The EV4 Vélomaritime® cycle route

The highest cliffs in Brittany at your own pace

A must-see along the way!

Abbaye de Beauport

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The Vélomaritime® follows the north coast, from Roscoff in Brittany all the way to the Belgian border.  Between Paimpol and Plouha the route takes the rider past beaches, high cliffs and natural coves.

Bathed in beautiful September sunlight, the air still scented with summer, the Costarmorican part of the route that awaits us today is only a tiny stretch of the Vélomaritime.  To be precise, it’s the section between Paimpol and Bréhec, to the highest cliffs in Brittany.  Piece of cake...

The Bay of Plouafret

The journey begins near the port, at the plage de la Tossen beach, much loved by local inhabitants for its proximity and its seawater swimming pool.  A labyrinth of quiet streets leads to the bay of Plouafret and its activity centre.

Some choose an electric bicycle while others, like Luigi, an experienced cyclist who honed his skills on the roads of Tuscany, prefer muscle-power.  Near the tidal windmill there’s a little beach of fine sand which invites you to linger awhile...

We leave the tarmac roads to cycle along the coastline, following the green and white way markers of Euro Vélo 4.  A glance at Luigi, to get his first impressions.  “Easy”, he replies, with his slight Italian accent.  “It’s well signposted and the landscapes are amazing!”  As a young father, he makes sure to check if the track is wide enough for a bicycle and child trailer.  “A bit tight, but OK.”

Beauport Maritime Abbey

The track leads gently to one of the jewels of the coast:  Beauport Abbey, where we have to dismount as we’re in a classified natural site.  The landscape is utterly charming.  Two Pie Noir cows are grazing in the meadow.  Opposite, on the foreshore, Kérarzic marine farm invites you to take a break and sample a taste of the sea.  The oysters are tempting...

A nice chat with Nadine and Jean-Claude from the Corrèze, experienced road-trippers who love the sense of liberty.  Going through the wood at Kérity, the path winds over narrow wooden bridges before taking the road that climbs to the heights of Sainte-Barbe - Come on, Luigi!  From the orientation table, there’s a fabulous view of the colourful bay, l’île Saint-Riom and blue swathes of hydrangeas.

The blue pebble beach

Another breathtaking view and another treasure of the coast, le Moulin de Craca windmill, the last of the twelve windmills once in Plouézec.  We cycle happily  towards the Pointe du Minard.  The Route des Islandais, the sea in the background, a pure delight...

Soon, we’re looking down at Porzpin, ‘the blue pebble beach’, with transparent turquoise waters loved by swimmers.  Seen from above like this, it reminds Luigi of Italy.  It’s true that the cove is almost lagoon-like, with an air of the rocky inlets of the Mediterranean.

With the wind in our hair, the journey continues, almost like a rollercoaster, until the final dizzying descent which was once tackled during the Tour de France, but in the other direction...

L’anse de Bréhec

Luigi’s having a whale of a time, his companion too.  Our reward is down here in Bréhec.  A little port nestling among the cliffs, with the promise of sharing a beer on the terrace of the P’tit Bar, which has its home in an old blockhouse fortification.

Although our adventure ends here, it’s possible to continue to the Pointe de Plouha, at a height of more than 100 metres, and, for hardened adventures, to Dunkirk then the Belgian border, and for true fans, as far as Ukraine...

On a smaller scale, to get back to Paimpol we can also ask Pascale, the landlady of the P’tit Bar, for the loan of one of her old bicycles to take the coast road home.  But that’s another story...

Texte by David Kerhervé - Publihebdos

  • Abbaye de Beauport à Paimpol ©Emmanuel Berthier
  • Pause le long de la vélomaritime à Paimpol ©David Kerherve
  • La baie de Poulafret ©David Kerherve
  • Vue aérienne sur le moulin à vent de Craca à Plouézec ©Meriglier Jean-Philippe