Home port of maritime Brittany
Drop anchor in the exceptional seaside port city of Brest, the gateway to Brittany.
'This is where adventure mixes with the sea wind.' This phrase by Pierre Mac Orlan, author of Quai des brumes (Port of Shadows) and a great lover of Brest, is more than a century old. Yet little remains of the author's beloved port city, which was ravaged by World War II. Just a few vestiges in the historic district of Recouvrance are worth tracking down: a lofty castle proudly overlooking one of the most beautiful bays in France, and a few richly evocative old stones, in this chameleon-like city traversed by modern bridges and forever looking toward the future.
A city of great character nourished by the stories of sailors from around the world, Brest has an appealingly rough edge to it, and cultivates a lifestyle that is a bit rock 'n' roll. Its alternative galleries, diverse music scene, and trendy restaurants all share one common point: a rebellious passion, which springs from the crucible of this city at the end of the world. Intrinsically maritime, everything here leads to its large Atlantic port, where the comings and goings of ships have always symbolised the possibility of departure. But before moving further on to the rest of the Brittany, rest awhile in this 'Cité de Ponant', and get acquainted with its special atmosphere, which owes a lot to the wild and untameable nature of Finistère.
From Brest, a number of beautiful side trips are possible. To the north, the steep cliffs of Perros-Guirec and its coastline in majestic shades of pink beckon. Further south, the coast gradually smoothes out without losing any of its charm, giving way to the white sands and beautiful azure of the Gulf of Morbihan, the peninsula of Quiberon, and the charming and scenic islands of Glénan. A myriad of island pearls awaits: the archipelago of Sept-Îles (French for seven islands) or Jentilez (in Breton), Belle Île, Groix... The Breton port cities of Lorient and Vannes, and the seaside towns of Carnac and Concarneau, offer fresh sea breezes and a thousand flavours – buckwheat, cider, lobster, oysters – enhanced by some of the culinary world's most inventive chefs.
When to go
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