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Report 1980: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 1 Southern Finistère

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011

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Page 15 of 26: Le Faou

photo by MAW

Le Faou

Le Faou hardly gets a mention in the guide books although it is marketed as one of the ‘small towns of character’ in Brittany. It had once been an important port at the mouth of the river Faou, transporting oak and beech (ar faou in Breton) from Le Cranou forest. Now it is a sleepy backwater.

The best view of the town is dropping down the hill from the N165 (E60) as the church spire and houses are reflected in the water. Le Faou does need to be seen at high tide. At low tide the river is an unattractive muddy expanse.

There is plenty of parking along the quay just beyond the church. It is a delightful small town with many old houses and narrow streets made even narrower by parked cars. Houses are built of granite and have overhanging upper stories with slate covered fronts. This is one of the few Breton towns to have preserved this style of house. Some have carved wood around the tiles. It is still unspoilt apart from two pizza places which spew out over the pavement with scruffy awnings and seating. There is a large main square with trees and Hotel de Ville on one side. There is an excellent baker which was doing a brisk trade with a steady stream of people coming out with baguettes under their arms.

This was our first experience of a small working French town and we were hooked.

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