Finistere Geography and Natural Beauty

Presqu’ile de Crozon and Menez-

Pretty cove, Douarnenez Bay, Finistere, Brittany, France

Hom

The Crozon Peninsula has many picturesque promontories, bays and beaches. The drive along the coast road is particularly spectacular. En route, visit the town of Plougastel-Daoulas and make a detour to the hill of Menez-Hom which has fantastic views over both land and sea.

The nearby town of Morgat is a treat, with its long crescent beach and sheltered harbour full of pleasure boats.

Why not take a boat trip around the headlands, such as the Cap de la Chevre. Or enjoy a 45 minute tour of the Grottes, multi-coloured caves in the cliffs only accessible by sea, and take in the spectacular steep ‘chimneys’ which reach up to the cliff tops.

Armorique Regional Natural Park

There are 38 Regional Nature Reserves in France and 7 National Parks.

Created in 1969 to protect this fragile rural area with its unique heritage, Armorique Regional Natural Park covers an area of 172,000 hectares, including 60,000 hectares of marine land, from the granite peaks and moorlands of central Finistere, to the craggy Crozon Peninsula and western coastal islands. Ouessant (Ushant) - most westerly point of France - is a haven for migratory birds.

Take the hour long boat trip to Ouessant from Brest and tour it by bicycle or minibus. Well worth a visit, Armorique Regional Natural Park represents the ecological, economic and cultural diversity of Brittany. Enjoy scenic moorland, woodland and lakeside walks in this mystic Celtic landscape, home to rare plants, wildlife and legends.

Glenan Islands

Off the coast from Fouesnant is a remarkable archipelago comprising 8 islands, a dozen or so islets and numerous rocky outcrops. The Glenan Islands make for a wonderful summertime day out with their white sandy beaches and shallow seawater. It is a great watersports centre and has a sailing club and international scuba diving centre.

The islands are of course important for their flora and fauna, being home to the protected Glenan daffodil, sandwich terns, snowy plovers and more. The distinctive Penfret Isle lighthouse stands at the eastern end of the islands.

Visit between April and September, with boat trips departing from Concarneau and Benodet.

La Pointe du Raz

The Pointe du Raz, 30km west of Douarnenez and known as the Land’s End of both Finistere and France, has been designated a “Grand Site National” with its wonderful flora and fauna. Visitors to this heritage site are catered for with car parking, a visitor centre and guided walks, but what can’t fail to impress is the dramatic headland with magnificent sea views looking out over savage rocks where deep fissures fill and drain with a deafening surf-roar.

You may care to take a stroll to the Baie des Trepasses (the Bay of the Dead), a possible site of the drowned city of Ys and which got its name from shipwrecked bodies washed up on its beach in the past.

It is a very attractive spot despite the name and has some of the best surfing conditions in Brittany. Sometimes you can make out the harbourside white-painted houses on the Ile de Sein (boat trips available from Audierne) across the waves, while the rocks between offer a photographer’s delight of picturesque Brittany lighthouses.

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