Finistere Activities and Things To Do On Holiday

Visit Oceanopolis, Brest, Finistere, Brittany, France

Visit Oceanopolis in Brest

Children and adults alike will love a visit to this, Europe’s largest marine aquarium. The site is presented in 3 themed pavilions – polar, tropical and temperate.

There are a staggering 10,000 aquatic animals there and you need to allow the whole day for a full visit.

Children will love the ‘touch pool’ where they can actually feel starfish and shellfish and steer radio-controlled model boats in the basin de navigation.

There is a restaurant on-site.

Visit Roscoff, its Exotic Gardens and the Ile de Batz

Visitors arriving from Plymouth and Cork on Brittany Ferries’ services to the gateway port of Roscoff could do well to spend some time around this small fishing village and resort discovering the charms of its sixteenth century houses, beautiful church of Notre Dame de Croatz Batz, sandy Laber beach and stunning coastline.

The story of the iconic ‘onion Johnnies’ who took onions to England on their bicycles as early as 1828 is told in the local museum - La Maison des Johnnies et de l’Ognion Rose de Roscoff.

Why not relax and de-stress at the start of your holiday with a half-day course at Roscoff’s 100 year old Thalassotherapy Institute. The first Breton centre practicing these restorative sea treatments, known since antiquity, was founded in Roscoff 150 years ago.

Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Roscoff’s Exotic Gardens house one of the largest collections of tropical flowers and cacti to be grown outdoors in a cool climate and plants here bloom far longer than further inland. Open from March to November, you can expect to see species from South Africa, Chile and Australia from amongst an amazing 3,000 varieties on display. The rockeries are spectacular and from the highest 18m rock there are lovely views over the Bay or Morlaix, Roscoff, Carantec and the Chateau du Taureau.

Roscoff’s waterfront has both fishing and pleasure ports. Enjoy a drink around the old harbour or take the 15 minute boat trip to the charming car-free Ile de Batz, home to growers of early vegetables and inshore fishermen. Take a sightseeing tour (00 33 2 98 61 75 94) or get around on foot or by bicycle.

Families love its quiet, unspoiled sandy beaches on the far side of the island. Climb the 198 steps of Ile de Batz’s impressive lighthouse - open daily except Wed from mid-June and everyday July to mid-Sept - for wonderful views of the coast. More delights for plant lovers at the Georges Delaselle Exotic Gardens - over 100 years old and housing an important collection of palm trees.

Take a Stroll through Huelgoat’s Mysterious Forest

Huelgoat Forest located halfway between Morlaix and Carhaix forms part of the ancient woodland which once spread throughout the heart of Brittany. The forest covers 10km² and can be accessed close to the centre of Huelgoat village on the shores of a large lake where the outflow water plunges noisily onto a ‘Chaos of Rocks’ into a cave below.

The forest’s caves and waterfalls, moss-covered boulders and amazing rock formations give this beautiful forest of beech, oak and conifers an enchanted atmosphere. ‘Fairy pools’ are formed by the emerging and disappearing River Argent and some rocks have been given fanciful names such as ‘the mushroom’ and ‘the trembling rock’ which can be rocked by one person – if you know where to apply pressure.

The whole mysterious forest is woven with tales of fairies, Celtic and Arthurian legends. Marked trails and circuits take you to Arthur’s cave and the ancient hill fort - supposedly Arthur’s Camp.

Visit Bigouden Museum, Pont l’Abbe

Dip into the history of this area by visiting Bigouden Museum housed in the castle keep. You are taken through the area’s traditions and there is a fascinating collection of furniture and costumes.

Open from Easter to the end of May, 1400 to 1800, and from June to Sept, opening hours are extended to 1000 to 1230 and 1400 to 1800.

Play Golf in the Area’s Oldest Golf Course

Head to Foret-Fouesnant and the Manoir du Mesmeur to enjoy this 18-hole course designed by Fred Hawtree and which opened in 1959. The club house is located in an eighteenth century manor and offers visitors both restaurant facilities and wonderful views.

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