Finistère is the far western tip of Brittany, and Bénodet makes an excellent base from which to explore this unspoilt region. Any visit to Brittany is also a great excuse to stay over in Bénodet, whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall!
The southern part of Finistère is known as 'Cornouaille' - essentially French Cornwall - and just like its English counterpart, French Cornwall boasts vast natural spaces and colourful traditions. Cradled by the sea and the light, southern Finistère has long been a haven for artists, nature-lovers, those who love the outdoors and watersports, and of course all food-lovers!
Take a look at the blog for French Cornouaille: www.macornouaille.bzh
Here are our suggestions for places to discover for a day when you come to Bénodet and Finistère.
The Breton Riviera
The Breton Riviera is a true find for anyone who appreciates Brittany, and Bénodet is its pearl!
Offering tranquillity and well-being, the Breton Riviera is certainly a holiday destination 'par excellence', with an impressive range of landscapes from long sandy beaches and intimate coves to paradise islands and bustling marinas.
It is also home to protected and natural sites, the most famous of which is the Glénan Archipelago. On this famous group of islands you can find the 'Narcisse des Glénan', a unique narcissus flower that can only be found in this spot, in spring. And there's a lot more to enjoy beyond the breathtaking landscapes - water sports, hiking, cycling, golf courses, thalassotherapy spa treatments and even a casino.
To ensure you have a warm welcome, you can choose from a wide range of accommodation including campsites, hotels, tourist residences, bed and breakfasts and furnished holiday homes.
Welcome to Finistère's top holiday spot: the Breton Riviera, is the stuff of dreams!
Cross the bridge from Bénodet and you'll find yourself in 'Pays Bigouden', a separate part of Brittany with its own traditions and history. In summer, you can take the taxi boat from Bénodet to the charming little port of Sainte-Marine for a taster of 'Bigouden country'.
So what is a Bidgouden? Well, it's a tall head-dress made from cotton or linen that can be 36cm high, traditionally worn by women from this area, who were then nicknamed 'les Bigoudènes'!
Strolling along the coast, you can't help being impressed by the power of nature, and the stunning, authentic landscapes. Anyone who loves water sports or board sports is honour-bound to visit the legendary spot of Pointe de la Torche.
Pays Bigouden is famous for its fishing, and the four ports of Saint-Guénolé-Penmarc'h, Le Guilvinec, Lesconil and Loctudy come alive every day thanks to a curious ritual. Around 6 am, the offshore fishermen bring in their catch, then around 16pm the coastal fishing boats return and bring their day's catch to auction.
Quimper, <br>capital of French Cornwall
Follow the River Odet upstream to the historic city of Quimper, just 20 km from Bénodet. Recognized as a City of Art and History, Quimper has more than one marvel to share with you.
Explore the medieval town and its timbered houses from the 1500s and 1600s, discover Saint Corentin Cathedral, jewel of Breton Gothic art, the footbridges from the 1800s decked with flowers, the museums, and the district of Locmaria with its hand-painted, Henriot-Quimper ceramics.
La Pointe du Raz, <br> the Land's End of Brittany!
Less than an hour from Bénodet, the peninsula of Cap Sizun is a microcosm of Brittany, in all its untamed and unspoilt natural beauty. The south coast boasts white sandy beaches and spectacular viewpoints over the Iroise Seawhile far offshore you can take a boat trip to the tiny island of the Île de Sein.On the far west, the coastal points named Raz and Van feature crashing waves and plunging granite cliffs, while the north coast offers countless places to visit.
Any visit to the Cap-Sizun is sure to be memorable. Will you choose to explore the wild natural landscapes or head to the coast?
In such a setting, carved and polished by storm after storm, you cannot fail to be sensitive to this far-flung part of the world, where locals live with the elements, building ports and shelters all along its entire coastline. So during your stay in Bénodet, why not visit Land's End on the French side?
Find out more about the Pointe du Raz
Concarneau, <br> the walled town
Follow the coast road 24km from Bénodet to discover Concarneau, City of Art and History, an important fishing port and a seaside resort.
Look for the Ville Close, which is the heart of the old city surrounded by fortifications, where you can walk the cobbled streets, browse the shops or stroll along the ramparts.
You can also stroll further along the coast and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Baie de la Forêt, from the tip of Beg Meil to La Forêt-Fouesnant via Cap Coz.
Locronan, <br> an historic backdrop
Listed as a Historic Monument since 1924, Locronan is one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" and has been awarded the label of "Small Town of Character in Brittany ".
Exploring Locronan is like being on a film set of a period drama thanks to the houses dating from the 15s to the 18s, making it a unique tourist destination. The charm of this small market town, combined with its tourist appeal, has attracted many artists and craftsmen as well as film-makers.
At almost every street corner, you'll discover an artistic view, a craft workshop or a gallery.
Pont Aven, <br> an artist's paradise
This charming little town - less than an hour from Bénodet - is a treat for the senses. Your tastebuds will love the famous Pont-Aven butter biscuits, while your eyes will light up at the green valley dotted with rocks, washhouses and watermills.
In summer, you can take a boat trip (with commentary) on the River Aven, and the town itself is bursting with galleries and artists.
This is a place that literally has a colourful heritage. You will quickly understand why Paul Gauguin, Sérusier and the other artists were irresistibly drawn here!
Douarnenez, <br> the sardine capital
Once the capital of Brittany's sardine industry, Douarnenez has a wealth of urban heritage including the former canneries, houses of factory owners and workers, modest fishermen's cottages and also elegant seaside villas dotted around the area of Tréboul.
Douarnenez is a town well known for the companies Connétable and Petit Navire, who still produce tinned fish today, and its marinas in Tréboul and Port-Rhu have a wide reputation.
Douarnenez boasts classified natural sites: the farm park of Plomarc'h, and Tristan Island - which is only accessible at low tide. Its museum houses an exceptional collection of boats of all traditions and origins that you can visit on land and afloat. Douarnenez Bay offers visitors its majestic landscapes and legendary sites such as the famous Ville Ys.
Find out more about Douarnenez
The Crozon peninsula
The Crozon Peninsula has an extraordinary range of landscapes ranging from steep cliffs to fine sandy beaches. It also has secret coves, points and majestic sites such as the Tas de Pois and the Pointe de Dinan.
The GR34 coastal path and the many other trails are some of the best ways to discover the natural and heritage riches of the Crozon Peninsula. So many wonders that you will never tire of discovering, all within about 1 hour of Bénodet!
The Arrée Mountains, <br>the heart of Finistère
If, during your stay in Bénodet, curiosity drives you away from the coast, the Arrée Mountains will certainly provide a contrast. At the heart of Armorica Regional Nature Park, these landscapes take you right into the Celtic imagination and its legends.
The landscape is breathtaking. Moors, heather, peat bogs and rocky ridges mingle as far as the eye can see. To see the Youdig of Mont-Saint-Michel, to attack the Tuchenn Kador, climb the Roc'h Trevezeland contemplate the breathtaking views of the Pays du Leon.Immerse yourself in legends during a storytelling walk, stroll through the granite rocks and let the Celtic magic in. It's certainly a big change from the seaside!
Find out more about the Monts d'Arrée