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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 8 of 26: A Day Round Pointe du Raz Peninsula

photo by MAW

Trouguer windmill

From Guengat we drove through pretty agricultural countryside with fields and woodland to Confort-Meilars. This is a pleasant small town of stone houses. Eglise Notre-Dame-de-Confort was built in the 16thC, although the chancel is later. It is a large building beside the road and has lost its wall, triumphal archway and ossuary. It still has a large triangular calvary with a single cross and standing figures beneath. There is an elegant open belfry rebuilt in the 19thC after the earlier one had been destroyed in a storm. It has a spire and adjacent round tower containing the stairs. The importance of the sea and fishing is reflected in the delightful small carving of a boat by the main door. The inside of the church is fairly plain. The most important sight is the Carillon wheel with twelve bells, over the last arch in the nave. The bells were rung at baptisms.

After Confort-Meilors we cut across to the north coast, through gently rolling countryside with trees. There were fields of maize surrounded by earth banks covered with bracken. There were a lot of wild flowers in the verges, yarrow, purple loosestrife, red clover, knapweed...

We drove to Pointe du Millier, which is signed off the D7 between Poullan-sur-Mer and Beuzec-Cap-Sizun. There is a large car park near the end of the road. No traffic is allowed beyond to the small house and lighthouse at the point. There is good walking along the coastal path in both directions from the lighthouse over low growing heather and gorse, with dramatic views of the rocky coastline and across to the Crozon peninsula.

Moulin de Keriolet is signed off this road. It is a pleasant walk along a well made track through the trees to the mill, set in the bottom of the valley. A leat supplies water to the large waterwheel. It is a delightful setting with the river tumbling down through a steep valley with rocks. There are tracks for walking.

Entry is on the top floor where the miller lived in a small corner. This area has now been turned into a shop selling a range of different flours (maize, chestnut, wheat, rye, buckwheat), selection of honeys and ciders. Below is the main milling area.

Back on the D7, our next stop was Pointe de Brézellec. Again there is plenty of parking at the end of the road and although there were a lot of camper vans and cars parked there were few people around. There is more good walking along the cliffs here with views along the rocky coastline.

We then drove to Pointe du Van past an old windmill converted into a house and Trouger Windmill still with its sails and the remains of a smaller wooden windmill in the same field. This was shut for lunch.

The countryside at the end of the peninsula is flat with poor soils and little agriculture. Stone walls are beginning to replace earth banks. The houses are built of granite or else painted white with slate roofs. Most still have and use wooden shutters although modern houses have metal roll shutters. Everywhere looked clean and tidy.

The books say Pointe du Van is quieter and less touristy than Point du Raz. There is a huge car park which was busy when we arrived. There is a small crêperie set into a large grassy mound and stall selling post cards, ice creams etc. A wide gravel track leads to the headland and is roped off to allow the vegetation time to recover from damage caused by pressure of feet. It is a loop path which brings you back past the small Chapelle-St-They. There was a steady stream of visitors. There was no where to sit down. The end of the headland is rough grassland and boring as it isn’t possible to get close to the edge to see the cliffs and rocks. Scenically it isn’t as good as Pointe du Millier or Pointe de Brezellec. If you take the right hand turn and walk away from Pointe du Van, the coastal path becomes more interesting. It isn’t roped off, the views are better and you can sit on the rocks to admire the scenery.

The map shows a scenic white road down to Baie des Trépassés. This is signed to a hotel. Not realising this, we ended up on the main road which loops inland before dropping down with lovely views of the sandy beach with large waves breaking on the shore. There are two hotels and parking.

After our experience at Pointe du Van we decided to give Pointe du Raz a miss as the car park looked very busy and we could see people swarming over the headland. There is a charge to park and Information Centre with toilets. Apparently there is a shuttle bus service for those unwilling or unable to walk 800m to the tip.

In Lescoff we saw a sign for the factory of biscuiterie de la Pointe du Raz. As well as the biscuit factory there is an extremely good shop and a large car park. It is possible to go into the factory and watch the biscuits or cakes being made and packed. There were samples of the biscuits (palets the day we visited) to try. We tried not to look too greedy. They were very good. Breton cooking involves the use of large quantities of butter which can be smelt in the air when baking.

The shop sells a wide range of biscuits (in tins as well as boxes), preserves, sardines in decorative boxes (Douarnenez is an important sardine port) and a good range of gifts including faïence ware, place mats, table linen, calendars, CDs, books etc.

The road along the south coast drops down to Primelin, which has a lovely sandy beach and small breakwater with small boats beached at low tide. Beyond it runs inland from the coast through undulating scenery to Pont-Croix.

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