A forest next to Concarneau
Breathe in the fresh air in La Forêt-Fouesnant. Here, you will find one of Finistère’s seaside resort towns on the Atlantic coast, between Cap-Coz and Concarneau, where the La Forêt-Fouesnant ria opens into the sea. You can walk, hike and explore nature along 30 km of marked trails as you discover the picturesque charm of La Forêt-Fouesnant.
You can learn about the area’s history as you enjoy the beautiful nature on foot, bike or horseback. The gorgeous landscapes of local plant and animal life create a true Breton paradise. In the center of the town, you will find a small country cathedral, Notre Dame Izel Vor (Our Lady of Low Tide). This church was primarily built during the first half of the 16th century in the typical Cornish Gothic style.
The date 1538 is sculpted under the porch and 1628 above the baptistery. This church has been a historic monument since June 8, 1914. Equally remarkable is the Peniti chapel (or Penity, which means hermitage or small monastery in Breton), built in 1723.
It is located at the source of the La Forêt-Fouesnant ria. A healing fountain is located nearby, known for helping young children learn to walk. The fountain was destroyed in 1960, then rebuilt identically to the original in 2005. An outdoor theater has been set up in the chapel’s garden. Every Wednesday in the summer for the past 20 years, free shows have been performed there as part of the Celtic Nights of Peniti festival.
¹ An aber (Celtic word that means estuary) or ria (Galician-Portuguese word) is a bay formed by the lower part of a coastal river valley, partially or fully open to the sea. International geographers use the word ria, but the Breton word aber is also used.
The Ports of La Forêt Fouesnant
The town has two ports. Once known as Stang Al Lestreg, the Old Port used to be a commercial hub. Its strategic location and the high flow of commercial traffic led to the construction of quays and two dry docks starting in 1850. Each year, nearly 100 ships would unload their merchandise (sand, maerl, wood, grain, etc.). Many farmers in La Forêt-Fouesnant worked on the docks in the winter at the beginning of the 20th century to supplement their income. At that time, sardine and mackerel fishermen also used the port.
Today, La Forêt-Fouesnant has a marina: Port-la-Forêt. One of the biggest in Brittany. We call it the capital of offshore racing or the valley of the madmen. Located in the La Forêt Bay, facing the Glénan islands, Port-La-Forêt offers a gorgeous view of this natural, protected site. It’s the perfect place to get ready for offshore racing. The world’s greatest
sailors train there all year round including Samantha Davies, Michel Desjoyeaux, Armel Le Cléac’h, Jean Le Cam, François Gabart and many more. Port-La-Forêt is a port for everyone: sailors, yachtsmen, fishermen and professional skippers. It has 1130 floating spaces and can accommodate boats of all sizes, including the impressive 60-foot racing yachts.
Port-la-Forêt also has a night market on Tuesday evenings in July and August where you can buy local products, crafts, food and much more. A variety of restaurants surround the famous port including ice cream shops, pizzerias and bars where you will feel right at home. Take a seat on one of the patios and admire the gorgeous sunset and the comings and goings of the boats. The main beach in La Forêt-Fouesnant is a sand beach more than a kilometer long. Kerleven beach is largely sheltered from the wind, so it is a great place to swim and relax.
There is a first aid station in the summer. This charming and authentic Breton village has 3300 inhabitants and covers 18 km². In the shade of the fruit trees, facing the open sea, La Forêt Fouesnant exudes easy living and friendliness. The traditional houses’ picturesque gardens alternate with flowered alleys, which surround the old port and long sand beach. La Forêt-Fouesnant, Bénodet and Fouesnant form the Breton Riviera.