Douarnenez is bustling town with four harbours and one of the most popular summer sailing grounds in Brittany, France
Douarnenez is an attractive town located at the top of a peninsula at the mouth of the Pouldavid River, with the Port of Rosmeur on the eastern side and Port Rhu to the west. The steep, narrow cobbled streets which climb up to the town from it’s four harbours have changed little over the past century. Soak up the unique atmosphere of its bustling quaysides and its narrow streets with their craft workshops and fishermen’s cottages. The main square has the local market and is the centre of other retail shopping, banking, and the local economy. This Breton town hosts a number of hotels and restaurants, with just a short stroll to the sea front at the Port of Rosmeur which is lined with cafés, seafood restaurants and crêperies. Douarnenez has a fantastic foodie reputation for seafood, with independent eateries usually offering local shellfish, crab, lobster, prawns, sardines, mussels, and the catch of the day straight from the quayside – and it’s traditional buttery cake, kouign amann, and Breton cider has become famous throughout France.
Douarnenez is ideally located to enjoy coastal walks to one of its many sheltered coves and sandy beaches, perfect for swimming, kayaking and sailing dinghies. Close by is the beautiful, tiny village of Les Plomarch, situated up on the cliffs, which has breath-taking panoramic views and has inspired many an artist and continues to attract walkers. Your visit to Douarnenez would not be complete without a trip to the island of Tristan which is linked to the legend of Tristan and Iseult from the times of King Arthur. It can be reached by foot at low tide when joining a guided tour to discover the exotic botanical gardens, unexpected orchards, the remains of fortifications and a princesses’ house.
Do not miss!
If you are lucky enough to get a chance to be part of their maritime festival you will see this historic and charming port come alive with tall ships and classic boats who gather from all over the world to celebrate their rich nautical culture and music. Festival Temps Fête is a bi-annual event in July that follows the Brest Festival of the Sea and is for many the highlight of the Brittany sailing calendar – read more about the Douarnenez maritime festival experience on our adventure blog.
VentureSail holidays will often have various vessels in attendance at these festivals, take a look at our current voyage to Douarnenez from Falmouth on the Johanna Lucretia – £1050pp all inclusive.