In French: ‘The Land of the island'
Population: 16000 inhabitants, known as ‘Douarnenistes'
The town of Douarnenez emerged in 1945 when several smaller parishes were combined. These included Douarnenez centre, Tréboul, Ploaré and Pouldavid, which are now known collectively as ‘Grand-Douarnenez'.
The origins of Douarnenez itself, however, reach further back.
Douarnenez and its history
Douarnenez, well-known for its industry in tinned and preserved fish, has a lesser-known history that dates back to Gallo-Roman times.
Nevertheless, both strands of history share one thing in common: the humble sardine.
The ‘Sardine Trail' (Chemin de la Sardine), is a designated pedestrian route through the town marked by round bronze plaques on the pavements. Visitors can follow the trail and read the information panels (in French and English), which are designed to help visitors understand this unique and fascinating legacy.
Today, Douarnenez offers a picturesque town heritage consisting of old and converted factories as well as the various cottages and houses of the people who earned their living from the factories, the fishing and the sea. At the other end of the scale sit the elegant spa houses that gracefully trim the streets of Tréboul, our neighbouring spa town.
The Boat Museum (Le Port-Musée): houses an exceptional collection of boats spanning all eras and traditions.
The old port of Rosmeur (‘Ros-Meur' means the great hillside in Breton): situated in the old quarters with quaint, winding sidestreets.
The Marina (Port de Plaisance) in the district of Tréboul (‘Tré-Poul' meaning parish of Poullan): the start and finish line for nearly all our key nautical events; it also offers a magnificent coastal walk (sentier cotier) with incredible views over the bay and leads you to the white sandy beach aptly called ‘la Plage des Sables Blancs'.
Plomarc'h local beauty spot (From the Breton ‘Poul' meaning a small creek and ‘Marc'h' meaning horse): includes a children's play area, traditional stone village, Gallo-Roman salting vat and another coastal walk with wonderful views over the bay!
Plomarc'h farm: modest, charming site with various farm animals, open to the public.
L'Ile Tristan, an intriguing island only accessible by foot at very low tides and when accompanied by a guide. Includes a fort dating from Napoléon III, an exotic garden and a lavish orchard.