A Viking hideaway
When you see Dahouët’s location, you can understand that it might have appealed to pirates and … Vikings. It’s said the latter caused terror along the coast from their hideaway here. Later, sailors from Dahouët headed for much more distant horizons; they counted among the first in France to make fishing expeditions to Newfoundland, from the start of the 16th century. The place’s natural protection is obvious, but recently, the rocks have been added to with artificial ones to create a secure marina. As well as yachts, there’s the reconstruction of an early 20th-century sailing boat, La Pauline, which offers short tours.
The Pointe de la Guette headland separates Dahouët from Le Val-André. The latter extends along a very long and lovely bay, with a sandy beach running along the whole 2.5 kilometres. The site was chosen to be developed into a fashionable resort in the 19th century. What is unusual is that many of the period seaside villas have been kept as they were, with only the odd modern replacement, and few hotels or restaurants along the inviting pedestrian promenade. However, the Rotonde complex near the central spot is a contemporary addition with cinemas and casino, as well as bar and restaurant. Pléneuf is the much older, more traditional town up the hill.
Around Pléneuf’s tip
A beautiful triangular island stands just out to sea from the Pointe de Pléneuf, the headland at the eastern end of Le Val-André. The magical-looking Île du Verdelet is the bay of Saint-Brieuc’s wonderful little echo of the Mont-Saint-Michel, only this island is reserved for birds. Le Val-André’s charming port is tucked into the cliffs close to it. The other side of the headland, long, wilder beaches stretch towards Erquy, with sand-yachting a popular pastime.