PLACES NEAR-BY MONTLOUE HOUSE
 THE BEACHES
(picture le Pouldu) The beaches near Montloue are lovely below are just a few of the many between Le Pouldo and Quimper, nearly every road along the coast leads to a sandy beach or little fishing harbours, The unmissable landscapes, Brittany's beaches are among the most beautiful in Europe. They're widely varied in terms of their looks and moods. But they all have the same things in common: fine sand and a beautiful palette of colours where the sea meets the sky

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LE POULDU

25 minutes from Montloue Le Pouldu has 3 excellent beaches everybody ends up with their favourite and there are often events here in high season. There is also a lovely beach at Pouldu Port. All of the beaches also have great rock pools, which are exposed at low tide. How many crabs can you catch? The port has an excellent restaurant and a very relaxing bar overlooking the estuary. There is a lovely walk to Pouldu Port from Posmoric Port along the banks of the River Laita.

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PLAGE DU KEROU

25 minutes from Montloue at the plage de Kerou the sand is very fine and reasonably white. The beach is very clean. The water is blue and is crystal clear.

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BEG-MEIL

40 minutes from Montloue, BEG-MEIL is situated in a natural environment. The natural beach environment mainly consists of dunes and is well worth exploring. The sand is very fine and white. The beach is fairly clean. There are some rock formations on the beach. The water is blue and is clear. The water is clean.

The coast of South Finistère has a surprise up its sleeve in the form of a natural beauty spot that’s unique in Europe: a 120-hectare stretch of polder land consisting of a mosaic of sand dunes, water channels, water meadows and reed beds. Follow the nine-kilometre discovery trail, signposted in orange, to see a magnificent panorama, with herons, water hens and cormorants flying overhead. Or take a guided tour to discover all its secrets. This enjoyable walk can be extended by continuing along the GR 34 long-distance footpath that will take you on the Customs Officers’ Path, which has a series of viewpoints over Forest Bay. You can pick out some beautiful houses between the pine trees, with the Atlantic ocean as a stunning background.

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 PORT MANECH
35 minutes from Montloue Port Manech Plage, the natural beach environment consists of rocks and cliff faces and is well worth exploring. The sand is very fine and white. The beach appears to be clean. The water is blue and is crystal clear.

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MANOIR DE KERNALT

10 minutes WALK from Montloue Manoir de Kernault In the grounds of a 15th century manor, Kernault invites you on a country walk during which you will meet cows, sheep and cart horses. An excellent example of how manors have evolved through the centuries, the Domaine de Kernault also boasts 30 hectares to visit in all weathers. Breton cart horses, Scottish cows and Ouessant sheep all contribute to the eco friendly management of the park. Lovers of plants and nature will appreciate the different woods the garden wood, the wall-walk wood, dragons woods and the orchards where traditional cider apple varieties are grown. All year round, the programme at Kernault manor offers exhibitions and events themed around the spoken word and storytelling. Built in the 15th century, Kernault manor has kept traces of its gothic architecture 16th century house, 17th century barn with unusual timber-framed walls, 18th century state room.

 

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PONT-AVEN

20 minutes from Montloue East of Concarneau, Pont-Aven is best known for its association with the post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. This attractive little village also has some lovely riverside walks, a mouth-watering food specialty and a colourful summer festival. Until the mid-19th century, Pont-Aven, named after the river that runs through it, was known for its mills and its port. With the advent of the railways along came tourism and in the 1860s some American painters discovered the village. Word spread throughout the artistic community about its merits and in 1886 Paul Gauguin arrived for the first of several stays; in 1888 he met fellow artist Emile Bernard and the Ecole de Pont-Aven art movement, which focused on colour and symbolism, was born. Riverside walks

One of the loveliest walks in the area is the Promenade Xavier Grall, named after a famous writer who lived in the village, which runs alongside the river and is lined with beautiful plants and shrubs throughout the year. There is also a Promenade des Moulins, a trail around the remains of the village’s 15 watermills; they were concentrated here because of the Aven’s natural barrages in the form of huge granite boulders, which made the flow of water easier to control,.

Pont-Aven has some very nice clothes and food shops and no visit would be complete without buying some galettes from Biscuiterie Traou Mad, where these butter biscuits (not pancakes) were invented in 1920.

QUIMPERLE
5 minutes from Montloue, Quimperle is packed with appeal and will seduce you all year round with its many activities and events. Uniting the seaside with the countryside, this charming town combines an important heritage with a relaxed pace of life. From the upper town to the historic quarter, along picturesque alleyways and down cobbled steps, across pretty bridges, the town is just waiting to be discovered. The former Pen-Pont-Elle was the access from Vannetais the River Elle is the traditional border to one of the three ports of the fortified town. From the Middle Ages on it has preserved its aspect of a donkeys back, its puissant piers and two of its six gothic arcs. The Covered market was constructed by the Moreau Brothers, Parisian builders who worked on plans that William and Farges drew up. Contempories of the Eiffel Tower They were built in the heart of the historical part of town next to the Saint Cross church.

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DOELAN

20 minutes from Montloue is a delightfully unspoilt fishing harbour where you can enjoy a meal or a drink over looking the lovely harbour area. Tucked into its estuary near famously arty Pont-Aven and Le Pouldu, Doelan has remained the archetypal little Finistere fishing port. Normally, when separated by water, communities either side carry different names here its simply Doelan Rive Gauche or Rive Droite Left or Right Bank, as in Paris!. For walkers, the glorious coastal hiking path, the GR34, leads you right round the harbour, but also onwards, to the west, towards further tiny ports, and to the east towards the very open resort of Le Pouldu. Thanks to a lack of coastal roads, it means that you enjoy the stunning scenery undisturbed, the Atlantic here often looking a deep, dark Mediterranean blue, while little beaches occupy the odd cove surrounded by spiky rock formations. The beautiful island of Groix beckons out to sea.

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NEVEZ

The little peninsula of Névez lies in a beautiful spot between Pont-Aven and Concarneau. In this pretty corner of southern Finistère you’ll find some stunning examples of houses built from pillars of stone, beautiful beaches, enchanting inlets and harbours nestling deep in submerged river valleys (rias). It’s easy to reach, but it’s like a different world!

Granite, crowned with a thatched or slate roof, blue shutters, hydrangeas... these are some of the things that make these little Breton hamlets so delightful. The hamlets of Kerascoët and Kercanic have a very special feature: houses constructed from tall blocks of stone, known as pierre debout(upright stones) or mein zaoin Breton. From the 17th to early 20th centuries, stonemasons used to extract wide slabs of stone from neighbouring quarries, accessible only at low tide. Placed upright and stuck firmly into the ground, the granite slabs could be built into house walls and fences at a great speed. You’ll see this picturesque style of architecture all along your way.

Not far from the thatched houses are harbours, mills and fountains nestling amongst the greenery, all accessible via the country lanes and the GR 34 long-distance footpath. A 15th century tide mill sitting on the water at Hénan adds the finishing touch to this beautiful site. On the west bank of the river Aven you’ll see the harbour at Kerdruc, with its colourful outbuildings sheltered by the rocks. At dawn and dusk, soft rays of sunshine play among the yachts, little boats and fishing vessels. Opposite is Rosbras, which is just as pretty.

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 CONCARNEAU
20 minutes from Montloue, As well as being Frances third most important fishing port, Concarneau has other assets that make it a very popular summer resort. The main draw is the quaint ville close walled town followed by some lovely sandy beaches and a lively maritime festival in August. Concarneau has made its living from the fishing industry for hundreds of years and the town remains an important centre: more than 100,000 tonnes of tuna are caught each year by Concarneau-based boats. It is possible for tourists to visit the fish auction, canneries and also sometimes to assist the deep-sea fishermen to unload their catch. But more adventurous sorts might like to join an organised trip on an old sardine boat to try their own hand. The ville close is without doubt Concarneaus most popular tourist attraction. This old stone fortified town has just a few narrow streets filled with shops and restaurants, where geraniums tumble from window boxes. Take a walk around the ramparts for spectacular views over the area. Near the entrance to the ville close is the Musee de la Peche, where visitors can learn all about the fishing industry and visit an old trawler.

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QUIMPER
40 minutes from Montloue not only is Quimper the administrative capital of the Finistere department, it is also generally regarded as the cultural heart of Brittany. The town is known for its cathedral, atmospheric old quarter and museums but most of all for its annual festival celebrating Breton culture. Quimper gets its name from the Breton kemper, which refers to the junction of two rivers, the Steir and the Odet. The Odet, generally regarded as Brittanys prettiest river, runs east to west, parallel to the old town, and enters the sea at Benodet why not take a boat trip? The river is crossed by little bridges, which are lined with pretty geranium filled boxes.

Next to the cathedral is the former Bishop’s Palace, which is now the Musée Départmental Breton. The museum displays finds from archaeological digs around Brittany and is highly regarded for its collection of Breton costumes and furniture. Quimper’s other museum of note is the Musée des Beaux Arts, which has a fine collection of paintings from renowned Breton artists and the Pont Aven School. That summer, the Musée des Beaux Arts will host a fascinating and unique Picasso Exhibitio.

West of the cathedral is the atmospheric old town, where you’ll find many half-timbered houses dating from the 14th century. The streets are named after old job titles and Place au Beurre, where butter was sold, is one of Quimper’s prettiest locations and good place to stop for a crêpe. The old market hall burned down in 1976 but the new Halles St Francis (open daily) are particularly lively on Saturday mornings.

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MOUSTERLIN
20 minutes from Montloue. On the south Finistere coast, Mousterlins little headland is like a thin finger pointing at the Glenans, a beautiful protected archipelago. Long, unbroken sandy beaches stretch out temptingly to east and west of the headland, but discover more secretive marshlands and birds behind the dunes. Obvious coastal attractions. The port at Mousterlin is simply a single jetty protecting a shoal of boats, while people hang their fishing rods from its ramp. From all points, the Glenans signal their presence on the horizon. Right behind the port, holiday homes, a hotel and campsites have colonized the tip of Mousterlins headland. Walk away to east or west and you leave houses and cars well behind. You can follow the long beach east as far as the resort of Beg Meil, views giving right across the bay of Concarneau. The huge western beach curves gently round almost as far as Benodet, one stretch clearly indicated for naturists, while Kentish plovers nest more discreetly at the distant tip panels warn you away from these shy, tiny birds.

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LES ROCHES DU DIABLE  (The Devil's Rocks)
20 minutes from Montloue. The boulders balanced alarmingly on top of each other at the gorges on the Ellé River north of Quimperlé are known as The Devil’s Rocks. The diabolical name derives from a legendary battle fought here. While canoeists now struggle with the rapids, walkers take in the spectacular scenery at more peaceful pace.

Why the name of The Devil’s Rocks? The story goes that Saint Guénolé, a heroic figure from Dark Ages Brittany, heard that Satan reigned along the banks of the Ellé – the very name of the river may come from the Breton word for hell, ‘Ellez’. The determined religious man decided he was going to establish Christianity here and kick out the devil.

For walkers, the expedition to see Les Roches du Diable should prove somewhat less challenging. First, seek out signs for the sight, near Locunolé, on the border between Finistère and Morbihan. Then, following the Ellé’s west bank, a steep, winding path leads to a dramatic viewing platform. Or, on the other bank, you can follow the riverside track more easily. Either way, the natural drama of this wooded valley with its acrobatic boulders tumbling down to the waters below stirs the imagination.

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ARCHIPEL DES GLENAN
The Îles de Glénan are an archipelago of islands about 10 miles (16km) off the south coast of Finistère. Only accessible in summer, they are best known for their sailing and diving schools and for having a unique indigenous flowers
 
The archipelago is made up of nine main islands and many islets, in the middle of which is a lagoon renowned for the clarity of its water and the whiteness of its sands; in fact, the area has been described as ‘the Breton Tahiti’.
 
The Glénans are very popular with daytrippers as there are daily ferries in season from Loctudy, Bénodet, Concarneau and Beg-Meil. The boats arrive at the main island, Saint Nicolas, where you’ll find a couple of restaurants as well as the international diving school and France’s smallest nature reserve, which was founded in 1974 to protect the Glénan Narcissus; the small white flower carpets the island in April. In the 19th century, one of the island’s inhabitants was France’s largest breeder of lobsters and langoustines.
You can walk to Bananec Island from Saint-Nicolas at low tide when a ribbon of sand appears. This isle is inhabited by the internationally renowned not-for-profit sailing school, which runs courses for adults and teenagers of all levels in English as well as French. Trainee sailors are housed in a 1960s building; construction on the islands is no longer allowed and accommodation is scarce.

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 RIEC-SUR-BELON
20 minutes from Montloue. Situated between the Aven and Belon rivers, Riec sur Belon is known throughout the world for the quality of the oysters that are produced in its waters. This attractive village has been an inspiration for chefs and artists and its coastal path continues to inspire visitors. Celebrating shellfish Although oysters have been grown in the River Belon for hundreds of years, it was only in the 19th century that oyster farming commenced officially. These days, the flat oyster is regarded as Brittanys finest, primarily due to its distinctive nutty taste, which is the result of the salt water and fresh water that pass through the river; the shellfish is celebrated each July with the Fete de l Huitre. Contrary to popular belief, oysters are perfectly edible during months without an R in them and where better to sample some than in a riverside restaurant? Coastal walks, One of the nicest ways to spend a few hours is to take the coastal path from the port of Belon to the port of Rosbras; if you are around at low tide, you will be able to see the oyster beds. At the tip of the headland are the ruins of the 17th-century Fort de Belon and a short walk from here is the viewpoint of Penquerneo.

 Oysters were an inspiration to Riec’s most famous inhabitant, chef Mélanie Rouat. After opening a grocer’s in the early 1900s Mélanie began to farm oysters, which she sold in her shop. One day some French stars touring in the area came knocking at her door looking for somewhere to eat. After tasting the food she rustled up for them they persuaded her to open a restaurant and eventually Chez Mélanie became ‘the talk of Paris’, attracting the great and the good from across France.

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QUIBERON
55 minutes from Montloue. Jutting out into the sea for 9 miles and just 72ft wide at its narrowest point, the Quiberon Peninsula is a tourist destination par excellence. With its rugged coastline, sweeping sandy beaches, fishing villages and rich cultural history, this beautiful area of Morbihan won t disappoint.On the western side, the 5 mile 8km-long Cote Sauvage wild coast is the perfect place for getting back to nature via a bracing walk. On the way you will pass hidden caves, arches and coves but swimming is strictly forbidden due to the rough sea. The area is rich in flora and fauna, with a mix of dunes and heathland. As well as spectacular views over the coast and Belle Ile, Brittanys largest island.

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ROMANTIC SUNSETS

Enjoy a sunset walk a long a beach with your loved one.

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