Last Updated on 06/04/2023
The last day in Brittany was disgusting. The weather didn’t just turn bad. Cold, if not frosty, june morning began with thick fog combined with light rain. But sitting in the same bottle, that is, in the house, with a little genie was not possible. So we set off towards Paimpol and the island of Brehat in the hope that the weather will improve.
On the way, we stopped at Pontrieux and the Roche-Jagu castle. This part of Brittany left the impression of being wild and more authentic than the nearby resorts of the Pink Granite Coast. Although, perhaps, the weather is to blame for this.
In this post all interesting, what you can visit around Paimpol.
How to get to Paimpol and Brehat Island
Paimpol can be reached by
bus 1 or 4 from St. Brieuc.
To the Brehat Island – by ferry from Cape Arcouest.
To the Cape Arcouest – by bus 24 from Paimpol or bus 1 from St. Brieuc via Paimpol.
Pleasure boats go to other points on the coast (Erguy, Binic, St-Quay-Portrieux) seldom and not always conveniently.
Pontreux (1) is a pleasant little town, with the title of “small town with character” and four flowers title. In France, cities that excel in floral design are awarded titles – from 1 to 4 flowers.
You can get there by train. And sometimes a steam locomotive goes between Pontrieux and Paimpol. Unfortunately, he goes along the opposite Roche-Yagu castle side of the river.
In the city you can see the old center. It features 50 “wash houses” – small old houses decorated with flowers along the banks of the river. Every wealthy family in the city had one.
Walking around the city is also interesting at night – the most picturesque route is illuminated.
Unfortunately, for us, Pontrieux drowned in a rainy fog (by this time it had already turned into foggy rain), so there will be no photos.
2. Roche-Jagu Castle
Without a car the castle can only be reached on foot or by bike (5.5 km on the road from Pontrieux or 7-8 km to the nearest bus in the other direction).
Pleasure boats with a visit to the castle also depart from Cape Arcouest (it is necessary to reserve a place www.vedettesdebrehat.com).
Roche Jagu Castle (2) could already be seen and even photographed.
It was built in the 15th century on the site of one of 10 forts, which from the 11th century defended the valley of the Trieux River. From the 17th century the castle was not constantly inhabited. In the 19th century it fell into private ownership, and from the middle of the 20th century transferred into the hands of the state.
This original building occupies a very advantageous position on a hill above the river. A park is laid out around.
Steam train from Paimpol to Pontrieux.
The castle hosts temporary exhibitions. We got to the beginning of the two-hour break and did not wait for the end to get inside..
But the greatest interest is, of course, not the temporary exhibition, but the park. Old oaks, camellias and other rare plant species grow here. Themed gardens are laid out – very beautiful roses and peonies, lilies, an original vegetable garden, there is even a palm garden.
River Trieux on the way from Roche-Jagu to Paimpol.
The city creates the feeling of a real seaport. Other cities are also on the coast, but it was Paimpol that seemed to be really “sea”.
It was about the fishing sailors from Paimpol that Pierre Loti wrote his novel. From the middle of the 15th century until 1935, schooners went from Paimpol to fish for Iceland and Newfoundland.
The harbor is home to large sailing schooners, fishing boats and yachts. In addition to the old city, you can see
- the Museum of the Sea, dedicated to expeditions to the shores of Iceland and Newfoundland,
- the Museum of Costume, representing the costumes of the region (open in July-August).
Above all, do not miss the ruins of the beautiful Beauport Abbey – 2 km along the coast.
Entertainment: the Islandia pool and the Armory amusement park with a pool.
4. Brehat Island (Île de Bréhat)
The next point is Cape Arcouest (4) and the island of Brehat.
By the time we arrived at the cape, we received a new weather modification – just rain. We did not dare to go to the island. As the afternoon showed, we were right – “just the rain” turned into a tropical downpour without any tropical heat there.
But even in such bad weather, it was clear that the archipelago is really very beautiful and unusual.
Brehat Island is two islands connected by a bridge and countless small islets and just rocks. At low tide, they open in all their glory, and around on the shallows the boats lie and wait for the tide. All this, combined with the lack of cars, many flowers, Mediterranean plants that survive due to the special mild climate of the island, creates an original and attractive natural attraction for tourists.
Painters and writers of the 19th and 20th centuries loved visiting this place. In one of the local cafes, Cafe des Pecheurs, artists began to leave their self-portraits on the glasses. Now in the collection of the owners of about 200 glasses.
A full inspection of both islands will take at least three hours. Bicycles can be rented at the port (www.locationvelosbrehat.com). The island plan can be downloaded from the website www.vedettesdebrehat.com, there you can find out also the ferry schedule.
Treguier and towns nearby
Treguier (6) – “a small town with character”. Cathedral of St. Tugdual 14-15 centuries considered one of the finest examples of Breton architecture. You can get there by bus 27 on the Lannion-Treguier route.
On the same route, you can stop at:
One stop towards Paimpol by bus 27 from Tréguier – garden with the sign “wonderful gardens” Kerdalo (5)
Plouguiel (7), Le Kestellic exotic gardens
Plougrescant (8), an interesting chapel of St. Gonery with a crooked turret (10-16 centuries) and 15th century frescoes
Port-Blanc (9), interesting church of the 16th century and beautiful coast
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