Paimpol and Loguivy-de-la-mer
In the footsteps of fishermen
North of Paimpol, the so-called Goëlo Coast is a must for lovers of the outdoors. Take the GR34 old customs officers’ path around the peninsula from the active fishing village of Loguivy-de-la-Mer to Pors-Even, taking in the magnificent views and historic town of Ploubazlanec.
Catch of the day
Be sure to arrive in Loguivy in the morning and make straight for the quayside; the village’s 22 boats will have unloaded their catch – lobsters, scallops, spider crabs – and the pungent market will be in full swing. Before heading off, take a look at the village church. It was built in 1938-39 by an architect who was part of the Breton ‘Seiz Breur’ art movement; the port has been a draw for many artists and thinkers over the years.
Start your walk at La Roche aux Oiseaux, which overlooks the estuary of the River Trieux and gives great views over Ile-Bréhat; a fun way to explore the river is to take the Vapeur du Trieux steam train from Paimpol to Portrieux. After passing Gouern Bay – a favourite hunting ground of seabirds – and its beach, you’ll come to Lann Vras, where you’ll enjoy views over the famous Sillon de Talbert, a 2 mile (3km)-long sand bank that stretches into the sea.
A land of inspiration
Next up is Launay Bay, where the scientist Marie Curie had a holiday home, and then it’s the viewpoints of the Plateau du Rohou and Pointe de l’Arcouest, where you catch the ferry over to Ile-Bréhat. Pors-Even found fame in the 19th century when writer Pierre Loti set his book, Pecheurs d’Islande, here; from 1852-1935, the fishermen from this part of Brittany headed to Iceland each summer to fish for cod.
Dad has gone to Iceland
You can find out about these hardy sailors, known as Les Terre-Neuvas, at the Musée Mémoires d’Islande in Ploubazlanec; pick up a leaflet from the town hall of the 3.7 mile (6km)-long ‘Iceland trail’. You’ll visit the cemetery to see the ‘wall of the departed’, which commemorates the 120 boats and 2,000 men lost at sea during this period, and the ‘widows’ cross’, the spot where the fishwives watched for the returning boats.
Did you know?
Apart from fishing, the main economic activity in this area is vegetable growing; buy some at the market in Ploubazlanec on Sunday mornings.
Useful links :
- Paimpol Goëlo (EN)