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Postal address : 2 impasse de Kervégant, 29 350 Moëlan sur mer, France.

THE SPLENDOUR OF THE RIAS

Welcome to the land of the ‘Rias’, the coastline around Moëlan sur Mer, Clohars Carnoët and Riec sur Belon. Here, between land, sea and river, the south coast of Finistère has a well kept secret to reveal…

A series of little ports nestle along this stretch of the coast and are a delight to explore, whether by road, by boat or on foot by way of the coastal paths. Doëlan, Brigneau, Le Pouldu, Merrien, Bélon and Rosbras; each of these ports have their own character for visitors to discover. Their unique landscapes, although immortalised by the painters of the Pont-Aven School, are constantly being redrawn with the ever-changing light and nuances of colour.


Doëlan, picture perfect port



Port de Doëlan, Finsitère sud
Photo by Andre Quinou / Shutterstock.com



Port de Doëlan, Finsitère sud
Photo by Andre Quinou / Shutterstock.com


A view fit for a postcard! Tucked into a deep narrow inlet, the port is watched over by two lighthouses, one green and one red, which you won’t fail to spot. At the feet of these sentinels, spruce little fishing boats and pleasure boats alike bob in the calm waters, sheltered from the swell of the open sea. On both banks, attractive terraced Breton houses with white façades and colourful shutters look out over the comings and goings of the port.


Le Port de Doëlan en Finistère sud   Le Port de Doëlan en Finistère sud


What a fascinating sight to see the traditional fishing boats return in the evening and unload their dripping catch onto the quayside: fresh fish, langoustine and crustaceans, to be sold in the fish market.



The Bélon, twin ports


Le port du Belon

Nestling at the heart of the Bélon river estuary, where the sea shapes and reforms the landscape according to the rhythm of the tides, the twin ports of the Bélon lie opposite each other across the water.


Le port du Belon



Le Belon au Guilly


It is on the right bank where the famous flat ‘Bélon’ oyster is tended and brought to maturity, the oyster farmers taking advantage of the mix of salt and fresh water in the river. Pause for an unforgettable experience and sample these nutty-flavoured oysters fresh on the quayside. For those partial to a piece of fish, it can be bought in the fish market on the left bank directly from the fishermen. Whether on the left or the right bank, one can marvel at the picturesque view which changes constantly throughout the day…



Le Pouldu, the borderland


La Laïta au Bas-Pouldu

Located in the far southeast of this territory, a family atmosphere pervades at this small port. Close to beaches  and river inlets, this is a place to gather at the end of the day to watch the waves sweep over the sand as the sun sets.


La Laïta au Bas-Pouldu   La Laïta au Bas-Pouldu


Sitting at the mouth of the Laïta river, it takes a mere 5 minutes by boat to enjoy a foray into the Morbihan department.



Brigneau, oozing Breton charm


Le port de Brigneau

At the sea’s edge, playmate of the tide, the port of Brigneau bathes in a blue-green palette of colour. The stone walls of the former Malachappe fish preserving plant dominate this charming little port, which has long been associated with sardine fishing.



Rosbras, a port of call on the Aven

Before reaching the colourful quaysides of this former fishing port, visitors drive down a lovely road lined with charming thatched houses.


Le port de Rosbras


Their appetite whetted, they can fully appreciate the atmosphere of this yesteryear port. In the past, boats travelled up this important waterway to trade in Pont-Aven. Gradually the fishing boats have been replaced by pleasure boaters, finding a little corner of paradise in the sheltered ‘ria’ of the Aven. From here you can take the coastal path as far as the bay of Goulet Riec, where it is said that Gauguin came to skinny dip!


Le port de Rosbras   Le port de Rosbras



Le port de Rosbras




Merrien, sheltered from the sea

The port of Merrien appears suddenly, as it is well sheltered behind a wooded headland on the right bank. Its calm and restful character is then revealed, its boats pitching gently on the flat surface of the water. And little by little, Merrien’s oyster farming activity becomes evident.


Le port de Merrien



Le port de Merrien




Ria, Aven or Aber?

Typical of Brittany, ‘rias’ are coastal river valleys which are invaded by seawater. These estuaries are known as ‘abers’ in northern Brittany, and ‘avens’ or ‘rias’ in southern Brittany.

Tifenn David,
OTSI Moëlan sur mer.