Brittany’s rugged coastline is more than just an enchanting stretch of the Atlantic; it’s a historic tapestry woven with majestic lighthouses that have stood as silent sentinels against time and tide. From towering structures bathed in twilight to architectural marvels on secluded islands, each lighthouse is a beacon of stories, guiding both sailors and wanderers alike. Dive into our curated guide and discover the ten most iconic lighthouses of this mystical region, where every stone and beam invites you to journey through centuries of maritime lore.
1. Phare d’Eckmühl (Finistère)
Located on the Penmarc’h point, the Eckmühl Lighthouse proudly stands at 65 meters above the sea. A climb up its 307 steps rewards visitors with an unmatched panoramic view over the Iroise Sea. Inside, the marble lining and unique architecture are a testament to the generosity of the Marquise de Blocqueville who funded its construction. Don’t miss the adjoining museum which delves into the history of lighthouses and beacons.
2. Phare de la Vieille (Finistère)
A solitary guardian of the rocks of the Chaussée de la Vieille, this lighthouse stands opposite the famed Pointe du Raz. It’s accessible only by boat and epitomizes the architectural feat of its construction in the middle of the sea. For a full experience, consider a sea excursion that passes nearby.
3. Phare de Ploumanac’h (Côtes-d’Armor)
Nestled in the heart of the Pink Granite Coast, this red granite lighthouse seamlessly blends into the landscape. Nearby walks, lined with astonishing rock formations, are a must-do. Enjoy a visit at dusk for magical photos.
4. Phare du Petit Minou (Finistère)
En route to the Pointe Saint-Mathieu, this picturesque lighthouse guides ships entering the Brest harbor. The emblematic stone bridge adds to its charm. It’s an excellent vantage point for sunsets.
5. Phare de l’Île Vierge (Finistère)
Accessible by boat from the port of Lilia, this is an architectural marvel. The interior is adorned with opaline, creating a mesmerizing light show. Regular excursions are available, also offering breathtaking views of the Breton coasts.
6. Phare de Saint-Mathieu (Finistère)
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this lighthouse is surrounded by the remains of an ancient abbey, adding historical flair to the visit. The site, open to the public, offers a magnificent view, especially at sunset.
7. Phare du Créac’h (Île d’Ouessant, Finistère)
Overlooking the wild island of Ouessant, this lighthouse is a must-visit. Its museum sheds light on the maritime history of the region. A stay on the island is recommended to explore its landscapes and unique heritage.
8. Phare de Kermorvan (Finistère)
At the tip of the Kermorvan peninsula, this gleaming white lighthouse is a favorite spot for photographers. Nearby beaches and coastal paths offer plenty of hiking opportunities.
9. Phare de Pen-Lan (Morbihan)
Overlooking the Vilaine estuary, the Pen-Lan Lighthouse is a landmark for sailors. The calm and serene environment is perfect for a peaceful walk while admiring the beauty of the Breton coast.
10. Phare de Gatteville (Manche, Normandy)
Though located in Normandy, its proximity to Brittany makes it popular among travelers. Climb the numerous steps to be rewarded with a 360° panoramic view over the Cotentin Bay. The neighboring town of Barfleur, with its picturesque houses and harbor, is also worth a visit.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, a history enthusiast, or simply in search of awe-inspiring views, each lighthouse promises a unique tale of resilience, beauty, and adventure.