Voilà, la Crème de la Crème de la Bretagne: Crozon Peninsula! To me, this peninsula was really the highlight in Brittany. Even though the peninsula is not very big, it offers a variety of natural landscapes, such as a stunning coastline, sandy dunes, dramatic cliffs, heavenly smelling pine forests and bright heather in different colours (when you come in the right season which we luckily did!). In between this wonderful landscape there are beautiful, small villages with cute stone houses. All in all, a perfect place to spend a couple of days!
It’s possible to hike all along the coast of the peninsula which takes about four days. For the less adventurous (or simply the unprepared), it’s perfectly possible to make some beautiful day hikes. I did this holiday together with my mum, who’s generally pretty fit, but she’s still almost 60, so I had to take her into account. Therefore the hikes are rather short (somewhere between 2-4 hours), but believe me, you wouldn’t want to rush through this beautiful peninsula. I can highly recommend not hiking too much on a day, so have plenty of time to soak in the surroundings and hang out on one of those breathtaking beaches and take a refreshing dip into the Atlantic.
Cap de la Chèvre
Ok, let’s get started with the first hike: The hike around Cap de la Chèvre. We started the hike in Saint-Hernon, near to the Maison des Mineraux. From here it’s smart to keep maps.me at hand. There are several hiking trails, so you can accustom the hike to your own likings. From Saint-Hernon we walked towards l'Île Vierge, probably one of the most famous viewpoints of the entire region. The beach was closed at the time we did the hike, but since we didn’t plan to swim there anyways, this was no problem. We just enjoyed the beauty of this little deserted paradise.
The coast along this first part of the hike is rather quiet, with many little bays which offer some great views. As if the view on these pristine bays were not enough, the hiking trail is also covered with beautiful heather in different colours (we went in August which is the perfect time to see heather in bloom). On top of that, we also walked through a pine forest which emitted a sweet smell.
From all the hikes, this hike was the most strenuous, not only in length, but also in ascends and descends. There are quite some ups and downs along the trail, especially on this side of the cape. Once you get to the other side of the cape, you’ll enter a completely different scenery. It’s possible to get to the other side by going all around the cape, but you can also take a shortcut, which we did. My mum was starting to get tired and was longing for the beach, so we took a shortcut via Rostudel.
As I mentioned, the other side is completely different. Fortunately, the heather was still blooming, even more than where we came from. But the pine forest had disappeared. Instead, it was a vast and open landscape with views over the rough ocean and the long stretched coast.
Before heading back to Saint-Hernon, we enjoyed a deserved jump into the water at Plage de la Palue. Interestingly, the beach was not crowded at all. So far, my mum and I had made the experience that the touristy places in Brittany were all packed. We went on a Saturday, so we expected the hiking trail and the beach to be overfull, but we were delighted to see that despite the sheer beauty of this place, it’s still possible to enjoy nature without being overrun by other tourists.
Pointe de Dinan
Our second hike led us to hike around Pointe de Dinan. Once again, you can simply keep maps.me handy to check how long you want to hike. We decided to leave the car in the village of Goulien, so we could end our hike at the Plage de Goulien. From Goulin we walked first south, towards the northern end of Plage de la Palue, where we had spent the previous day.
Since we basically continued our hike from where we had stopped, the landscape continued more or less with the same scenery: dramatic views over cliffs, pristine beaches and endless heather in various colours.
There’s little more I can say about this part of the hike. The trail is easy, mostly even and up until Pointe de Dinan predominantly quiet. This hike is a short one, so really take your time to soak up this unique scenery.
Once you get close to Pointe de Dinan, you’ll notice an increase in other tourists. Pointe de Dinan is a rock formation with an arch running through it. It’s possible to also hike on top of this rock formation, also known as the Château de Dinan. We didn’t go there, but we enjoyed the wonderful view from a distance.
From here we continued the hike to Plage de Goulien, where we chilled out on the beach. Unfortunately, this beach was a little bit more crowded than the Plage de la Palue, but beautiful nonetheless :)
Pointe de Pen-Hir & Plage de Pen Hat
The last hike was the shortest of all: Pointe de Pen-Hir and the famous Plage de Pen Hat. We dropped off the car at the parking lot of the Batterie de Kerbonn, one of the many remnants of World War II in the region. From there we hiked towards Pointe Pen-Hir. The landscape is initially pretty similar to that of the previous days: beautiful multi-coloured heather with a wonderful coastline in the background.
But the closer you get to Pointe de Pen-Hir, the more the scenery changes into a landscape of rocks and cliffs, surrounded by rough waves.
Once you pass by the Croix de Pen-Hir, you’ll start to get the first glimpses of the Plage de Pen Hat. This is probably one of the most famous beaches in the area, for good reasons. The view on the beach is truly magnificent!
Before we went all the way down to the beach we found a small path leading downwards, just after we’ve passed the battery of Kerbonn again. This path is rarely used and from there you’ve got an even better view on the beach, without being surrounded by the crowds.
Here we enjoyed our lunch with ocean view before we went down to the beach. Note that officially it’s forbidden to swim at this beach, because of the dangerous currents. Eventually, I couldn’t resist jumping into water, but I made sure to not go more than hip deep. After all, this was my last day at the Atlantic ocean for this holiday, so a worthy good-bye was very much needed!