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Guilvinec - oozes authenticity

There are seaside resorts, often pleasant but so taken over by tourism that they lose their identity and charm, and then there are towns like Guilvinec, on the south coast of Finistère in Brittany, that ooze authenticity and offer a real taste of Breton life as well as access to good beaches and facilities.

A colourful fishing port

What really makes Guilvinec stand out from the crowds is not its beauty (although it is attractive) but its colourful fishing port, a hub of activity every day, where the industry that is the traditional lifeblood of Finistère takes place before your eyes... and which has given rise to the town's collection of fantastic seafood restaurants. Guilvinec is the genuine article, undiminished by tourism, and a delight to discover.

Watch the boats unload their catch

Daily life here centres on the port, where the catch of the day is unloaded from the colourful boats and sold at the little auction, destined to end up on the menus and tables of the wonderful fish restaurants for which this town is noted. Red mullet, sea bass, crabs and lobsters... is your mouth watering yet?

Attractive town with a weekly market

Here there is always something to watch and something to do. The town is attractive and offers plenty of all varieties of shops. Lovers of that great French institution, the street market, will be able to shop in the traditional way every Tuesday throughout the year, with additional markets held on Sundays during the summer season.

Things to see

Apart from the port, the things worth seeing around the town include the 19th century church, the Manoir de Kergoz with its wonderful pigeonnier (pigeon house), a 16th century bronze canon, and an unusual and fascinating "cemetery of boats", where the old wooden carcasses of boats from different periods can be seen. There's plenty more too, as the great thing about a genuine town like Guilvinec is that there are so many intriguing bits and pieces that a more tourist orientated place would have disposed of in the interests of keeping things neat and tidy.

Out and about

If you fancy seeing a little further afield, jump in the car and head off to Quimper or Concarneau, or to the beautiful village of Locronan. Take a day trip over to one of the beautiful little islands that lie just off the Finistère mainland, or visit the neighbouring department of Morbihan.

How to get there

The airport of Brest is served by both Ryanair and Flybe, so you can fly direct to the area with ease. The nearest ports are those of St Malo and Roscoff, and devotees of rail travel can find a train to get them to Quimper. The town is accessed via the D57 or D785 roads.

Property prices and availability in and around Guilvinec

Brittany is often said to be an expensive region for property, as it has a long established record of popularity with both holiday makers and home seekers. However, if the budget is tight, as many peoples' budgets can be in these expensive times, Finistère is a good place to look, as property here is usually considerably cheaper than in the rest of the region.

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Guilvinec AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Guilvinec?

Guilvinec is located in north-west France. It lies in the south-west of the Finistère department, on the coast.

Guilvinec Property Map


Brittany Guide

Brittany Property Map


Finistère Guide

  Finistère Map

Population: 3,042

Access: By air: Fly to Brest. By boat: The ports of Roscoff and St Malo are the nearest. By road: The D785 and D57 roads to the coast will bring you to Guilvinec. By rail: The TGV stops at Quimper, so train travel is another good option.

Economy: Fishing is the main economic activity.

Interesting fact: Guilvinec has a daily fish auction, guaranteeing that the fish on the tables of the restaurants really are the catch of the day!

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