A port with a past!
Once a little medieval village, Binic grew to become one of the most important ports in the French fishing industry. It was the expeditions of the ‘terre-neuvas’ – the fishermen that left France to fish in Newfoundland waters – that secured Binic its place in history, and the imposing granite and schist ship-owners’ houses lining the Quai Jean Bart are testament to this prosperous business. The town became a sailing resort as well as a charming seaside destination during the 20th century, and to this day boats shelter behind the 350 metre long main jetty referred to by locals as the ‘grande muraille’ (big stone wall).
Relax on the beach
Beyond the jetty lies the attractive outer harbour beach, a perfect place for the whole family, fringed with rocks and green beach huts and crowned with pine trees. There’s also a second beach right next to the bustling marina and its little backstreets – the seawater pool, promenade and quayside villas leave you in no doubt that this town is a true seaside resort. Corps du Garde beach is in a more natural setting and extends away from the foot of the Pointe de la Rognouse headland.
A trail with views over the bay
The GR34 coastal hiking trail, also known as the ‘Sentier des Douaniers’ or customs officers’ path, wends its way in and out of the resort and its beaches, before continuing along the coastline. There are some stunning, panoramic views to be had of the foreshore and Saint-Brieuc Bay. As winter comes to an end, the edges of the trail are livened up by brightly coloured mimosa flowers, later replaced by gorse bushes and heather. The sea and the moors add a lovely fragrance to your walks, and if you prefer to pedal then opt for the marked mountain-bike trails that wind their way inland through the countryside, towards the woodlands and lakes of Lantic.
Fishing for history
It’s not difficult to while away a few hours at the Musée de Binic – there are over 1,000 objects including costumes, Breton head-dresses and tools that bear witness to the centuries-old relationship between the environment and the people who have made it their home. You can also view the fascinating equipment that tells you so much about the era of the ‘Terre-Neuvas’ – the French fishermen that set out to fish in the waters of Newfoundland – as well as carefully arranged presentations of traditional activities such as butter and cider making as well as the cultivation of linen and buckwheat.
Quays that are bustling with life
And the good times continue to this day! Thursday is market day with all the sights and sounds of one of the biggest markets in the region – in summer, 200 traders spread out their wares on the quays and all along the pedestrianised streets. All kinds of activities can be enjoyed here in the evenings, too, including al fresco drinks, concerts and fireworks. The Fête de la Morue cod festival and the Binic Folks Blues Festival also feature strongly in the town’s events calendar.