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Ouest Cornouaille

Ouest Cornouaille

Bretagne > Finistère > Ouest Cornouaille :
Pays Bigouden / Cap Sizun / Pays de Douarnenez

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> Ouest Cornouaille

Ouest Cornouaille

Wonderfully located at Brittany’s southwest tip, Ouest Cornouaille (‘West Cornwall’ in French!) is a magnificent, broad peninsula boasting many dramatic headlands, glorious bays and intriguing, deeply Breton countryside.

Wherever you are in the area, the coast is never far away. The shoreline is made up of wide bays lined by beaches, cliffs towering above sandy coves, defiant ports and secretive inlets. The area ends out west with the high drama of the Pointe du Raz, the French equivalent of England’s Land’s End.

The countryside around Ouest Cornouaille is surprisingly varied. You’ll come across wild moors, little fields divided by low stonewalls and rich pastures watered by flowing streams. Distinctive Breton church steeples, smaller chapels and calvary crosses lie scattered all around. Our area has its calm side, but you should also head for its lively fishing ports, its bustling shopping towns and local markets, its museums and its vibrant festivals. You’ll be enchanted by the rich variety of the area’s culture.

The pays (or area) of Ouest Cornouaille is traditionally subdivided into three smaller pays: the Pays Bigouden, Cap Sizun and the Pays de Douarnenez. To help you understand and appreciate Ouest Cornouaille better, let us introduce you to these areas.

The Pays Bigouden
The Pays Bigouden is perhaps the most famous of all Brittany’s pays. If it’s hard for many to pin down this area’s exact borders, most visitors will be familiar with images of its towering coiffe (the local women’s traditional lace headdress) that has become a celebrated symbol for the whole of Brittany.
The Pays Bigouden has its own little capital, Pont-l’Abbé, founded in the 11th century at the back of a beautiful estuary. The area’s four fishing ports are still going strong. As for the rural interior, it was made famous by a moving autobiographical work on the area, Le Cheval d’orgueil by Pierre-Jakez Hélias, a huge bestseller in France, translated into English as The Horse of Pride.
The Pays Bigouden has kept a large number of historic buildings. It has also preserved its natural landscapes, the most remarkable being the Bay of Audierne, now famed too for its surfing around the remarkable little headland of La Torche.


Cap Sizun

Looking at a map of Brittany, Cap Sizun forms the prow of Ouest Cornouaille. The Pointe du Raz, distinguished as a Grand Site de France, is a dramatic headland, or cape, that has become the stunning main symbol for this pays. Behind it, you’ll find a rewardingly varied heritage. As well as the fishing port of Audierne (from where you can take a boat out to the atmospheric little island of Sein), seek out more makeshift ports abris, the Petite Cité de Caractère of Pont-Croix, an historic small town rising above the Goyen River, and the mills and wind turbines along the north coast. Here, the glorious coastal path known rather prosaically as the Chemin des Douaniers (the Customs Officers’ Path, as they used to guard against smugglers along the coast!) follows the line of cliffs, offering magnificent views north to the Crozon Peninsula.

The Pays de Douarnenez
Douarnenez is wedded to the sea, with three ports plus a port-museum, numerous regattas, a renowned maritime festival, a thalassotherapy centre for sea-water treatments and particularly strong links with a blue-tinged fish that so marked its history – the sardine!
Neighbouring Poullan-sur-Mer, Pouldergat, Le Juch and Kerlaz are a joy to discover either on foot or on horseback, and you can pursue the trail around the area’s religious heritage by following the Chemin de la Sardine.

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Ouest Cornouaille

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Mentions légales - © Agence Ouest Cornouaille Développement (AOCD)
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