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The Arrée Mountains and Montagnes Noires

Ménez Hom

Over 330 million years old, the Mountain Range of Armorique includes the Arrée Mountains to the north – jagged, rocky points soaring skywards – and the Montagnes Noires to the south – with the rounded summit known as Menez Hom.

The Arrée Mountains

The Arrée Mountains offer an iconic mountain image, with their peaks of sparse vegetation, long crests and pretty valleys.

Accessible by car from either Quimper – Morlaix or Lorient - Roscoff
Starting point for many hiking paths. You can explore on your own or with a guide, as part of a storytelling walk or even on the back of a donkey.
This is a dream destination for mountain bikers, and throughout the year there are various sporting events here, including the famous ‘Roc’h des Monts d’Arrée’ for mountain bike enthusiasts in September.

  • The Mont Saint-Michel de Brasparts in Saint-Rivoal. At its peak is the Saint-Michel Chapel, which you can see from many miles away. You can even drive up to the chapel if you don’t fancy the walk! The 360° view here offers a panorama that includes Lake Brennilis and the peat bogs as well as Yeun Ellez, all the way across to Morlaix Bay. It’s a dream spot for nature-lovers and photographers. Next to the chapel, on the ground, a large circular mark nearly 25 metres across shows where there was once a guiding system set up by the Germans during the Second World War, as well as two blockhouses.
  • Le Roc’h ruz at 385.01 metres tall narrowly wins the title of the highest point in Brittany. A pathway follows the valley and climbs up through the moors with their impressive rocks, up to the summit of Roc’h Trévézel, 364 metres tall.
  • Le Roc’h Trédudon, with its transmitter, stands 383 metres tall.

The Montagnes noires

The legend...
It is said that the King known as ‘Roi Marc'h’ loved the Menez Hom and would ride his horse over the moors. He died in such debauchery that God wanted to send him to damnation but the Virgin pleaded his case and God reconsidered. He decided that the King would not be sent to hell, but would only be allowed into heaven at such a time as you could see the bell-tower of Sainte-Marie from the top of his tomb.

His tomb is on the mountainside on the road to Trégarvan, protected by a pile of stones. From the top of the mountain, if you follow the path eastwards, you can add a stone to the top of his tomb and help take him one step closer to his chance of heaven.

Le Ménez-Hom - Dinéault
At the gateway of Crozon Peninsula, the 330-metre Ménez-Hom mountain has a panoramic summit view that includes Douarnenez Bay, Saint-Mathieu coastal point, the Brest and Aulne estuaries, and even the Arrée Mountains. It is also the starting point for several hiking trails and paths, a take-off spot for paragliders and also a favoured location for those with remote-controlled model aircraft, who gather here to fly their precious craft!
How to get here: by car, from the Châteaulin-Crozon route (D887), then follow the signs for the Ménez Hom
What to see: Sainte-Marie Chapel on the Ménez Hom, classed as an Historic Monument.
What to do here: the circuit  In the steps of King ‘Roi Marc’h’, which passes through the Ménez Hom and finishes in Locronan.

The Rock of Fire - Gouézec (Karreg an Tan - Gouézec)
At the very top of Gouézec, 281 metres up, this magnificent site offers an extraordinary view over the Aulne Valley, the Arrée Mountains and Douarnenez Bay. During the Norman invasions, and to warn of the Vikings arriving, a look-out would be alerted by a fire from the top of Ménez-Hom and would light in turn another fire here, which could be seen from all over the area around Châteaulin. This site became known as Karreg an Tan, meaning the Rock of Fire.
To drive here, take the Quimper-Morlaix motorway and exit at the sign ‘Route touristique Pleyben-Morlaix’. Turn right at the Chapelle des 3 fontaines (here you can stop off to look at a 16th-century chapel, its 16th-century stone monument and the three fountains).
Drive to the village of Gouézec then follow the signs for ‘Karreg an tan’.
What to see and do nearby: the Nantes-Brest canal is nearby at Pont-Coblant (where you can stroll along the towpath), the watersports and sailing centre, the lock of Saint-Algon, children’s playground, refreshments, and the town campsite at Pleyben.

Interactive map


Top-of-the-range places
Finistère trails

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