Névez, from Port Manech to Raguenez
Escape among the thatched cottages and stone houses
The little peninsula of Névez lies in a beautiful spot between Pont-Aven and Concarneau. In this pretty corner of southern Finistère you’ll find some stunning examples of houses built from pillars of stone, beautiful beaches, enchanting inlets and harbours nestling deep in submerged river valleys (rias). It’s easy to reach, but it’s like a different world!
Off to see the cottages!
Granite, crowned with a thatched or slate roof, blue shutters, hydrangeas... these are some of the things that make these little Breton hamlets so delightful. The hamlets of Kerascoët and Kercanic have a very special feature: houses constructed from tall blocks of stone, known as pierre debout(upright stones) or mein zaoin Breton. From the 17th to early 20th centuries, stonemasons used to extract wide slabs of stone from neighbouring quarries, accessible only at low tide. Placed upright and stuck firmly into the ground, the granite slabs could be built into house walls and fences at a great speed. You’ll see this picturesque style of architecture all along your way.
Harbours and treasures where land meets sea
Not far from the thatched houses are harbours, mills and fountains nestling amongst the greenery, all accessible via the country lanes and the GR 34 long-distance footpath. A 15th century tide mill sitting on the water at Hénan adds the finishing touch to this beautiful site. On the west bank of the river Aven you’ll see the harbour at Kerdruc, with its colourful outbuildings sheltered by the rocks. At dawn and dusk, soft rays of sunshine play among the yachts, little boats and fishing vessels. Opposite is Rosbras, which is just as pretty. You can walk there if you like - or try stand-up paddle boarding!
Take a dip at Cornouaille’s Tahiti
At the ocean’s edge, the landscape is soft and gentle – with a touch of the exotic. That’s why the beach at Raguenez has been dubbedTahitiby the locals. The nickname was inspired by the turquoise water and its expanse of fine white sand. Rospico cove is more typical of the area, with a sandy beach protected by rocky cliffs. It’s like a blue, white and green cocoon – perfect for a spot of rest and relaxation. At Port Manech, the bathing huts will make you think of the Belle Epoque era.
Every shade of happiness
You can enjoy all these places, some of which are really tucked-away, via the waymarked paths. The best way to discover the area’s heritage and its unique views is to follow the ‘Sentier des Douaniers’ (Customs Officers’ path) or the river. An island, a bay painted by Gauguin, an orchard, shelduck – if you follow the circular trails marked out between the golden gorse, purple heather and blue sea you can see all these things and plenty more, from an oyster farm to an inviting café terrace right on the beach!