The beautiful archipelago of Molène
30 km from Pointe Saint-Mathieu, at the forefront of the continent, out of the 20 or so islands that make up the archipelago, only Quéménès and Molène are inhabited. As you tour round the latter, stop at Beg ar Loued. It is testimony to the ancient occupation, since the Bronze Age, of this little chain of land. Do you want to find out about life on the island, its biodiversity, history and the daily life of those who live there? Then you need to visit the very recently renovated “Island Environment House”. As for marine wildlife, the common bottlenose dolphin and the grey seal are regulars. Among the many birds that frequent these shores, the tern, which can be recognised by its black head, is the most emblematic.
Ushant, a jagged guard
After Molène and the Fromveur Passage (meaning large torrent in Breton), Ushant appears. The seven-kilometre-long island looks like a crab’s pincer, bordered by otherworldly rocks. The size of the cliffs is thought to have given the Celtic name “ouxisama”, meaning the tallest, to this ocean lookout. The coast of Pointe de Pern offers an exceptional sight. In the middle of the chiselled reefs are the remains of the Villa des Tempêtes which used to house a steam foghorn. Not far from there you can see the ruins of a foghorn which was formerly operated by horses.
A chain of lighthouses to guide ships
The considerate inhabitants of Ushant erected majestic lighthouses to help sailors, on or next to the island. The first, Stiff, was built in 1695 by Vauban. Jument, with a red top, and Keréon, nicknamed “the palace” due to the wood panelling, were erected with incredible effort. Créac’h, one of the most powerful lighthouses in the world, can be recognised by its black and white stripes.
A cosy house on Ushant
Attempting to shelter from the wind, the sheep and a few vegetable gardens nestle behind delightful stone walls. In Niou Uhella, you can soak up the soul of Ushant by visiting an island house. The small dwelling has two symmetrical rooms: penn ludu, the living room, and penn brao, a reception room where items brought back by sailors were deposited. The furniture, made from wood from shipwrecks, has surprisingly bright colours.