Brittany France, Finistère:
quaint villages, wild coastlines, and a unique culture
Finistère (meaning ‘end of the earth’ in breton) – is the western region of Brittany. It’s a good description!
Finistère is an excellent place to visit if you’re looking to venture off the beaten path, or are looking for something a little more “wild” and remote. If you love the ocean, or enjoy dramatic coastal scenery, this part of Brittany may be just the place for you.
Finistère is also the heartland of Breton culture and where you might still hear the regional language spoken – so it’s a really interesting region to explore, something a little different from your traditional beach holiday in Brittany.
Here are some photos so you can see what this beautiful area is like.
Brittany’s most traditional region is in Cornouaille, in the south. You might catch a glimpse of the local women wearing distinctive breton lace hats.
Breton Traditional Headdress
Quimper, Finistère capital, has a villagey feel, with cobblestone streets, half-timbered homes and plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Quimper is also known for its painted pottery.
Locronan is one of the prettiest villages in France. Every July, Locronan holds a religious procession (the oldest in Brittany) to honor the monk Ronan who founded the village in the 5th century. You might spot the women wearing traditional breton clothing.
You’ll also see typical Breton style homes, with granite stone, slate roofs and dormer windows.
Try the gateau breton, a delicious, moist cake in one of the local bakers (boulangerie).
Locronan, Brittany France
Le Conquet is a pretty fishing village about 30mins drive west of Brest. You’ll see the characteristic breton grey stone homes and with red painted doors and shutters.
The Île d’Ouessant is a small island off the west coast, great for walking and cycling (we’d recommend bringing a parka/raincoat…you never know what the weather will be like…)…
The Île d’Ouessant has that typical ‘breton’ scenery – rocky cliffs and lighthouses.
If you travel right out to the western edges of this region, you’ll see scenery like this one (La Pointe du Raz)…
The Île de Sein is about the farthest out you can get. It is just off the Pointe du Raz on the west coast. It is a windswept, small island, no trees or bikes, and a very tiny village. You can reach it by boat (leaving from St Edette near Audierne….the boat company is Pen Ar Bed). It takes about an hour to get there. Not for the fainthearted…
Here are the contact details for the boat company.
Compagnie Maritime PENN AR BED
quai Téphany – 29570 Camaret sur Mer
Tél. 02 98 27 88 22.
Please see our Map of Brittany page for further information on these destinations.