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Walled city of Concarneau in Finistère

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May 22, 2024

Walled town of Concarneau in Finistère – Discover the history and ancient heritage of the pearl of Kon-Kerne in Cornouaille in southern Finistère

Walled city of Concarneau in Finistère – Discover this unmissable historical site, and travel back in time to Concarneau.

What is the walled city of Concarneau?

It is a fortified city dating from the XV and XVIth century, built on a small island (an islet), and facing the historic and modern city of Concarneau. It is accessible via a pedestrian bridge giving access to Rue Vauban.

Where is the walled city of Concarneau?

The walled city of Concarneau is located in the city of Concarneau in Finistère, between the fishing port and the marina, opposite the city center and the covered market of Concarneau and more precisely opposite the Quai Peneroff.

What to see in the walled city?

The walled city makes up the historic center of the city of Concarneau.  You cannot remain indifferent to this islet surrounded by very well preserved ramparts, and its gates and access to the bay of Concarneau.

Inside, you can admire the architecture dating from the XV and XVIth century, but also the typical Breton houses.

You can also stroll in front of the many stalls and souvenir shops and others.

How to get to the walled city of Concarneau?

To access the walled city, you have to enter the city of Concarneau and go down to the port. You can take the rue de Quimper, then the avenue de la gare and finally the avenue Pierre Guéguin.

Another way to access the walled city is to take a shuttle bus  (the ferry of passage) which will take you for a small fee through the harbor of Concarneau. To do this, you have to go to rue Mauduit Duplessis, towards the passage Lanriec.

Where to park to visit the fortified city of Concarneau?

If you access the walled city on foot, the best thing to do is to park in one of the car parks on Avenue Pierre Guéguin, the Peneroff car park, or the Concarneau tourist office car park. Please note that on market days, part of the Peneroff car park is not accessible. Parking is charged, depending on the periods and days of visit.

The walled city of Concarneau, Things to do

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things to do in the walled city of Concarneau

Walking on the ramparts

Many tourists and Concarnois like to walk on the ramparts of the walled city in good weather. It is possible to do this walk for free, but you will not have access to all areas, or by paying, which will allow you to enjoy this visit better.

Have a drink in front of Place Saint Guénolé

In the walled city, you can take advantage of the many terraces to have a drink (glass of cider for example) while watching the tourists stroll. A nice place is the Place Saint Guénolé, for example.

Swimming in the walled city?

It is not possible to swim in the walled city of Concarneau, there is no beach. However, you can find pretty beaches in the town of Trégunc, for example at the tip of Trévignon, or in the town of Névez, for example the beach of Port Manec’h.

Closer, you can enjoy the beaches of Cabellou, or the white sands, in the town of Concarneau. Don’t hesitate to find out more about the Thalasso de Concarneau

Go fishing 

It is possible to fish in the walled city of Concarneau, for example by setting up on the quay outside the walled city, passing through the wine gate.

Eat a pancake in the walled city

The walled city is full of restaurants and crêperies, where you can enjoy savory or sweet pancakes at any time.

Shopping in the walled city

If you want to bring back a souvenir of your visit to Concarneau, the many shops in the walled city will delight you. You will certainly find what you are looking for, and this at all prices. The shops are concentrated on the rue Vauban, but don’t hesitate to venture into the alleys…

History of the Glénans

The Glénan archipelago was for a long time a pirate hideout. They found refuge in the archipelago, then attacked merchant ships passing nearby or trying to reach the mainland.

It was only in the eighteenth century, on the premise of Emmanuel-Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, the new governor of Brittany,  that the construction of Fort Cigogne was considered to prevent pirates or corsairs from returning to the archipelago. The construction was not an easy task.

In the nineteenth century, fish drying plants were created, and economic activity spread over the archipelago.

What to do near the walled city?

Thatched villages – Kercanic

The thatched cottage village of Kercanic is located in the commune of Névez, between the villages of Raguénez, the locality of Célan and the beach of Dourveil, only a few kilometres from Trevignon.

You can get there from the town of Névez by taking the road that leads to the village of Raguénez, then turning right at the place called Célan, following the signs. You can park in the small square in the centre of the small village.

The village of Kercanic has a little less than 10 thatched cottages.  They are grouped along the main axis, a small road that leads to the beach of Dourveil and the road  to Trévignon.


The city of Névez

The city of Névez is known for its fine sandy beaches and its unspoilt blue waters. It is ideally located between Trégunc and Pont-Aven.

From Port Manech or the Pointe de Trévignon, you can embark for the Glénan archipelago, or the city of Pont-Aven, city of painters.

Of course, as explained above, you can enjoy its beaches, Rospico beach, Port Manech beach, or those of Tahiti, Raguénez, Kersidan, Dourvei, but also its many activities, its market…

But don’t forget to take the time to (re)discover the architecture of the neo-Breton houses, that of the thatched cottages (of Kereascoet or Kercanic), or the cultural and Breton heritage elements.

Port Manech

Port Manech is a village that is part of the commune of Névez, and is located at the mouth of the Aven. It has a beautiful beach, with a breathtaking view of the mouth of the Aven and Belon rivers, and a port, which was previously that of the sardine fishermen. Port Manech had its heyday during the Belle Epoque, and there are still wooden bathing cabins to bear witness to this glorious past.

Here again, a very well-known painter, Paul Gauguin, liked to come and paint fishermen or women in Breton headdresses; when he was staying at Pont-Aven.

Holiday Rentals near  Concarneau

Concarneau Konk-Kerne, is a pretty town in southern Finistère, Brittany, France that borders the Atlantic. It is located on the coast of Cornouaille, between Quimper and Lorient, ideal for a holiday in Concarneau

The walled city of Concarneau, photos

Discover other must-see destinations in France: Saintes for example with its abbey or Meschers sur Gironde with its famous Nuns’ beach , or Royan and the Cordouan lighthouse