You’ll find the historic port of Roscoff in Pays du Léon, a corner of France in Brittany’s Finistère that enjoys a gentle microclimate and prodigiously produces artichokes, cauliflowers and, most famously, the Roscoff pink onion! It is also well known to visitors from Ireland for cross-channel ferry links. But it’s most definitely worth making time to discover this captivating and quintessentially Breton town when staying at a Siblu holiday park – Domaine de Kerlann is closest, but Le Conguel (Quiberon, Brittany) and Les Pierres Couchées (Loire Atlantique, just south of Brittany) are also in the vicinity. Why go? Let’s find out more…
Beaches and the great outdoors
Roscoff is exceptionally well placed for discovering Finistère’s wonderful beaches, whether westwards to the Pays-des-Abers or eastwards to the Bay of Morlaix and the Pink Granite coast. A short walk from the centre of town, the Jardin Exotique de Roscoff is also worth exploring for its exotic plants and scented gardens, while the young and young at heart of the group will enjoy letting off steam at the fun playground on Quai d’Auxerre.
Things to do and special events
Meander the Vieux Port and the charming, narrow streets crammed with boutiques and galleries in the historic centre that is dominated by the Eglise Notre-Dame-de-Croaz-Batz. With its unusual Renaissance belfry it’s Roscoff’s most obvious sight and one of Brittany’s most impressive churches. If you can, visit around the third week of August for the annual Onion Festival. The town comes alive with music, dance, a torch-lit procession, and all manner of onion-related celebrations. A unique occasion, and a wonderfully memorable holiday experience.
Local discoveries and hidden gems
Take the 15-minute boat trip to the car-free idyll of Ile de Batz – there are plenty of glorious, sandy beaches, and at only two miles long, you can cross its length and breadth (walking or cycling) without breaking too much of a sweat! Or seek out the extraordinary Jardin Georges Delaselle. These gardens house 3,000 species of tropical plants from all five continents, and have unparalleled views back to the mainland. In Roscoff town, Maison des Johnnies is a quaintly eccentric museum dedicated to the men who, from the 1830s to the 1970s, brought the distinctively pink and sweet Roscoff onion to the British doorstep (think beret-sporting Frenchman on a bicycle heavy laden with onions – this is ‘Onion Johnnie’). Roscoff also does great French food – try a moules-frites in one of the atmospheric restaurants overlooking the harbour – and there are crêpe, galette and cider options aplenty. Don’t miss an opportunity to try kouign amann cake either – made of butter, sugar, and… more butter! An unctuously rich, sweet delight.
Places to go
St-Vougay, south of Roscoff, for the 16th century fortified Château de Kerjean, with gardens and treasure hunt. Or take the lovely coast road along Morlaix bay to Morlaix itself, a medieval town of half-timbered houses, cobbled streets and an impressive 19th century viaduct.
Distance/driving time from Domaine de Kerlann
Distance/driving time from Le Conguel
Distance/driving time from Les Pierres Couchées