Archive for January 8th, 2012

January 8, 2012

Concarneau, a idyllic city in the Finistere, lovely quaint town

Yesterday afternoon I continue my travels in Bretagne visiting this wonderful town by the coast, with marine ambiance and very picturesque,sure to be back here. Concarneau is even feature in Brittany tourist video presentation to showcase the beauty of the region, and they were right.

First the official tourist webpage for it is here,  . it has direct train service with Paris Montparnasse ,and you can even make by boat at Roscoffs from the UK, with Brittany Ferries at . Of course, I do the car, on the N165 expressway Nantes-Brest it is very close to me about 35 minutes ::) For local parking the best is at the place 8 mai 1945 right by the harbor facing the old walled town fortress,close to everything on foot thereafter. The parking here is payable from June 22 to September 15 and hours of  10h to 12h30 and 14h to 19h seven days a week. However if you park by the train station is free all year. Buses is done with Busco at webpage and there is a mini bus in city center in summer months for 10€  all summer. The bus transport for the Finistere deparment is at  . The trains gets here from Paris stop at Quimper or Rospoden, then taxi to Concarneau. There is also in summer a petit train touristiques ,info here

This is a coastal town full of marine ambiance and seafood galore;;; the marinarium is a place to study biological marine life  for 5€ adult and open from next month February to March every day 14h – 18 H, April to June every day from 10h-12h and 14h-18h, july and august from 10h-19h more at official webpage here   , there is a center for European marine training,not visited as it is a school but nice building and you can walk up to it, more info in French here   , and a museum of fisherman in a boat!!! musée de la Pé every day from february to october 10h to 12h and 14h to 18h for 6,50€ adult. see all information at official webpage here  There is a fairy tale castle in Keriolet, that of a Russian princes (Aunt of Tzar Nicolas II) and her French husband related her to the assassine of Rasputin, richly decorated and nicely preserved.  more info here

You have a beautiful Les Halles covered market with all kinds of goodies and seafood/fish galore, I am in heavens!!! They are open every day from 8h to 13h ,and some stalls are open in the afternoon from 16h30-19h. It is right here that I would recommend the hotel, did not stayed of course, too close to rent a hotel Ilive, but it is Britt hotel chain of Bretagne very original and local right in the middel fo things, Hotel des Halles, tariffs posted from 59-84€ double, the webpage is here  Another I saw and like is the Hotel de l’Océan, with wonderful views of the harbor and fortress below and many nice amenities like wifi,jacuzzi, and gym as well as on the nice local beach plage des sables-blancs, webpage here . if looking for bare hotel and good deal on a short trip the reliable Accor Etap hotel is always an alternative anywhere ,site

For restos the choice is nice, we saw a quite creperie that did not ate but it looks enticing for next visit call Le Petit Chaperon Rouge, right across from the parking at pl 8 mai 1945 facing the walled city forttress. location no webpage at 7 Place Duguesclin  ,tel +33 (0) 2 98 60 53 32. Another that caught the attention is the Le Comptoir ,facing the sea, lively for a relax drink and music webpage  ;and finally, the one we chose as it was recommended by locals and its an institution here is the L’Amiral, this is in the old Grand Hotel of older days,and now its restaurant and brasserie/cafe. Facing the fortress walled city, and harbor, nice ambiance, friendly service and great food. The bar for the apero is great, plenty of seafood platters to munch on, and a local patronage. Then you move to the restaurant section, we took the menu Simeone as it was for lunch, 26€ person, this restaurant is recommended by the Michelin Guide,Guide Champérard, Tables et Auberges de France,restos Point Bretagne,and the Petit Futé. Therefore, approved it was great sublime service in a wonderful afternoon in Concarneau with the boys. webpage at

However, the main attraction here is the walled city or fortress, the locals call it Ville Close or enclose town. This place is with more than 1,5million visitors per year, one of the monument the most visited in Brittany according to the tourist office. Mention of Concarneau dates back to 1050AD, and the Ville Close is its foundations, inside you will find a wonderful amount of sights ,shops,and history all around you, some details here generalised; the walled city is 380 meters at its widest and 100 meters long on average. You must see the ramparts of granite built in 1541-1577 by Vauban; the beffroi or belltower done in 1906! , the house of the governor from the 18C, the old chapel of the hôpital de la Trinité from the 15C; the place Saint Guénolé with a beautiful fountain; the porte du Vin, called because the Bordeaux ships unloaded their wines here, the porte du Passage, a trench hole open in the walls from 1785;  The granite houses on the rue Vauban, done so the fisherman can dry their fish catch , the chapel of the rosary or chapelle du Rosaire or Portal  from the 15C . In the old regime or Ancien Régime  the chapel house the local municipal assemblies, later turn into storage and later fisherman cooperatives,now integrated into the museum of fishing or Musée de la Pêche, and finally but not least the old church of  Saint Guénolé built in 1928, partially destroyed in 1936 and now only the facade and the ground floor is still standing.

You must come here, and I will surely return for more, so much to see in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh.  Cheers!!


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