Douarnenez is a beautiful, small seaside town in Brittany known for the sardines fishing but also as the capital of the Kouign-amann, the savory pastry made from sugar, butter and flour. In 1794, Jaques Cambry, a French and Breton writer described the Douarnenez Bay in his “Journey through Finistere” as a “one of the finest expanses of water to be seen in all Europe”. Today, Douarnenez is still situated in one of the most beautiful bays in Europe, where you can find many incredibly sandy beaches and steep cliffs. The landscapes around this bay have inspired many artists such as Renoir and Boudin. Douarnenez and its surroundings are absolutely worth visiting.
The Kouign-Amann, buttery, crusty and delicious pastry, was made for the first time in the 19th century in Douarnenez. Certain Yves-René Scordi created this pastry in his bakery in 1860, while he was making bread dough. At that time, it was much easier to find the butter than the flour, so when the bread dough turned wrong, instead of throwing it, the baker decided to add it some salted butter and sugar. The result was a true success. Everywhere in Douarnenez, you can find a good and tasty Kouing-amann but the best one is probably at the bakery Plomarc’h, situated in the center of Douarnenez.
But Douarnerez is not only famous because of the Kouing-amann. This seaside city is also known for its many interesting legends and most beautiful places to visit. There is a legend about Ys, the most beautiful and impressive city, situated in the Douarnenez Bay, that became a place of sin and therefore swallowed by the ocean many centuries ago. Closely associated with this legend of the city of Ys, is the Tristan Island. This island, only about 450 m long and 250 m wide and uninhabited, became a national park in 2007. Many rabbits, lizards and a wide variety of seabirds can be found in this place. The vegetation is particularly rich and many trees such as cedars, oaks and apple trees have been planted. A large orchard is situated in the southern part of the island, as well as a tropical garden. The Tristan Island can be reached by foot from Douarnerez, only when the low tide allows it, and that is only a couple of hours per day.
Not far away from Douarnerez - the capital of the Kouign-amann, you can also visit the Pointe du Raz, a real masterpiece of nature. This dramatic place of crashing waves and strong winds was listed as a Great natural site of France in 2010. As this place has an important number of visitors coming from all over the world, the French authorities decided to apply some rigorous measures in order to protect the environment. So, there are no more shops or hotels at the Ponte du Raz, as they were demolished and the parking spot was also relocated. So, if you come to visit this exceptional place think of taking your own food and drinks.
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