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Thrift along the coastline

Image credit: Mark Berthelemy

Take a step back to the late 1800s. The engineer Charles Cotard has started developing beach front properties on dunes at Pléneuf Val André. He saw the potential for it to be a “station balnéaire” - a seaside resort.

Today, you can still picture people with parasols and top hats, strolling along the 2.5km long promenade - from Dahouet in the south towards the Îlot de Verdelet at the northern extreme.

It’s still a resort town, with villas all along the beach front, shops, restaurants and bars on the roads behind, and even a casino. The beach is vast - with soft, golden sand perfect for games and sandcastles.

In the distance, across the water, you can see the other side of the Bay of St Brieuc, and, far out to sea, the stately silhouettes of the offshore wind farm.

Sunset is the time to be out on the beach. The light is just perfect.

If you want to head slightly further afield, go to the southern end of the beach and do the tour of the Pointe de Dahouet. Once you get up on the cliffs you have great views back across Pléneuf. A bit further on there’s a largish cove. Out of season you might be able to imagine this as your private beach. The colour of the sea and sand is almost tropical.

Round the point and you’ll drop down into the old fishing village of Dahouet. This is now a large pleasure marina. In the past, however, it was one of the bases of the Breton fishing fleet. From here, boats would head into the cold North Atlantic - into the waters towards Newfoundland. They’d be searching for cod to bring back to the European markets. You can still imagine the boats alongside the quay, picking up their victuals from the large “armatures” four story buildings from where the boats were “armed”.

It’s worth spending a bit of time in Dahouet - exploring the many artisanal shops - luthiers, biscuiteries and even a secondhand bookshop. Plenty to do, see and eat!

Pléneuf-Val-André, 22370 Pléneuf-Val-André

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Last updated: May 01, 2024

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