When, from Paris, we reached Rennes in just over 1: 30, Brittany seems to be very close to the capital. Then, when the TGV is sinking slowly in the lanes deep in Finistère, there is a perfume of end of the world that exhilarates the traveler. Arrived at Morlaix, an omnibus conducted in a small thirty minutes to Roscoff, crossing the country of Léon. As soon as descended, the air loaded with iodine rewards travel and offers a oxygen rare. The one of a city authentic, whose houses are carved into the hard granite, squashed against each other and surrounded by walls full of flowers. A sea of slate covers the roof pierced by high dormer windows. On the old port, facing the island of Batz, low tide uncovers a seascape of beauty, striated rocks of ochre and grey and bandaged algae dying. The rock crops out everywhere, making the navigation complicated. Suddenly, the small white boat that connects the mainland to the castle Taurus, fortress of Vauban, trace slow her groove.
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The city has set in 1972 of the new commercial port in the deep water of the Bloscon, which was added in 2013, a large marina, that no shuttle to the city centre dessert, which is a shame. With its 625 rings of pleasure, its pier for the ferries, at the destination of the English coast, or the Spanish, its shops and the beautiful table It is Here, with a sea view, it offers an auction where they sell each year 5600 tonnes of fish. Nestled in its architecture, futuristic building of glass mimicking the motion of a wave, the port of Bloscon is the new face of Roscoff, ersatz contemporary of the historic city.
• A village on the shipowners ‘
Roscoff is not a corsair, but a town of ship-owners, enriched in the Sixteenth century by the transport of the tin, the flax and wheat “made in breton”, to Spain and Portugal. A witness of this fortune, the heart of the historic downtown has a few pretty houses of the shipowners. The most beautiful bears the name of Mary Stuart (25, rue de l’amiral-Reveillère). She who was queen of France and queen of Scotland would in fact never set foot there since the house was not built when the ship that was transporting was, in August 1548, forced by storm to dock in Roscoff. One can still see beautiful hotels in the rue Armand-Rousseau, the oldest of the city, some of whom proudly wear dormers Renaissance of beauty.
At the mouth of this alleyway, it falls on the church of Notre-Dame-de-Croas-Batz, surmounted by an impressive bell-tower in granite. Among other curiosities, the interior serves as a setting to the alabasters in the Fifteenth century, signed in the workshop of Nottingham, illustrating the Passion of Christ. A little later, at 46 rue Gambetta, in a beautiful house lived Alexander Dumas: the writer is commit a few pages on the onion of Roscoff, in a work kitchen. This vegetable is always the pride of the city (2800 tons, 90 producers in 2018). A museum was opened a month ago, the story of the Johnnies, the men who left in the last century to sell red onions to the United Kingdom. They owed their nickname to the first name Yann, very prevalent among them, whose origin is common with the English first name John. The museum travels in an hour (48 rue Brizeux, entry: 5 € ; www.roscoff.bzh). It is, with the church, one of the few places that one can explore from the inside, as all the houses of the shipowners are private and closed to the visit.
View of the sky on the city and its marina. future • An extraordinary garden
wander in the exotic Garden and botanical Roscoff is a staple of the city, as the place, classified and non-profit organizations, was created in 1986 by two pioneers, and it is driven today by enthusiasts. With an area of 1.6 hectares, it is organized around a rock to the top of 18 meters, in the edge of the sea, on which you can climb through a staircase lined with flowers and plants of the Southern hemisphere. Some 4 500 species, of which 50 % comes from South Africa, thrive in an environment lush. The temperate climate of Roscoff and the presence of the rock, which prevents freezing and protects from great cold, promote the collections. Ponds and waterfall add a tropical touch to the course which offers some slight ascents and descents. The sea terminal to one side of the garden, protected from the rest by high hedges. The only product of the inputs (6 €) and the sale of plants from its own cuttings (at low cost, fewer than a dozen euros), ensures the economy of this superb harbour, botany. Entry: 6 €, reduced rate: 3 €. Locality Roc’hHievec. Tel.: 02 98 61 29 19 ; jardinexotiqueroscoff.com
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The thalasso is a great deal of Roscoff. It is the oldest marine institute in France, created in 1899 by dr. Bagot. It was not at this location by chance. Off the coast of Roscoff is home to the largest concentration of algae in Europe, 400 different varieties. A constant thermal, unique in France, has done the rest. Today, on the beach of Rockroum, jacuzzis placed on the rock facing the sea, sign of the modernization of the installation of the marine institute Rockroum, otherwise known as “the thalasso Roscoff”. Inside the building, which is leaning against a Golden Tulip hotel (a little older), we found treatment rooms, swimming pools, steam rooms… Bathrobes white for the hosts, sari black for practitioners who have not been sitting idly with nearly 250 customers per day. Signature Massage dry, the “palpated rolled” lasts twenty minutes and consists in a succession of nips, which relax the skin (59 €).
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A bit surprised at the beginning, we are quickly seduced by the pleasure that one gets from touching different that can extend the oil massage more traditional. A novelty in 2019, the massage with Bach flowers, method of elixir floral that is on the emotions. “We choose with the help of a therapist, after a preliminary interview, a blend of seven flowers, among 38 proposed, which responds to the emotional state of the moment”, explains Marianne Bar, director quality. A original treatment (92 €), on the path of homeopathy, who can enroll in a cure zen and sleep. The thalasso Roscoff care practice a la carte or in half-day (2 to 3 treatments included starting from 79 €) or as a course – for example, three days in half-board (hotel 4 star), which include 9 care. From 672 €. 16, rue Victor-Hugo, tel: 02 98 29 20 00 ; www.thalasso.com
The string of islands which lines the bay of Morlaix protects in a bird reserve of highly organized birds who have made it their territory. It is even forbidden for vessels to approach within 300 m Of other islands or islets are accessible as built. This is the case of the castle of the Bull, which is reached from the port of Bloscon by a shuttle boat which departures can be complicated by the interplay of tides, or to the nervousness of the sea. It is prudent to inquire (phone: 07 62 61 12 12).
The landing at the feet of this “fort Boyard breton” is spectacular. The fortress was built by Vauban from 1660 on a fort ancient. Fully restored, we discover through a guided tour of the cells, the hall of the officers, the terraces with breathtaking views over the bay of Morlaix. The history of the place is chaotic. He was even hired seven years, to 1930, by Melanie from Villemorin, the mother of Louise de Villemorin, companion of André Malraux, before becoming a sailing school. The island Callot nearby, in the town of Carantec, which can be reached on foot at low tide, is a splendor. Its fishermen’s houses transformed into beautiful homes, spread their silhouettes are typical in a vegetation of gorse, broom, cypress trees and umbrella pines. The spring offers a carpet in a sandy flowers that moutonnent in the barrens. Stretched over two kilometres long and wide from 100 to 400 m, the island Callot is sought for the succession of coves and sandy beaches that punctuate the perimeter. At the north end, more agricultural and more savage still, the visitors avoid venturing out of fear of being caught by the tide… which happens sometimes: the municipality has set up a cottage home (with coffee machine) for Robinson in a few hours…
By train, aim for Morlaix. Approximately 3 hours from Paris-Montparnasse. At Morlaix, take a bus or a bus to reach Roscoff (about 30 min). www.oui.sncf
Le Brittany & Spa , hotel and restaurant Relais & Châteaux, which faces the sea. A beautiful facility of which we preferred the rooms overlooking the sea. Swimming pool and spa at ground floor. Of 155 € to 495 €. 22, boulevard Sainte-Barbe, phone: 02 98 69 70 78 and hotel-brittany.com
Time to live , beautifully located in the city centre in a former house owner with a delightful little inside garden and the 15 rooms nicely furnished. 9, place Lacaze-Duthiers, phone: 02 98 19 33 1919 and letempsdevivre.net
The duBrittany, crowned with a macaron Michelin, is without a doubt the best, led by the chef Loïc Le bail, and a sommelier was exceptional, Anthony Rouzier. Menu from € 65 and € 22 for three courses (contact details above). In Carantec, The table de Ty Pot. Excellent fish served in a deco gross and warm. 5, place de la République, tel: 02 98 69 80 08. hotel-brittany.com/fr/restaurant-bar.html
RATE OF the PORT
32 € the ring per day for a boat of 10 mètres.plaisancebaiedemorlaix.com
tourist Office of Roscoff. Tel.: 02 98 69 62 18 and roscoff-tourisme.com
THE LONELY URGO LE FIGARO
the race village will be inaugurated Wednesday, June 12, for many events until June 22, the day of the start of the 3rd stage (from 14 hours). All days: water activities for free (sailing, paddle, kayak), street arts and culinary activities by the leaders of the region. lasolitaire-urgo.com