Manoir du Hilguy

Brittany, France

Pointe du Raz walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

This claim in apparently disputed on behalf of Portugal's Cape St Vincent. Whether true or not, a visit to the Pointe is highly recommended; below is set out an invigorating walk which follows GR 34 along the wonderful rocky coastline on both sides of the peninsula. Whilst most adult walkers will find this to be a perfectly safe route, (it is not recommended for young children). The route is easy to follow, but with a fair amount of up and down, one section being really steep. Parts of the path are rocky underfoot. Once away from the visitor centre, the overall ambience of the area is very much the 'western fringe', that unpopulated remoteness with sparse vegetation, ever present wind and more than a hint of ancient mystery which can be found in parts of Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and the west of Scotland. Having said that, in high season there are large numbers of visitors walking and riding to and from the centre to the Pointe.

Start/car parking - Huge car park beside the visitor centre (a charge is made, which also pays for the use of a shuttle bus to and from the Pointe). It takes about 50 minuites to drive from Hilguy to the visitor centre. Go through Plogastel, up to the main D784, turn left and keep going until that road terminates at the car park. Audierne is the only substantial town en route.

Set off past the row of shops, bear right and pass the information centre and 3 star public conveniences on the left. Follow the broad man-made track close to the private road used by the shuttle bus (navette) to head for the signal station. The vegetation comprises low, scrubby, gorse, heather, bramble and rough grasses. At the signal station there is a shelter with more public conveniences. Pass to the left of the station and carry on to the statue of Nôtre Dame des Naufrages (shipwrecks). Go a little further for the best views of the savage rocks which make up the actual point. On a clear day the Isle de Sein is visible, low on the horizon. There is a continuing track by which determined, agile and well insured Bondholders may progress further along the spine. From close to Nôtre Dame, facing the point, bear round to the right; note: the continuing efforts to combat the erosion caused by previous unregulated trampling over the unprotected ground.

1. Follow GR 34, initially a broad well-used track. After passing well to the left of the signal station this becomes a more genuine footpath. Ignore a path to the left, to stay with the main route. Before the signal station turn left. After a while there are red and white GR waymarks and occasional yellow markings. The path weaves in and out, up and down, behind dramatic rocky coves, with gradually increasing views of the sandy sweep of the Baie des Trépassés (dead - so called from the number of bodies washed ashore from the shipwrecks off this dangerous coast). Route finding is not difficult - most little paths to the left are diversions to particular cliff top viewpoints. At a waymarked fork turn left for a sharp little descent over rough stones, then keep right at a fork high above the bay, eventually descending steeply towards the hotel, including a few steps.

2. Before reaching beach level bear round to the right, to pass old fortifications. Go straight across at a junction of paths to join an unsurfaced roadway serving 2 houses. Pass houses on right then turn uphill and slightly right on a rough track going straight up. Reaching a sunken pool to your left, continue up the hill to yellow marker, follow narrow track between walls. At any junction keep moving uphill and to your left until you reach a surfaced road in Kenhenneau. Go straigt ahead to the D784.

3. Turn right, pass the Lescoff boundary sign, and walk along the roadside for 200 yards. Turn left into the Rue des Hirondelles - Chapelle St Michel. At another road junction in less than 100 yards turn right. Ten yards beyond a cross on the right, turn left along a path between stone walls. Turn left along a narrow path between stone walls, descending gently to the chapel. Pass the chapel and continue along a roadway, turning left at a junction in a few yards.

4. The road becomes a grass track in 100 yards. Fork right, along a narrow but well defined path between old stone walls, clearly an ancient trackway along the side of a valley, with luxuriant vegetation including some rather close gorse. Other paths join from the right and the route descending to the now visible sea becomes wider and more used. Rejoin the GR 34 coastal path at the back of the little inlet and rise to the right to climb the next headland. The coastal scenery is as good as that on the north side of the peninsula - a 'door' worn through the rock is particularly spectacular - and a very exposed seat gives a view into the tiny and rudimentary Port de Bestrée.

5. Join the road which descends abruptly to the port and turn left. There is nothing of real interest at the port - two or three boats, small storage sheds and a hoist. A right turn when reaching this road provides a short route back to the car park. From the port continue up steps and follow the coastal path towards the signal station, soon in view. A right turn at a broad track well before reaching the station gives another shorter return to the car park. The full walk reaches a man-made path a little way before the signal station. Turn right to return to the car park.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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