The most beautiful fishing ports in France
Attend the auction, enjoy seafood while watching the ballet of colorful boats: whether in the English Channel, the Atlantic or Mediterranean coast, the pleasure is the same.
1. Douarnenez and Le Conquet (Finistère)
If the Finistère is a paradise for small picturesque ports, Douarnenez and Le Conquet take the high ground, especially a fifth of world production of tuna is landed in the first, and the second is one of the first in France for catching shellfish. The ballet of fishermen and striking contrasts between the yellow oilskins, red buoys and azure provide lockers in every season a postcard image. At the heart of cities, architecture is the witness of their rich maritime past.
In Douarnenez, do not miss the Port-Museum on the water of Port-Rhu.
2. Port-Vendres (Pyrénées-Orientales)
3 km south of Collioure, the cliffs that dominate the ramparts of the fort Béar, built by Vauban, Port-Vendres escapes the concrete coastline. This lovely harbor, where the fishing is still practiced lampara, is also a hub of the fruit trade and welcomes cargo ships worldwide. Founded by the Phoenicians, port, leaning against the Alberes, kept the accents and colors of a real counter Mediterranean. On the Waterfront stands an obelisk that honors Louis XVI. There is also a charming church and a sculpture (memorial) of Maillol, who resided in Banyuls-sur-Mer.
The anglers have go to the pier and the pier of the auction, famous spots of the Côte Vermeille. Bars and Congress on the menu.
3. Erquy (Côtes d’Armor)
Erquy, whose port is equipped with a fleet of 80 ships, is known to be the capital of Saint-Jacques shell. The season of saint-Jacques, which runs from October to April, provided a beautiful spectacle when the boats land their shells on the fishing port. But Erquy is also the coast of Penthièvre in all its splendor, its cliffs, its wild and colorful moors and long strikes. To learn more about the world of fishing, do not hesitate to enter the auction. Every 3 years (rotating with Saint-Quay-Portrieux and Loguivy-de-la-Mer) is held the Feast of the Coquille. Erquy next edition scheduled for 2014.
To enjoy St. Jacques shells, go to El Escorial, which offers cuisine full of freshness and originality. The Saint-Jacques is served here from October to April.
4. Mortagne-sur-Gironde (Charente-Maritime)
A canal cutting right through the marshes of the Great Roselière led fishing boats and pleasure craft in the port of Mortagne-sur-Gironde. In its upper part, this charming Charentais village, which takes its name from an ancient Moorish settlement, offers stunning views of the Gironde estuary. Down the «dead cliffs», docks are surrounded by white stone houses and old mills. Newfoundlanders, coasters and buildings of the Royal moor it once had. Local fishing nets back in his lampreys and elvers (glass eels). To be enjoyed at the table of Cafe Shore.
Nearby, the hermitage monolith Saint-Martial, which dates from the beginnings of the Christian era, transports the visitor in Cappadocia.
5. La Turballe и Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique)
On either side of the two peaks of the peninsula of Guerande, La Turballe and Le Croisic are animated by an incessant comings and goings of boats. Although the activity of fishing is not what it was, they together constitute the 5 th French fishing port. La Turballe is leading for fishing anchovy and sardine, and Le Croisic for shrimp fishing. You have to see the boats arrive early morning in La Turballe, and attend the auction on the port. Stroll also on old docks Croisic, lined with beautiful residences of XV th and seventeenth th centuries built by shipowners, merchants and captains, while observing vessels fishing crustaceans trap.
Besides their ports and beaches, Le Croisic has its attractions Océarium and the Wild Coast, La Turballe and a 5 km long beach, popular for windsurfing.
6. Saint-Valery-sur-Somme (Somme)
At the entrance to the estuary of the Somme, in the middle of an unspoiled swept by the sea air, Saint-Valery and his vis-à-vis, Le Crotoy, are the most endearing ports north of Paris . Boaters are gradually replacing the fishermen, but the medieval town of Saint Valery, which left William the Conqueror to conquer England, remains an ideal place for those who want to avoid the masses of tourists. No wonder it has inspired the greatest writers from Victor Hugo to Anatole France, through Colette and Julien Green.
At the party of the Sea, the second weekend of August, the village pays tribute to fishermen lost at sea.
7. Dieppe (Seine-Maritime)
Exceptional destiny as the port of Dieppe: founded by the Vikings, first fishing port in the XVI th century, the starting point of the discoverers of the St. Lawrence, commercial power with its ships leaving for the Americas, Africa and Asia. But the most surprising was perhaps ultimately the development of part of the port as a first resort of France, important throughout the XIX th century, while the other side, the sea of workers toiled. The district of Pollet, with its old brick houses in fishermen, is the most telling and picturesque remnant of that past that continues around the Duquesne Basin.
Countless painters inspired by the Dieppe coast: Delacroix, Monet, Degas, Whistler and Renoir among them. www.dieppetourisme.com
8. Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques)
The wide range of Saint-Jean-de-Luz would almost forget that this pleasant seaside resort, protected by towering dams built under Napoleon III, owes its development to the whaling and cod off Newfoundland . It allowed local shipowners to make a fortune, as evidenced by the beautiful architectural heritage of the city. Today, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is still home to a charming fishing port where wet tuna and sardine, near the mouth of the Nivelle.
From Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the Nivelle boat organizes sea fishing trips (www.croisiere-saintjeandeluz.com).
9. Barfleur (Manche)
The small port of Barfleur, set on the eastern end of the Cotentin on a small spit of land, makes you want to moor it. Several natural deposits molds are living the small town of 670 inhabitants, who have made it their specialty, the «Blonde Barfleur.» At low tide, the granite houses watching the fishing boats rest on the mud. The ship that took William the Conqueror at Hastings was said to be built here. Exactly 800 years later, the notoriously virulent Cotentin winds pushed the authorities to create here the first sea rescue station.
Barfleur is the only municipality in the department have been distinguished among the «most beautiful villages in France. «www.ville-barfleur.fr
10. Sète (Hérault)
Fishing has forged over the centuries, the identity of the city and the daily rhythm that drives ballet still canals and old port. With 35 trawlers and 116 «small businesses» (boats under 18 m), the first fishing port in the Mediterranean reveals an authentic and popular personality. Nicknamed the «singular island» Sète opens on two sides: one marine and one freshwater. Just off the fresh fish that can be found on the shelves of the central markets. The Thau lagoon and its typical small port of Pointe Courte, forgotten as the city, are reported oysters, which is served in a homely.
Do not miss the central market hall, a center of Sète life, every morning until 13h!