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Pont-Aven: a town for painters

Pont-Aven is known for its nature and water. In this town near the Atlantic coast, you can admire the coastal river that flows down from the Montagnes Noires, winding its way through scatterings of giant rocks. Many watermills were installed here, and once made the small town famous. That’s where the saying, “Pont-Aven, a well-known town, 14 mills, 15 homes” comes from. The stone-lined canals that supply water to the mills and the washerwomen working on the banks and small islands inspired many artists. In the 19th century, an artistic colony founded a school in this rural town, giving the village new energy. Today, there are many art galleries, continuing the town’s bohemian traditions.

Pont-Aven is the town of painters, and Gauguin was their master. The town offers a colorful variety of places to see paintings, including a fine arts museum, international center of contemporary art and 60 private exhibition spaces. The traveling writer Cambry discovered this gorgeous site in 1794 and brought it to the attention of the public.

The gorgeous town built around the tumultuous river, the incredible light in the valley, the legendary generosity of the people, the lively port, the open-minded population… This little town in Finistère has always attracted painters and travelers throughout its history, and continues to do so today.

So cross the bridge, walk the streets and stroll along the flower-lined banks with their 14 watermills. The Aven is everywhere, winding through the city. Further downstream, there is an adorable 15th-century tide mill next to Hénant castle. As it reaches the sea, it passes by gorgeous Port-Manech beach, lined with white cabins.

The town is still popular with artists and art lovers and has much to offer, such as the Galettes de Pont Aven cookies. These galettes, the Traou Mad, are rich in butter and flavors. Alexis Le Villain invented the recipe at the beginning of the last century. The Breton town preserves the secret of these delicious cookies so that you can still enjoy them today. The magic of Pont-Aven is fully intact. Go explore it with family or friends for an unforgettable trip…