This is a real favourite for a day out with friends and family when they visit us. A small port at the end of the Crozon Peninsula, Camaret-sur-Mer provides not only sea, scenery and seafood; it has something of interest for most people. As you drive down the hill into the port you will see the historic Vauban tower (UNESCO world heritage site 2008) built to help protect the Goulet de Brest.
The road leads you along the harbour, past a line of traditional, multicoloured buildings housing restaurants, shops, bars and creperies. In the summer months when Camaret is busier with visitors, it still maintains its dignity and identity as a local harbour town and the more lively summer activity simply adds to its wonderful atmosphere.
Camaret is also well known for its artists quarter and in side-streets off the harbour, you can also find artists shops and galleries. In the past, famous artists such as Boudin, Riviere and Derain were regular visitors to Camaret-sur-Mer.
Having a keen interest in photography I am particularly drawn to the remains of the old fishing vessels which lie on the far side of the port. To some, these vessels may be a reminder of the decline of the fishing industry (Camaret used to be the best place in Europe to catch langoustines and sardines) but to me, these grand old ships provide more colour, contrast and texture for some excellent photography opportunities.
From the Vauban Tower you can look back across at the beautiful coloured buildings lining the main road and be tempted back for a meal or snack. The seafood is excellent and we have also enjoyed a variety of other meals in Camaret in both daytime and evening. You can also relax on the white sandy beach outside the main harbour area or take a walk around the cliffs for something more energetic.
You can drive west to la Pointe du Toulinguet and walk to La Pointe de Penhir where you can find the remains of what was a grand manoir belonging to the little known French poet Saint-Pol-Roux. The sad story surrounding the demise of the manoir can be explored through Wikipedia if you type in the poets name; there is also an illustration of how the manoir may have looked in the past.
Camaret is accessed via the main road from Crozon itself, or alternatively you can turn off at Tal ar Groas and take a detour north through Lanvéoc Le Fret, Quélern and around the Pointe des Espagnols which is a beautiful drive. We have seen a numerous cyclists around that area showing that even in the summer this is a popular cycling route as the roads are not too busy. With a wonderful mix of heath and rugged coastline and only a few restricted areas, there is so much space and plenty of opportunity to enjoy the surrounding scenery with a bracing walk, a stroll or just to stop and look. According to our French neighbours there is a fantastic restaurant in Le Fret in the small port there which, at the time of writing we have yet to try. If you beat us to it please let us know.
Visit the Penlan Gites website for holiday accommodation