much time as possible exploring the coast. There are numerous beautiful gardens, in addition to Michel’s, and we were able to see two of them. The old fort in Le Palais is well worth a visit as is the port of Sauzon. We spent a truly memorable evening in Locmaria watching the French soccer team playing Albania in the Euro 2016 tournament. A large outdoor screen was set up in the park in front of the church and about 120 enthusiastic locals were on hand to drink wine and watch the game. And France won, so all was joyful.
It was also a bit of an ancestry quest for me since I have several Acadian ancestors who spent time on Belle-Île in the 1700’s before migrating to Louisiana. Michel was a great guide during this part of our adventure, and much to all of our surprise, it turns out that my 5th great-grandfather built and lived in the house next to the house where Michel lived as a child and where his brother currently lives. Small world.
Michel is also a wonderful cook who set a very welcoming table each evening in his house. Nancy was quite pleased to pick up a few pointers on the art of French cooking.
As you can tell, our experience on Belle-Île was delightful and it felt very personal. We were graciously treated by everyone we met and we felt quiet comfortable always. If this is the type of environment you are seeking for a French immersion experience, I am very happy to highly recommend Michel and Belle-Île-en-mer.