A contemplative interlude

along the Trieux river

Exploring the estuary between la Roche-Jagu and Pontrieux

Each year, the château hosts performances, fun activities, workshops and temporary exhibitions.

I discover

The Vedettes de Bréhat and Le Passeur du Trieux boats dock directly at the slipway.

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On a lovely sunny day we set off to explore the Trieux river and its banks, winding their way between la Roche-Jagu and Pontrieux in the heart of a green valley.

The Domaine de la Roche-Jagu

We’ve spent the morning strolling around the grounds of la Roche-Jagu, taking in the fresh air and the many scents perfuming the air.  Standing proudly for over six centuries on its promontory overlooking the Trieux estuary, the fortress seems to play the role of eternal sentinel.  Myriad shades of green are reflected in the tranquil waters of the river below.  Click!  Our little group is preserved for posterity in front of a magnificent panorama.

The children walk from the medieval gardens to the banks of the Trieux, without even realising!  They splash around in the ubiquitous rivulets of water, climb, play hide-and-seek behind the painstakingly woven willow hedges and jump between the herb beds.  The gardeners have an incredible talent for combining horticulture with heritage, creating landscapes that invite us to embark on a voyage of discovery.  After a final pause in the shady palm grove - which the children find so exotic - we set off for Pontrieux, still under the spell of this multi-sensory experience.

Pontrieux, Petite Cité de Caractère®

We arrive along the river, astonished to see all these sailing boats moored more than 15 kilometres from the sea!  An elegant half-timbered house in the first town square reminds us of the grand past of the Petite Cité de Caractère®.  Boats glide silently under the bridge, showing visitors the hidden face of the town.  The embarkation point is a little further on.  Colourful boats, flower-bedecked lavoir washhouses and old stones are all reflected in the mirror-like waters of the Trieux - peace and quiet with a picture-postcard view!

We climb aboard with a young local, who is passionate about the history of the town and the fifty or so lavoir washhouses that dot the river banks.  Pontrieux was once the port of Guingamp, and prospered thanks to trade in cereal, flax and wood.  The richest inhabitants had the luxury of their own private washhouse, and didn’t have to wash their dirty linen in public!  The children are delighted with the boat trip, enchanted by the reconstructions of the washerwomen’s work. This is a good time to point out that washing machines haven’t always existed!  We’re entertained by the stories told by our guide, feeling privileged to discover these lovingly restored hidden places shared by local people who love to talk about their heritage.

We’re advised to come back another time at nightfall, for the illuminated walk.  Perhaps an evening for two?  Pontrieux certainly merits its nickname of ‘the little Venice of the Trégor’!

  • The Domaine de la Roche-Jagu © Oeil de Paco
  • The Domaine de la Roche-Jagu © Oeil de Paco
  • Le port de Pontrieux © Alexandre Lamoureux
  • The Domaine de la Roche-Jagu © Oeil de Paco
  • Pontrieux, Petite Cité de Caractère ©Alexandre Lamoureux
  • Le Trieux © Oeil de Paco