Brittany Sights



Sentier des Douaniers

Sentier des Douaniers Review

The famous seaside footpath, the Sentier des Douaniers, starts up at the west end of the Trestraou beach in the resort town of Perros-Guirec, 3 km (2 miles) east of Trébeurden; from there this beautifully manicured, fence-lined, and gorgeously scenic path provides a two-hour walk eastward, through fern forests, past cliffs and pink granite boulders to the pretty beach at Ploumanac'h. If you keep your eye out, you might even spot one of the mythical, 900-year-old Korrigans—native sprites with pointed ears, beards, and hooves, who come out at night from seaside grottoes to dance around fires. From Perros-Guirec you can take a boat trip out to the Sept Iles, a group of seven islets that are bird sanctuaries. On a hillside perch above Ploumanac'h is the village of La Clarté, home to the little Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté (Pl. de la Chapelle), built of local pink granite and decorated with 14 stations of the cross painted by the master of the Pont-Aven school, Maurice Denis. During the Pardon of la Clarté (August 15), a bishop preaches an outdoor mass for the Virgin Mary, village girls wear Trégor costumes, and the statue of the Virgin Mary wears a gold crown (she wears a fake one for the rest of the year). On Ploumanac'h's pleasant beach, Plage de la Bastille, you'll find the Oratoire de St-Guirec, a rose-granite chapel lodged in the sand with other rocks; facing the beach is the neo-medieval, 19th-century Château de Costaeres, where Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote Quo Vadis. Unfortunately, the magical castle-by-the-sea—whose image graces many postcards of the region—was partly destroyed by a fire and remains private property.

Updated: 07-16-2013

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