Get some height

There are seven perched sites in Brittany with a panoramic view

So you’re not a fan of gliders or microlights? Don’t worry, with a little bit of effort and perseverance, climbing to the top of a steeple, tower or hill can offer some great rewards. We show you with six ideas to give you wings!

In the blink of an eye

1. On the lookout opposite Batz Island

Roscoff from Sainte-Barbe chapel

As you follow the seafront to Pointe de Bloscon, take a detour via Sainte-Barbe chapel. Climb up the little rocky outcrop on which it is perched. Go round the whitewashed walls to the orientation table. From there, you can admire Roscoff, its port and Batz Island on one side, and the entrance of the Bay or Morlaix and its myriad of islands on the other. It’s magical!

Note: the chapel is closed, but a pardon takes place there every year, on the third Sunday of July.

2. Tour with view of the Rance Valley

Dinan from the clock tower

You’ll need to climb three floors of stone stairs, two floors of wooden stairs and one  miller’s ladder to get to the top of the 47-metre clock tower. But what a view! A 360° view of the historic centre and its picturesque jumble of roofs, with the countryside in the background. In the foreground, Saint-Sauveur church and its delicately carved façade emerge from a shaded square. In the distance, you will glimpse the winding course of the Rance on one side, and the town of Lanvallay on the other. As you go back down to the ground floor, admire the mechanism of the Hamzer clock. It dates to 1498!

3. Overlook the bay under the cupola

Lorient from Tour de la Découverte

Are you looking for an exceptional view of Lorient and its surrounding area? Don’t look any further, this is it! In Enclos du Port, on Faouëdic hill, at the top of 216 steps, Tour de la Découverte offers an astonishing view of the town, the bay and Belle-Ile-en-Mer, which you can make out in the distance on a clear day. As a bonus, underneath the cupola, standing at a height of 38 metres, is a world-unique clock system: a large stainless steel ball falls six metres every day to indicate midday on solar time. A fantastic view, mechanical prowess and a unique visit!

4. Panoramic view of the Iroise Sea

Locronan from Menez Lokorn and Ar Sonj chapel

Don’t be fooled by the casual look of this gently rounded hill to which Locronan clings! From the top of its 289 metres, Menez Lokorn offers an incredible view of the Iroise Sea. If you enjoy walking, take the cool wooded trails to get there. When you arrive, hold your breath. In a single glance, you will see Douarnenez Bay, Cap de la Chèvre and Porzay Plain as far as Menez Hom! Ar Sonj chapel, which opens once a year for Troménie, celebrates the pardon of Saint Ronan. It has many stained glass windows by the painter and stained glass artist, Jean Bazaine.


5. A fortress from its best angle

Fougères and its castle from the belvedere in the public park

A walk through the public park in Fougères is full of the unexpected. One moment you will succumb to the wonder of the formal gardens; the next you’ll be charmed by the poetic jumble of plants, in a cottage-garden style. You’ll appreciate the surprising collection of ferns that carpet the undergrowth, and then your eyes will be drawn to the spot of colour provided by a contemporary sculpture!  To top it off, there is an exceptional view of the Nançon Valley from the belvedere. In front of you is the striking silhouette of the medieval castle. Just in front are the multiple gables of Saint Sulpice church dominated by its slender steeple. All around are the picturesque half-timbered houses of the medieval district. On a clear day, with a good pair of binoculars, you might event glimpse Mont-Saint-Michel in the distance!

6. Tides and marshes, views of Mont-Saint-Michel bay

Mont-Saint-Michel bay from Mont-Dol

This is a great reason for an excursion! To reach the summit of the mound, which culminates at 65 metres, you can follow a pedestrian circuit from the market square. When you get to the top, you can see the whole of Mont-Saint-Michel bay, from Cancale to Granville. In the foreground, the Dol marshes. They combine the white marsh, which gets its colour from marine alluvium which contains predominately shell dust, and the black marsh resulting from peat soils. Many bird species come to these marshes. Around Mont-Saint-Michel, polders, which are regularly covered by very high tides, are used as a canteen by sheep known as “Prés-salés”.


7. Plunging view of Rohan Castle

Josselin from the steeple of Notre-Dame-du-Roncier basilica

There are 138 steps to the top of the steeple of Notre-Dame du Roncier basilica, but it’s well worth the effort. In front of you is Josselin Castle. With its round towers, Renaissance style façade and ancient trees, it definitely has character! Within view are the historic centre and the Nantes-Brest canal. When you go back down, have a look inside the basilica. It is home to treasures: magnificent stained glass windows, grand organs and the recumbent effigies of Olivier de Clisson and his wife.

The steeple can be visited without a guide in July and August, from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 2pm to 6pm. Entrance on Place Alain de Rohan

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Official website of tourism in Brittany