A few kilometres from the fishing port of Paimpol, take the direction of Ploubazlanec... you arrive at the tip of Arcouëst and there, inevitably, the magic happens!
- Going for a getaway on the Brehat island
- Visit the Château de la Roche Jagu and its estate
- Discover the Beauport Abbey, which has become a cultural centre.
- Venturing to the curious Sillon de Talbert
- Walk the streets of the port of Paimpol, the homeland of the Icelanders.
You are transported in a few minutes of crossing on the island of flowers which has banned cars to give its heritage the opportunity to express itself. The Brehat archipelago is made up of the main island and 86 neighbouring islets and reefs. On 13 July 1907, Bréhat was the first classified natural site in France!
3.5 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide, the island can be visited on foot from the landing stage to the Peacock Lighthouse, which sits on jagged pink granite rocks, via the mound of the Saint-Michel Chapel. Let's go for a change of scenery!
As you travel through Brehat, you will discover a varied and rich heritage that is the imprint of a maritime but also military history that marked the island as early as the Middle Ages.
Indeed, it provided the French crown with many privateers who brought terror to the Atlantic. On land we find monuments such as the Pont ar Prad built by Vauban to link the two islands forming Bréhat and a citadel which has since changed its use.
Like many Breton ports, the port of La Corderie was the departure point for a fleet of Newfoundlanders bound for the seas of Iceland and Newfoundland to fish for cod and whales.
An emblematic symbol of this period was the Birlot tide mill which, as its name indicates, worked to the rhythm of the tides to produce flour. Now restored, it welcomes visitors in season to watch the milling process. In the old days, it was used to grind wheat, barley and buckwheat harvested in the archipelago to supply the Brehatins with flour.
All year round, the archipelago benefits from the influence of the Gulf Stream which ensures a particularly mild microclimate in winter. If the island is often renamed "the island of flowers", it is not without reason...
Many varieties of flowers colour the island: exotic plants such as agave or echium; flowers such as hydrangea, mimosa, mulberry, eucalyptus, aloe or camellia... but the flower that most symbolises Brehat is the agapanthus, which blooms from April to September and brightens the paths with its soft shade of blue-mauve.
In 1998, Yves Neumager founded the Verreries de Bréhat glassworks in the disused citadel... Crazy bet to set up on this island off the coast of Paimpol by imposing the constraints of island life on himself!
This challenge could of course only be taken up out of passion, which also led the small craft business to develop and seduce the world of luxury thanks to its door handles, staircase balls, faucet heads...
You will not be able to get to Brehat without stopping in Paimpol. If the city of Paimpol is famous for its maritime heritage and its history largely marked by the "Great Fishing", the city also has a remarkable natural heritage with in particular the maritime domain of the Abbey of Beauport, site of the Conservatoire du Littoral which counts not less than 90 hectares.
At the western end of the bay of Saint-Brieuc, Paimpol is the most famous cod port, from the coast of the Goëlo, schooners filled with sailors set sail for 6 months in the Icelandic Sea. These men inspired Pierre Loti in his novel Pécheur d'Islande as well as Théodore Botrel for his song La Paimpolaise...
The city has moreover been able to preserve this maritime wealth which is its strength. Every year in August, the Festival du Chant de Marin and the Fête des vieux gréements punctuate the life of the port. This year, on August 10th and 11th, you can admire the old rigs mooring at the quays of Paimpol.