In the far south west corner of Brittany, is a little known to tourists area called Pays Bigouden in the department of Finistère.
There are three small fishing ports around this coastline: St Guenole, Le Guilvinec and Loctudy which along with Douarnenez to the north are reputed to land 25% of all the inshore fish in France.
The port of le Guilvinec Brittany
As you stand on the esplanade of this busy port on a sunny afternoon, you’ll hear the hum of boats returning with their fishy load as they make their way into the port of Le Guilvinec. A cacophony of sound and a whirl of action takes place as each little boat nudges into the dockside – it’s like a ballet of boats. Without even tying up to off load their catch, they quickly make way for the next boat. You can catch all the action from the viewing gallery above, getting a unique view of this timeless procedure. Afterwards take a stroll down to the auction and fish shops to buy the freshest fish you’ve ever had.
As you’d expect there are some great restaurants, try le Poisson d’Avril which is in a great location right at the port opening near the lighthouse (19 rue de Men Muer) and does really fabulous, fresh, seasonal fish dishes. If you’re in town on Tuesday or Saturday don’t miss the vibrant street market, buy bread, cheese, fish, wine and cakes and head to the beach or Men Muer Point for fabulous views and a delish picnic.
You can take a boat trip round the coast and maybe spot some basking grey seals, take a one day fishing trip on a trawler, enjoy kayaking and other sea faring activities (check at the tourist office for details).
Off the beaten track this place might be but it’s lively and authentic and there’s plenty going on.