Come and visit the Abers, long coastal inlets cut into the land by the sea. North-west Finistère is marked by three Abers : Aber Ildut, the shortest and narrowest, provides a natural harbour for boats at Lanildut ; Aber Benoît, renowned for its oysters ; and Aber Wrac’h, the longest, whose entrance is guarded by Ile Vierge lighthouse. A little further north is the Côte des Légendes where the coastline is dotted with huge round granite boulders. A real paradise for photography enthusiasts and artists !
Let’s start our visit near the Brest Approaches, in the small town of Saint-Renan with its cobbled streets, timber-framed houses and imposing houses. The town has always been well-known for its markets and fairs. In summer, the largest market in Finistère is still held there every Saturday morning with more than 300 stalls : a delicious place to discover Plougastel strawberries, Kig Ha Farz and even sausages with seaweed.
Aber Ildut can be visited from Saint-Renan. The scenery changes with the tides and the weather; the magic never fails in sunshine or through the mist. Follow the aber to its estuary at Lanildut once a coastal port and nowadays the N°1 kelp port in Europe. In fact the base of the obelisk at the Place de la Concorde in Paris came from the local granite quarries in 1836.
To reach the second aber, continue along the coast to Porspoder and Landunvez where wild horses graze beside the little coastal roads. Aber Benoit, which is long 8km long, starts between Saint Pabu and Landéda, then winds through fields and woodland to Tréglonou. The mix of salt water and fresh water is very favourable for oysters and local oyster farms supply many Michelin starred chefs. A few kilometres further up brings you to the third, and last aber, Aber Wrac’h. The one time fishing port of Landéda, now a marina, is a great stopover with its view of the estuary and numerous islets. At Plouguerneau, the 82 metre high lighthouse at Ile Vierge is the highest in the world in cut stone. Make sure you climb the 365 steps to marvel at the exceptional panoramic view. Another gem to discover off Ile Vierge is the ormer or abalone also known as the « truffle of the sea », which is farmed here using a unique method which results in an excellent quality product.