The Bay of Saint-Brieuc extends from Paimpol to Fréhel and is the fifth largest bay in the world by tidal range.
Good food is definitely the order of the day here with local produce including mussels, scallops and oysters to tickle the tastebuds. Walks along the coastal footpath offer a feast for the eyes with amazing scenery including cliffs, creeks, beaches and rocks. The Bay has two opposing coastlines rather like a plunging neckline which rival one another in attractions. The Goëlo Coast to the west starts at the harbour town of Paimpol and runs along the cliffs at Plouha to the resort of Saint Quay-Portrieux then on to Binic, nicknamed the ‘beauty spot of the Goëlo Coast’. If you go there you will understand why ! The Penthièvre Coast to the east features the well-known holiday resorts of Pléneuf Val André and Sables d’Or Les Pins. Whatever you do, don’t miss the town of Erquy, famous for its harbour and 9 beaches which are amongst the finest in Brittany especially those at the foot of the famous Cap d’Erquy ! A little to the north is another absolute must : Cap Fréhel and its impressive neighbour Fort La Latte, a wonderful place to enjoy sea air, heritage buildings and superb twilight scenery.
A gourmet stopover !
Saint-Brieuc, at the heart of the Bay :
And what about Saint-Brieuc itself ? The discreet town lies on the hills around a small estuary where the rivers Gouët and Gouédic meet. It is in two parts : the historic centre, which is very busy on Wednesday and Saturday mornings when the market takes place, and the harbour which has undergone a revival and buzzes with activity every weekend. The neighbouring town of Plérin, on the west bank of the estuary, has a lovely sea front esplanade along the long Plage des Rosaires beach, great to walk or jog along. You can also go sailing, windsurfing, kite-surfing and even paragliding here. And if you fancy a spot of seashore fishing, another beach, Martin plage, is a popular place to go digging for razor clams during spring tides !
Everyone will tell you not to forget the ‘bijou attractions’ inland from the coast. About 20km to the south, several charming villages are well worth visiting, including the character villages of Quintin and Moncontour, both steeped in medieval charm with a lake, castle, ramparts and narrow streets. During a recent visit to Moncontour with my partner we deliberately got lost and took great delight in coming across alleyways, ramparts, gateways, half-timbered houses, the view across the valley and the restaurant in the village centre.
How to get to the Bay of Saint-Brieuc ?
Saint-Brieuc is 2¼ hours from Paris by TGV and less than an hour’s drive from Rennes along the RN12."