Finistère is not stingy in romantic places. We can immediately mention the Pointe du Raz, Locronan, regularly haloed as "one of the most beautiful villages in France", or Pont-Aven, the famous "city of painters". So many sites whose reputation is well established. Here are four lesser-known ports where you can drop anchor as a couple, at the water's edge ...
Sainte-Marine: a romantic setting in Finistère
The location is ideal, at the mouth of the Odet, where the river meets the Atlantic. Opposite, it is Bénodet, pretty seaside resort that can be reached with the ferry. But we can stay at Sainte-Marine, adorable little marina that seems to have been preserved from the tumult of the modern world.
You could anchor there for a long time, for example on the Quai Jacques de Thézac (named after the philanthropic photographer who created the Abris du Marin), to laze in the shade of a tree or on the terrace of the one of the cafes that border the place, without altering its beauty.
But beware, there are also things to do. Visit the shelter of the Abri du Marin, transformed into a museum, or the small Sainte-Marine chapel which dates from the 16th century. It is worth a visit for its polychrome wooden statues of Saint Barbara, Saint Peter and Saint Marine and its stained glass windows from the 60s, made by André Bouler, a pupil of Fernand Léger.
Pretty walks are also on the menu, whether on the edges of Odet, or along the coastal path to the Combrit point, opening our eyes wide to the Atlantic. Nearby, built in 1862, the away testifies to the time when the village watched the sea. After the effort, the comfort ... on the Kermor beach and its 4 km of fine sand.
Île-Tudy: the village that defies the ocean
THEIle-Tudy not far from Sainte-Marine l'Abbé, Île-Tudy proudly juts out on the water, defying the power of the ocean. And in this harsh setting, we begin to dream of storms, long-distance trips or more simply sardine fishing which has long made the fortune of the place.
The best way to get to know the city is to walk around it along the shore. Picturesque are its fishermen's houses, its small port, and its alleys, where the gaze constantly leads to the water. The most remarkable point of view will be to look for on the side of the Garden of the Maison de la Pointe : a panoramic view of Loctudy, the Bénodet cove, the Pont-l'Abbé river and even the Glénans in good weather. The place can be visited and even hosts exhibitions in summer. Enjoy it!
With all Breton austerity, the 15th century granite church (for its oldest part), stands in the middle of the city. But the lover of old stones will be able to fill up on history a few kilometers away l'Abbé, capital of the Bigouden country, city of art and culture with its many churches and its castle of the Barons du Pont which hosts the town hall and the Bigouden museum.
Port Manec'h: a jewel of the Belle Époque
Small charming port, cabin overlooking a beach caressing the mouth of the Aven, pretty villas lost among the trees, lighthouse nestled at the top of a cliff ... for a bit, the visitor could put on sepia glasses and have the impression of having gone back a century.
The famous bathers' cabins date from the Belle Époque, a period when Port Manec'h had become a popular vacation spot for high society. Formerly a sardine port, the city had found its new vocation and has since lost nothing of its charm. A real postcard.
Between bathing in the sea and strolling along a spectacular coastal path on the edge of cliffs, connecting beach and port, we will try to find in the air the fleeting traces of Jean Gabin, Michèle Morgan or Arletty who once surveyed the place. “Atmosphere, atmosphere” yes, between marine tranquility and spray.
The walk can be extended by taking the GR34 (or by car for the less courageous) the thatched cottage circuit who links Kercanic, Névez et Kerascoët : in 15th century villages, surrounded by hydrangeas, you will discover granite houses with blue shutters and perfectly maintained thatched roofs.
À Nevez, there is even a unique curiosity in France: houses made of standing stones of more than 2 meters, directly planted in the ground. Nearby, the magnificent Tahiti beach, so called in homage to Gauguin, is offered to you for a marine break. Before leaving ...
Doëlan and Le Pouldu, in Gauguin's footsteps
Here, the two lighthouses immediately set the scene. Each (green and white on the left, red and white on the right) watches over a bank of Doëlan, village nestled in the heart of an exceptional site, winding along a ria narrow and deep. The town has respected the topography and the hilly relief of the site.
The pretty white houses are thus posed gently, in tiers, on the side of the rocks in a green setting. Take a little height, each time you will discover new points of view on Doëlan museum which faithfully reconstructs (including the furniture) the Buvette on the beach where Gauguin and his painter friends boarded from 1889. A real machine to go back in time.
As Le Pouldu enjoys a certain old-fashioned charm and pretty views, you might as well stop there for a longer period. By the way, 3 sandy beaches are there to welcome you. Opposite, it is already Morbihan with Guidel-Plage and its dunes.
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How to get there ?
- By car: access is via the Nantes-Quimper expressway. Nantes is accessible by the A11 motorway from Paris.
- By train: TGV to Lorient and Quimper from Paris-Montparnasse and Lille. Car rental recommended on site.
- By plane: HOP! Air France serves Quimper and Lorient from Paris Orly, as well as Nantes from several French airports.
Or sleep ?
- Villa Tri Men : 16, rue du Phare in Sainte-Marine. Double room from 157 €. Wireless. A large villa built in 1913 in a large park planted with maritime pines with sea views. Tastefully decorated rooms offering a breathtaking view of Bénodet or the port. Excellent restaurant with creative cuisine. An exceptional address. Doubles from 140 €. Less expensive (from € 88), the Hôtel du Bac will welcome you (well) on the Jacques de Thézac quay, with its rooms with a decidedly maritime decor.
- Modern Hotel: 9, place de la Cale in Île-Tudy. The name has a bit of an outdated side. And this is indeed the case for this establishment which also serves as a restaurant and tobacco bar. Ideally located in a square lined with café-restaurants overlooking the port, the hotel benefits from simple and comfortable rooms, some even with a double exposure to the sea. Double 68-85 €.
- Manoir Dalmore: 7 Corniche de Pouldon, Port Manec'h beach (Névez). Housed in a manor house built in 1926, the place has managed to preserve the atmosphere of good society of the interwar period. Overlooking the beach of Saint-Nicolas, with an unobstructed view of the sea, it is obviously an exceptional place - romantic, let's drop the word! - with the price that goes with it: from 100 to 130 € depending on the season for a room with sea view. Shiatsu and sauna to be pampered.
- Pouldu hotel-restaurant: 75, rue du Port, Le Pouldu. A family hotel, simple and clean, which offers the significant advantage of offering rooms at low prices of 50 to 65 €, and for some, a view of the port. Also fish restaurant.