Full of character, this ancient merchant town on the Armorican peninsula has much to offer tourists: near the old harbour are its pink granite residences, which tell of a time when shipowners and privateers made it their city of refuge.
Still active, the port is famous for crab fishing and provides connections to the Channel Islands, Ireland and Great Britain.
This charming town is one of the most charming ports in northern France, with its granite cottages and numerous villas. Here you can fully breathe in the seafaring tradition of fishing and seaweed harvesting, the old-fashioned atmosphere reminiscent of smuggling and stunning views of the turquoise sea.
Strolling along the harbour is an experience not to be missed, lingering among the moored ships, streets with old ship-owners’ houses (many are decorated with nautical motifs and ship engravings) and picturesque corners. The port is bordered by three quays: Quai Tristan Corbière, Quai Charles de Gaule and Quai d’Auxerre.
You can contemplate the residences overlooking the quays, the ancient fortifications and defensive cannons. Indeed, Roscoff was once a den of privateers and buccaneers, who illegally imported wines, spirits and other heavily taxed goods across the English Channel. Roscoff therefore became the main smuggling port with England. This ‘forbidden’ traffic, which was not officially tolerated by the authorities, continued until the end of the 18th century, when an agreement was signed between France and England with the aim of lowering customs duties.
Another unique experience is the fish auction where you experience all the excitement and chaos of this daily event: to attend, you must make a reservation at the tourist office.
The old heart of Roscoff, with its beautiful period residences, begins in rue de l’Amiral Reveillère. Here you can admire the most famous house in Roscoff, the Marie-Stuart house. Legend has it that the young queen, only 6 years old, would have landed in Roscoff and stayed in this building.
We recommend wandering around the centre, admiring the hidden and picturesque sights to be found in the cobbled alleyways.
Built around 1520, the church of Notre-Dame-de-Croaz-Batz was only completed in 1701 and is the main religious building in the city.
The church was financed by a group of the city’s wealthy merchants and shipowners and inside you will find carved stone vases that testify to the city’s rich past and the semi-related trade that took place there.
It should also be noted that although the church is Gothic, its magnificent bell tower is Renaissance in style.
The exotic garden is one of the places not to be missed during a visit to Roscoff: 16,000 m² await you with more than 3,000 species of subtropical plants from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition, from an 18-metre high rock, there is a panoramic view of the Bay of Morlaix. Inside you will find a paradise oasis, with waterfalls, ponds and fountains, rock gardens of cacti, agaves and aloes, a greenhouse of succulent plants and cacti.
Not many people know that thalassotherapy was actually born in Roscoff, in 1899, with the Rockroum Institute, founded by a Breton doctor, Louis-Eugène Bagot.
The town has always been renowned for its climate, its salty air and the purity of its waters. And today it is a privileged destination for thalassotherapy in France, with the Valdys Roscoff centre: perched on a rock and bordered by two enchanting beaches, the centre overlooks the island of Batz.
You will find a water-relaxation area with a 31° heated seawater pool, salt cabin, hammam, sauna and two outdoor Jacuzzis overlooking a magnificent panorama. In contrast, the spa area offers relaxation treatments, beauty treatments and anti-ageing spa treatments.
Just a 15-minute boat ride away is this small but enchanting island. Many attractions await you: a magnificent lighthouse, the symbol of the island, delightful bays and coves, such as those of Sainte-Anne or Grève-Blanche, the corsair’s house, which a famous pirate from Dieppe, Antonio Balidar, is said to have used during his hunting campaigns against English ships.
But the jewel in the island’s crown is the exotic garden, which houses an exceptional botanical collection of more than 1,700 species from all continents. The exotic plants come from the southern hemisphere, from those areas with a climate very similar to the Mediterranean such as California, Chile, southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
This harbour, built around 1970, has been extended with a brand new ferry terminal. The city boasts ferry connections with Plymouth in England, Cork and Rosslare in Ireland and also Bilbao in Spain.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
Roscoff is one of Brittany’s most emblematic towns and is also distinguished by its incredible coastline, characterised by magnificent turquoise waters and wild settings. Between history and nature, culinary specialities and regional traditions, the town invites visitors to stay, discover its treasures and treat themselves to a few hours of relaxation and well-being.
Many hotels, in fact, have regenerating and comfortable thalassotherapy centres and spas.
Roscoff is located in the Finistere department and the nearest airport is definitely Nantes Airport. Alternatively, you can land in the French capital at Paris Orly Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport or Paris Beauvais Airport.
It is about 5 hours and 30 minutes from Paris, 560 km to travel first on the A11, then on the A81 and finally on the E50.
The nearest TGV stations are Morlaix and Brest. Buses are available from these two cities that will take you to Roscoff, Saint-Pol-de-Léon, Plouescat and Cléder.
In Finistère, the Breizh Go network provides public transport between many municipalities, at the single price of 2.5 €, whatever the destination.
In addition, during the summer months of July and August, the municipalities of Roscoff, Plouescat and Saint-Pol-de-Léon have set up a seasonal, free shuttle system to facilitate access to the city centres and thus avoid parking jams. The Roskobus runs from 4 July to 26 August from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., passing every 15 minutes.
What's the weather at Roscoff? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Roscoff for the next few days.
At the tip of a small peninsula, Roscoff is located in the Finistere department, not far from the city of Brest-