The French are fanatical about walking and hiking or randonnée as they call it. You will find miles of well marked trails all over the country.
Finistère is blessed with over 5000 km of marked paths just waiting to be discovered.
Here are a few of our favourite walks that we would like to share with you.
We are very lucky to have a wonderful walk right on the doorstep of Ty Hir .
Le circuit des passerelles or the footpath of wooden bridges, is a 7.5 km circular route which wends its way through beautiful rolling countryside.
This marked trail can be accessed from the lane which passes in front of our holiday cottages. It crosses and recrosses the amber coloured river Ellez which is only a five minute stroll down the hill from Ty Hir.
We first did this walk with some of our friends on a sunny September afternoon, translating it from French as we went. To make things easier for our guests from the UK we have translated it into English and there are laminated copies in each gite or, you can download it here .
A short drive from Ty Hir you will find the scenic Le circuit des Roc’hs . This 14 km hike starts at Plounéour-Ménez and crosses the spine of the Monts d’Arrée, at the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique .
The "Monts", or mountains, may make this sound a little daunting but in fact the highest point reaches 385 m so this is not exactly the Alps, though the far reaching views are just as spectacular, providing a panorama of 360 degrees.
If you fancy a coastal route with breathtaking views you'd be hard pushed to surpass the 7.3 km circular walk from Pointe du Raz via the Baie des Trépassés.
Pointe du Raz is France's Land's End, as far west as you can go on the mainland.
By the parking area (fees payable peak season) for the Pointe, you will find cafes and souvenir shops. There is also a local heritage center where you can obtain a mini-guide for Le Sentier des Lutins or the Elves trail. The trail is especially designed for children and the guide provides information on local flora and fauna .
After you have had your fill of the amazing view (or the wind!) go left to follow the costal path towards the beautiful Baie des Trépassés or Bay of the Dead. Don't worry, if you don't want to do the whole circular walk, there is a short cut back to the car park!
Less than a 15 minute drive from the cottages you will find the small town of Landeleau which marks the start of the 18 km Castle Gall walk.
This is another walk that we have translated from French, so we felt it was only fair that we try it ourselves. Fair to say that we took a couple of wrong turnings but never strayed too far from the route - thank goodness! I blame the French instructions meself...
Nearby mystical Forêt d'Huelgoat is one of our favourite destinations. We try to visit it each time we are in Brittany, either for a quick peek at the boulder strewn 'Le Chaos de Rochers', which you can easily reach from the center of Huelgoat, or for a longer walk like the lovely leaf scattered hike we did in Autumn.
You can find out more about Huelgoat on our dedicated webpage here .
There are plenty of marked circular paths in the forest, long and short, including one that goes out to the old silver mine where you can still see some of the workings. Click on the link to download this walk in English.
You can pick up a leaflet which details all of the walking trails in the Forest of Huelgoat from the friendly folk at the office in the main square in Huelgoat (closed at lunchtimes).
I hope that this post has given you some inspiration. If you wish to find out more about walking and hiking in Finistère please see our Walking, Hiking, Mountain Biking & Cycling webpage. Bonne randonnée!