The Armorique Regional Natural Park
At the heart of Brittany’s natural and cultural heritage
Extending over 125,000 hectares, from the Monts d’Arrée mountains to the islands of the Iroise sea, the Armorique Natural Park promises varied landscapes that are typical of this region. With moorland, peat bog, sand dunes, cliffs and forests, it’s the very essence of Brittany, a great place for encounters and adventures.
Panoramic views from the world’s end
From the Iroise islands to the schist ridges of the Monts d’Arrée, and from the Crozon peninsula to the estuary of the river Aulne, Brittany’s natural park (Park An Arvorig) has many different faces. The ocean and the winds have carved out the cliffs of the isle of Ouessant (Ushant) and shaped the landscapes of the islands of Sein and Molène. Lighthouses stand all along the shipping routes, braving the winter storms, while the shores on the mainland are lined with bold headlands, rocky promontories and half-hidden creeks. The fields in the Aulne valley are bordered sometimes by the ocean, sometimes by the river. Further inland, the Monts d’Arrée and Menez Hom mountains offer magnificent 360° panoramas.
Trails to walk or ride, as far as the horizon!
A hundred or so circuits for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers give you wonderful views of this changing landscape. Almost 500 km of marked paths run across this natural playground. As well as the GR long-distance trails, there are shorter routes that go round the islands, along the coastline or up the rocky knolls of the Monts d’Arrée. One loop brings you out onto the peaks between the moorland and the peat bogs, with a view of Brennilis lake. If you set out early in the morning and head for the summit of Roc’h Trévezel, you’ll see nature waking up. You can go on a storytelling walk in the moonlight and be drawn into the legends of the Yeun Elez marshes. Or if you love coastal scenery, the bay of Brest and its estuaries is the place to go. Walks and boat trips are great ways of immersing yourself in the Natural Park’s maritime environment.
Sites where you can see birds, plants and rare species
The paths and trails lead you to some really amazing natural environments. Purple heather and golden gorse add splashes of colour to the moors, and sharp-eyed plant spotters will also pick out carnivorous species. The velvety rocks on the Monts d’Arrée and the coastal cliffs have patches of lichen as well as a few succulents. Birds take advantage of the steep cliffs, the long strips of pebbles and the reedbeds. With binoculars you might spot a Eurasian curlew, a hen harrier or a Dartford warbler. There are guides to help you to pick them out and identify them.
Breton to the core
Animals and plants aren’t the only living things in this area. The residents of the 44 communities spread across the districts of Léon, Trégor and Cornouaille love to show off their homeland to visitors. In these parts, the language, music, dance and culinary traditions of Brittany are kept alive all year round. There are museums,fest-noz(evenings of music and dance) and storytelling evenings where you’ll discover a culture and way of life that is still thriving today. You can enjoy it all in very good company!