If there’s one walk you mustn’t miss in Brittany, it’s this one: the Sentier des Douaniers, tracing all the coast and clifftops, and the route that was long ago patrolled by the customs officers.
A jagged coastline
The coast itself is jagged but very accessible for family walks – as long as you’re in suitable footwear!
You can admire the ever-changing landscapes and the shifting colours that alter with every hour and each passing tide, from the undergrowth to the open fields, from rocks to the sandy beaches. Keen photographers will spend hours trying to capture on camera the kind of views that take your breath away.
From Locquirec to Guimaëc
Leave from the beach at Moulin de la Rive, which is at the entrance to Locquirec (you’ll see a car park with a yellow and black marine beacon where you can leave your vehicle).
Here begins the famous GR 34
This coastal path winds its way above the steep cliffs, offering magnificent views over the open seas and unspoilt nature. Stop for a moment at the orientation point that overlooks the Bay and pause to admire the beauty of the natural environment.
Continue along the trail, which will now be scented with heather and broom. You’ll come to Poul Rodou beach, on the other side of Locquirec…
Take a deep breath of good sea air, then take advantage of the setting – perhaps for a long, cool drink or warming refreshments in the café-bookshop “Le Caplan” as you consider which reading material appeals – literary tomes, science, botany, poetry, children’s books and more are all on offer here.
Now refreshed, carry on along the path for about 1 hour 15 minutes towards the coastal point of Beg an Fry. The countryside here is beautiful and the coastline is majestic, leading to the very pretty Venizella beach.
Climbing a little, you’ll see a commemorative marker showing one of the most significant spots for the Resistance during the Second World War. Carry on to the rightly famous coastal point of Beg an Fry, whose captivating view will leave you speechless.
Continue up to Le Prajou and you’ll find yourself in the Valley of the Water Mill at Trobodec. Here, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Highland Cattle, wonderful long-haired cows that came from Scotland many years ago.
To complete your excursion, if you can manage to climb a little higher, take advantage of the Musée Rural du Trégor: it’s a treasure trove of old tools tracing centuries of rural life and the years spent working the land.
From Plougasnou to Primel Point
To be certain you don’t miss a thing, leave your car at the Church Square in Plougasnou. You’d better slip on your walking boots because although the trail is accessible to most walkers, it includes a few tricky and steep sections. Behind the church, take the road to the beach. After 300 m, take the path to your left (chemin de Lézouzard) and immediately right you’ll see the path leading to the coastal trail. You’ll pass, on your right, a private property dating from 1879 which was built as a family home called Ker Maria. The chapel dates from 1882.
The first part of this coastal path is a bit of a challenge: the steps climb and drop but you’re rewarded for your efforts with a beautiful view of the coast! A little further on, the view opens up and you can admire Plougasnou-St Jean beach with its strip of pebbles. Those who like to go digging for seafood at low tide uncover countless treasures and the sandy beach welcomes walkers and even a few courageous bathers, all year round!
This last part of the train, much flatter and more forgiving, allows you to see the beautiful beach of Trégastel, much used for swimming (with lifeguards here in summer) for watersports and for outings on the waves. Primel Point stretches all along this beach. Don’t stop yet! After the beach, take the road towards the campsite. What a captivating spot! Here you’ll dicover a natural, protected site that still harbours the remains from different periods in history including an ancient standing stone, a spur, an old granite quarry, the cabin for the long-gone customs officers, and from here you’ll get an incredible panoramic view: Diben port, Roscoff and its ferries, the Île de Batz with its lighthouse, Lannion Bay…. it was worth that little extra walk, wasn’t it?
From Barnenez to Morlaix
Along the Bay, you can easily admire the islands: Stérec, Louët, l’île Noire, Callot,… They are home for the bird reserve where many species of migratory birds nest. The GR34 leads us to Morlaix, passing by the charming port of the Dourduff and its oyster parks where the oyster “Morlaix-Penzé” is raised. A passage in the countryside of Ploujean and we find the Morlaix river to easily reach the heart of the city, recognizable by its imposing viaduct.
Walking along the Gr34
Our top spots: Locquirec, Beg an Fri, Pointe de Primel, Le Diben, Barnénez, Térénez, Le Dourduff, Morlaix, Locquénolé, Carantec