This fishing port, the centre of the sardine industry, retains a charm that is hard to find in other villages in Brittany.
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This fishing port, centre of the sardine par excellence, retains a charm that is hard to find in other villages in Brittany.

Its inhabitants were called penn sardin, or sardine head, and the whole of the town’s life hinged on the processing and canning of small fish.

Things to do in Douarnenez

To understand the charm of this place, one must wander through the old alleys of the town that gravitate around the port of Rosmeur. Here, the population lived only by fishing and conditions were often degraded: you can still breathe in the smell of sardines. We recommend a guided tour that will tell you the stories and sorrows of this old quarter: it will be like going back in time.

Port-musée1, the museum of the port, will be the ideal opportunity to understand in depth the seafaring soul of these lands, the passion, sacrifices and suffering. In addition to original memorabilia, visitors will be able to visit an ancient langoustier (for catching lobsters), a flat-bottomed barge or climb onto the steamer deck from the early 1900s.

The fishing harbour is worth seeing if only for the incredible amount of fish that are unloaded every day. Exploratory trips to the coast and the sea depart from the harbour.

If you want to taste local specialities, what better way than the market itself? At Les Halles2 fish is sold and tasted, or at the Tréboul fish market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, or at the covered market there is Penn Sardin, where you can buy jars of sardines.

Beach lovers can take refuge at Plage Sables Blancs3 or at Plage Saint-Jean4 or Plage du Ris5.

If, on the other hand, a walk is your thing, you have several choices: the Plomarc'h Trail6 along the cliffs to admire the bay and the fishing village, the Route des Roches Blanches7 from Tréboul, a typical Sunday walk, or the GR34 to Pointe du Raz.

Things to do around Douarnenez

Birdwatchers can go to Reserve Cap Sizun8 one of Europe’s most important bird sanctuaries: you can also visit it with a guide from the reserve’s ornithologists.

If you want to admire an unforgettable sunset , you must go to Pointe du Raz9, which overlooks one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in France: here you can contemplate magnificent cliffs inhabited by seagulls and swept by the often stormy sea. You can reach it on foot with the GR34 or directly by car to the visitor centre. If you have time, you can go as far as Pointe du Van and the Baie du Trapassés, from where, according to legend, the boats that transported the corpses of the druids to the Ile de Sein for burial set sail.

An original excursion could be to go by boat to Île-de-Sein10, an inhospitable yet fascinating little island inhabited by only 200 souls and watched over by the Phare d’Ar Men.

Another picturesque corner of this peninsula is Audierne11 with its sea captains’ houses and the many colourful fishing boats that unload langoustines, anglerfish and sea bass every day. Don’t miss the Plage de Trescadec for a few moments of relaxation or a boat trip to see the wrecks in the so-called ship cemetery along the Anse de Loquéran.

Not far from Audierne is Pont-Croix12, a small village nestled on the Goyen River and perched on a hill overlooking the area. Explore the impervious lanes winding through the town and the many old churches, full of charm and history.


In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Where to stay in Douarnenez

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Douarnenez Weather

What's the weather at Douarnenez? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Douarnenez for the next few days.

Monday 24
Tuesday 25
Wednesday 26
Thursday 27
Friday 28
Saturday 29

Where is located Douarnenez

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