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Headquarters : 5 Hent Meneyer, 29 950 Gouesnac'h, France.
Postal address : 2 impasse de Kervégant, 29 350 Moëlan sur mer, France.
Of the 148 lighthouses along the French coastline, a third are in Brittany, which can be said to be quite logical in fact because Brittany represents a third of the country’s shoreline. Finistère alone contruibutes 23 of them, located either on the coast or at sea, including the most powerful one in the world, the highest in Europe and the oldest!

For a few years or decades now, there have been no lighthouse keepers, but these edifices dotted along the French coast since the end of the 18th century are still a night-time companion to sailors, and are there to safeguard the passage of all vessels at sea.

07/06/2018 - Learn more...
Imagine yourself Captain of a gigantic freighter, loaded with crude oil or with some other dangerous material on board, and so long and unwieldy that the power of the waves that night might snap it in two… engine failure, and there you are, castaway in the middle of the Iroise Sea, off the northwest coast of Brittany, one of the most dangerous places on the planet in terms of navigation… You’re going to sink, and trigger a major ecological disaster, broken in two by a swell over 15 metres high that night. Call for help: SOS!!!

Then, after an anxious wait, which may last a few hours or only 20 minutes, emerging from nowhere like a ghostly apparition and coming to your rescue is the powerful ocean-going tug, the Abeille-Bourbon…

15/04/2018 - Learn more...
France is the second largest exporter of agri-food products in the world, after the US. And Brittany on its own could feed the whole of France. In 2017, 56% of the country’s pork was reared here, by around 3,500 Breton pig farmers, with an average of 200-300 sows each.
I would say this is almost certainly too much, as evidenced by the problematic proliferation of green algae, particularly on the north coast, in the Bay of Morlaix, the principal cause of which is animal effluent. This intensive breeding has direct and indirect consequences for the environment.
Pig farming in Brittany is well established… as related below by Jean Guillermou, who farmed pigs at Gouesnac’h from 1959, although he has been in retirement for many years now.

21/02/2018 - Learn more...
A French three-masted boat, built in the 19th century in 1896, it is the oldest in Europe, and classed as a historic monument. It took us back in time, and into a Breton storm…

"Tonight the wind again blew hard on Brittany’s southern coastline. I was woken by the shutters banging against the walls of my studio on the second floor, so I went up to close them. When I opened the window, I breathed in a good lungful of the moist sea air as it whipped my face, the clouds raced by in the sky and I heard in the distance the lowing sound of the beacon commonly referred to as ‘the cow’, which sits at the entrance to Brigneau harbour. At that moment I felt a strong urge to find myself aboard the Bélem, where I had been two weeks before during stormy weather. The Bélem is a superb three-master, over 100 years old, a 19th century sailing ship which used to transport cocoa from Brazil. It was named after a town which sits at the mouth of the Amazon river, where it flows into the vast Atlantic Ocean. So, two weeks previously, I had been aboard this ship off the Breton coast heading for its home port, Nantes. We navigated day and night through spectacular weather, terrifying and sublime...

24/01/2018 - Learn more...
First prize for originality in the international competition for French-speaking writings about the travel and sea.

The head physician was an artist. The officer in charge of the crew was a “good fellow”, paternalistic and gruff, as is expected. And the petty officers were hard drinkers and didn’t try to hide it. And me, just a sailor. The “good fellow” called me “The Professor”. In civvy street, I was a painter and a drawing tutor. Clearly it was the title ‘Professor’ which most impressed the crew’s father figure. Not that this helped me in the least to get a rank, because after all what does one need with an artist on board a ship. But anyway, as I needed a speciality, I became a nurse. A sailor and a nurse – one could hardly dream of better at a time when France was defending its colonies in the Sahara or the Aures Mountains in Algeria. Naval forces were very rarely sent to these zones, apart from perhaps the odd marine commando, but to be one of these you have to be extremely sporty and not too “intellectual”. Sporty? Not me! Intellectual, I’m not sure, but probably not simple enough!

13/12/2017 - Learn more...
I grew up in Cornwall and whilst hordes of tourists descended on our region every summer our family would often drive down to Plymouth and get the ferry across to Roscoff in Brittany for our holidays. At first we stayed in the north, but over the years we explored quite a bit of the region. The beaches around Roscoff are gorgeous, a mix of amazingly fine white sand and rockpools to go foraging in. And Roscoff itself is more than just a ferry terminal. Venturing just to the east of Roscoff, we stayed near Perros-Guirec on the Pink Granite coast. The sandy beaches here are backed by distinctly rose-coloured rocky outcrops. We would often do a day trip to the huge Océanopolis aquarium in Brest, and further south, in the centre of Brittany, we’d go for long walks through some quite wild countryside. Then we finally got as far as the south coast… The area around Quimper and Pont-l’Abbé is quite traditional and strong in its Breton identity, and there are museums in this area dedicated to the local culture.

01/11/2017 - Learn more...
Classed as a ‘Biosphere Reserve’ by UNESCO, and part of the Armorique Regional Park, the island of Ouessant and the Molène Archipelago offer a striking vision of untamed beauty, and their powerful lighthouses watch over one of the busiest seafaring routes in the world, the Rail d’Ouessant. Molène has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and Ouessant is redolent of Ireland. These are among the Ponant Isles, alongside Groix and Belle-Ile in Morbihan, the Glénan Archipelago in southern Finistère, and many others, because this grouping brings together fifteen islands, all of which are have permanent inhabitants. Starting from the English Channel (from north to south) they are: Chausey Archipelago, Ile de Bréhat, Ile de Batz, Ile d’Ouessant, Ile de Molène, Ile de Sein, Glénan Archipelago, Ile de Groix, Belle-Île, Ile de Houat, Ile d’Hoëdic, Ile-aux-Moines, Ile d’Arz, Ile d’Yeu and Ile d’Aix. In fact, the islands located off the west coast of France, in the Channel and the Atlantic, form a long archipelago which is referred to as the Iles du Ponant. This name is due to their geographic location, as the word ‘ponant’ means ‘where the sun sets’.

21/09/2017 - Learn more...
Once you’ve arrived in Brittany, no doubt one of the first shops you will seek out is the bakery, ‘la boulangerie’. They are everywhere here, although there used to be more. Each village in the commune would have had their own bakery, so about 50 years ago there were no less than 17 in the commune of Moëlan sur Mer; nowadays I count five, three of which are in the town… and which are also patisseries, offering delicious cakes and pastries. Back in the day, many shops also operated as a ‘café’ alongside their principal activity, a practice which can still sometimes be seen today, so it is not uncommon in Brittany to come across a bistro which is also a hairdresser’s, a baker’s, a grocer’s, or a newsagent. This traditional style of village life does still endure in places, but of course is gradually disappearing. So, below are some of the tasty delights which you can find in ‘Les Gourmands Disent…’ and ‘La Boutique Gourmande’, the two boulangerie-pâtisseries on the square in Moëlan sur Mer, an area where many of our holiday rental properties are located.

03/08/2017 - Learn more...
Paul Gauguin was born in Paris on 7th June 1848, and died at Atuona in the Marquesas Islands on 8th May 1903. This famous painter was at first an Impressionist, but although coming from this movement he reacted against it by moving on in his work to use large uniform areas of colour and a more abstract drawing style. He was striving for a simplification of shape, eliminating details in order to retain only the essential form, a simplification achieved through the use of bold outlines and flat colour. His paintings abound in warm colours and soft shapes, placing the same importance on the natural element as on the figurative. He also wanted, as a symbolist, to confer a spiritual meaning onto his paintings. As his creativity began to burgeon, he spent some time in Brittany in 1886 with the young Emile Bernard, a cultured young man, only 18 years old, whereas Paul Gauguin was 38. It was at this time that, along with a few others, he founded what would later be known as the Pont-Aven School, and synthetism was born.

24/06/2017 - Learn more...
Finistère is the ‘most Breton’ of all the departments. Its name is derived from ‘Finis Terrae’, meaning the ends of the earth, as it is similarly called in Breton: "Penn ar Bed". It is however distinctly different from north to south and, apart from Corsica, it is the French department with the longest coastline. With the Channel to the north and the Atlantic to the west, the department boasts a number of prestigious and well-known natural sites, such as La Pointe du Raz, the Crozon Peninsula and Audierne Bay, to name but a few. And, of course, there are all the offshore islands, including Batz, the Molène archipelago, Ouessant, Sein, and the Glénan archipelago.

The French name Morbihan derives from the Breton for ‘the little sea’; thus this department in southern Brittany is named after the famous gulf which it encircles. It is a mysterious land, a paradise for migratory birds which stop off here, with its streams running through coastal heathland before disgorging into the wide ocean.

09/05/2017 - Learn more...


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