La Pointe du Raz, site exceptionnel et touristique en Bretagne

Coves and creeks

The high cliffs of Cap Sizun jut defiantly out into seas which are often rough and very difficult to access. Generations of fishermen and sailors have taken advantage of its natural coves and creeks to seek protection from the wind and rough seas.


Useful but fragile safe havens 

From time immemorial, all the tiny coves and inlets in the granite cliffs have been used as opportune but fragile harbours and anchorages for local fishermen. However, when the sea gets rough or the wind gets up, boats risk being smashed against the rocks. Smaller craft are dragged up onto flat rocks or onto the shore by hand and larger vessels hastily seek shelter in Audierne.


Late 19th century constructions

At the end of the 19th century, small constructions were added to the natural inlets : short sea walls were built out from rocks to act as breakwaters, winches were installed to pull boats up, shellfish holding tanks and coloured storage sheds were constructed.

There are 15 of these wonderful coves altogether around the coast of Cap Sizun, including Feunteun Aod, Bestrée, Le Vorlenn and Porz Lanvers. Their presence is a tribute to the effort and ingenuity of local people to adapt to their environment in order to exploit the rich resources of the sea.

Paul Cornec writes « In order to survive here for thousands of years, man has had to haul his meagre catch up to the top of the cliffs, whether it be creels of fish, bundles of seaweed or much welcome cargo from wrecks. As well as that, he has to drag his boat out of the reach of gigantic waves ».


Places steeped in history and memories…

The little harbours are monuments to the workers of the peninsula but they also have many stories to tell. They have witnessed local people hurrying to collect exotic cargo or wood from wrecks, members of the Resistance coming and going under cover of darkness during WW2, lighthouse keepers leaving for their tour of duty on La Vieille or Tevennec and numerous legends which haunted mariners.


... and still very much alive

These natural inlets and coves at the bottom of the cliffs are still very much alive today and are proudly run by enthusiastic users. They are mostly frequented by pleasure boatmen and yachtsmen, but, in summer, fishermen who long-line for sea bass in the treacherous Chaussée de Sein and crabbers sometimes moor up in them. Take a walk along the coastal footpath to enjoy this unique heritage experience

Download pdf of the walk :

Circular walk past little coves