It is situated on the southern part of the Quiberon peninsula, the northern part being the commune of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon. It is primarily known as a seaside resort for French tourists during summer, and for its history of sardine production.
During the Seven Years' War the bay was the site of the Battle of Quiberon Bay between the French and British fleets. In the French Revolution, in July 1795 Quiberon was used by French Royalist exiles, with assistance from the British, as the base for a failed invasion of Brittany (traditionally a royalist area). The invasion was defeated by the Revolutionaries under General Lazare Hoche.
In the 19th century, Nicolas Appert, a chemist, developed a technique that permitted the sterilization of food. Thanks to this process, Quiberon became the leading harbour for sardine fishing and the production of canned sardines in France. Many families from the Finistère département migrated to Quiberon for the fishing season (May to October). When the men put out to sea, the women worked in the sardine can factories.
The railway between Auray and Quiberon was inaugurated in 1882. It deeply changed Quiberon's way of life. Fishing, canning and the exploitation of seaweed has been replaced by tourism. At that time, some famous people went to Quiberon for a stay, including the writers Gustave Flaubert and Anatole France, and the actress Sarah Bernhardt. The year 1924 was important for the peninsula because it was classified as health resort. Now, the main resources for Quiberon come from tourism.
During the Second World War, Penthièvre Fort (fr) at the narrow isthmus (see photo) was occupied by the Germans and incorporated into the Atlantic Wall. It housed various blockhouses, but was mainly used by the infantry. In July 1944, 59 resistance fighters were tortured and buried alive there. Although the fort is still of military importance (as a training base), a gallery (tunnel) where the bodies were discovered can be visited.
From September to July a bus service operates between Quiberon and Auray.
Quiberon Aerodrome is open all year and accessible by private aircraft. The hard runway is 775m long and the tower staff speak both English and French on the radio.
Inhabitants of Quiberon are called Quiberonnais.
Quiberon is twinned with:
Quiberon is the home of a professional Quidditch team operating within the fictional Harry Potter universe. The Quiberon Quafflepunchers team members players wear shocking-pink robes.