Planning a trip to the end of the world? All of this in an environmentally friendly way? Don’t take the headache, come to the tip of Finistère where a beautiful walking adventure awaits you! From the town of Guipavas, through Brest itself or even Le Relecq-Kerhuon, our region offers many marked trails and very pleasant walks to fully enjoy its wealth. For that, we propose 3 itineraries of walks, more or less long according to your preferences.
From the 4 pumps to the Petit Minou lighthouse: 10 km
To begin with, you have probably already heard of the GR34, also known as the Douaniers trail. It is a coastal path starting from the famous Mont Saint Michel and ending in Saint Nazaire in Loire Atlantique. It crosses many cities and towns, including Brest and its surroundings, so let’s start with this area!
We propose you first a hiking circuit going from the 4 pumps in Brest to the Pointe du Petit Minou in Plouzané. If you are a walker, and you like challenges in the open air, then we advise you to follow this path which will bring you first to the small port of the White House, a place of relaxation where you can also eat a few steps from the small pebble beach, at the bar-brewery of the same name.
Continuing along the Corniche road, you will arrive at the Pointe du Portzic, where you can not only admire its lighthouse built on a military site in 1848, but you will also have an unobstructed view of the harbor of Brest.
Along your way, you can enjoy a break on one of the beaches of the region, the beach of Saint Anne and the beach of Dellec, both offering a view of the Goulet and the Presqu’île de Crozon. And if you want to take a little height, then go to the Pointe du Diable, which separates the coves of Saint Anne and Dellec.
For the more historical side, don’t hesitate to go to the Fort du Dellec built in the XVIIth century by Vauban. This building bears witness to the strong military involvement of the city of Brest during the conflicts of the previous centuries. Today, a place of culture and leisure, you can watch the passage of ships in the Goulet de Brest from the lookouts. Besides, in the continuity of the coastal path you will certainly come across the Fort du Mengant, also built by Vauban, and used to defend the Goulet de Brest.
After about ten kilometers of walking, your path will finally lead you to the Petit Minou lighthouse, an emblematic Breton place offering you an exceptional view of the Brest harbor. You can visit it during the months of July and August every year. This is a nice way to end your hike!
From the Vallon du Stang-Alar to the Polder of Brest
For this second itinerary, we suggest you start from the parking lot of the gardens of the National Botanical Conservatory of Stang-Alar, for a 5.6 kilometer route. You can start by visiting the greenhouses, real natural treasures housing the largest number of endangered plant species in France. A real haven of peace in the middle of an abundant vegetation, you will leave this place with a real awareness of the beauty and fragility of the fauna and flora. Each of these greenhouses will take you on a journey from one region to another, from the humid tropical mountains to the subtropical oceanic islands or the dry tropics, ending with the tropical rainforests. Something to get away from everyday life, all on 30 hectares!
Then, following the Dourguen river, you will find on your way the traditional Kanak hut. It was initially built in the city center of Brest at the time of the maritime celebrations in 2016, because inhabitants of New Caledonia wished to share with the inhabitants a fragment of their traditions. It was eventually donated to the city and installed in the Conservatory of Botany.
Finally, before returning to your starting point, enjoy a view of the sea, head to the Port du Moulin Blanc, a very lively place with its large sandy beach, the Océanopolis aquarium and its many bars and restaurants. Your stroll can be extended on the Polder of Brest, which has new walking areas since 2019. Indeed, this new space starting at the end of the Moulin Blanc and extended on 4,5 hectares offers you an incredible view on the bridge of Iroise and the bank of Plougastel-Daoulas. However, be careful not to uncover yourself too much, you might be surprised by some gusts of wind. Also, on sunny days, you can enjoy a break at one of the picnic tables set up along the trail. Finally, you can’t miss the panoramic view of the sea and the many water activities that are available all year round, such as windsurfing and paddle boarding.
From Portzic to Montbarey
Finally, for this 3rd and last circuit, we propose you to go to the Fort Montbarey starting from the Beach of Sainte Anne. On your way you will have the opportunity to walk along some parts of the GR34 F (path going from Sainte Anne du Portzic to Lanildut), and to see in particular the belvedere of Sainte Anne, representing Sainte Anne and her daughter Marie. From there you will have an incredible view of the Pointe du Diable, the Crozon peninsula or the Pointe du Toulinguet.
On your way, you will also pass by the fort of Portzic, built in the 1700s to reinforce the defense of Brest during the war of independence.
Still following the coastal path, you will arrive at the point of Portzic where you can approach its lighthouse bearing the same name. Commissioned in 1846, it signals the entrance to the Goulet and is more than 22 meters above sea level.
Leaving the coastal path and venturing further inland, you will reach Fort Montbarey, originally built in the 1700s to protect the naval base during the Revolutionary War. It is one of the best preserved buildings of the time and now houses the Finistère Memorial. Inside you will find elements recalling the events that took place during the Second World War as well as models and the list of French people who lost their lives during this conflict.
If you are looking for a place where nature is omnipresent, we recommend a stop at the Arc’hantel, which is considered the “green lung” of the city because of its wooded areas. In this space, whether you just want to rest, walk or do sports, there is something for everyone.
You can then return to your starting point, this time passing through the district of Coatuélen and the Névent valley, the latter marking the limit between the communes of Brest and Plouzané.
So if you are a nature lover and want to contribute to the protection of the environment and the Breton heritage, get equipped and take the road on one of our incredible hiking trails!
Brest Terres Océanes