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7 Best Things to Do in Roscoff, Brittany, France

Set along Morlaix Bay, Roscoff is an attractive port town in the Finistère department of Brittany in Northern France

The well-preserved town center, huddled around the old 16th century granite harbor, impresses with its granite buildings, gothic church, and cobbled lanes. 

It’s a joy to walk through the town, admiring the architecture whilst dipping in and out of various specialty shops and bakeries. 

Linked by ferry to Plymouth and Cork, Roscoff serves as a main entry point to France for holiday-bound British and Irish travelers. Ferry arrivals disembark at Port du Bloscon, the deep-water harbor located a few kilometers east of the old port and town center. 

Though many travelers will continue their journey onwards, it’s worthwhile to stay in Roscoff 2-3 nights to explore the seaside town and the many attractions of Morlaix Bay, including Île de Batz, Cairn of Barnenez, Morlaix, and Château du Taureau.

During our stay in Roscoff, we had the most marvelous time touring the historic center of Morlaix with its 16th-century half-timbered houses, hiking stretches of the GR 34 around Carantec and Plougasnou, and staying in the unbelievably charming La Brise B&B.

We detailed all our favorite experiences and tips in this Roscoff travel guide.

La Brise Roscoff window Brittany France

Where to Stay in Roscoff, Brittany

La Brise Roscoff

La Brise is an exquisite bed and breakfast set in a quiet area of Roscoff, walking distance to the old port. This B&B offers four beautiful guest rooms, each equipped with a coffee maker and tea kettle with loose leaf teas.

La Brise exudes charm while capturing a comfortable, minimalist aesthetic. Rooms are thoughtfully put together using a palette of cream, white, and beige, offset by a pop of color. 

La Brise Roscoff bed and breakfast guest room Brittany France

A communal kitchen and living room features a bar of complimentary loose leaf teas, coffee capsules, a jar of cookies, and a water filtration system. 

A high-quality buffet is laid out in the breakfast room, featuring mouthwatering cheeses, fruits, and breads. The buffet is supplemented with local yogurts, made-to-order egg dishes, and pancakes. 

La Brise Roscoff breakfast Brittany France

On-site parking is available with reservation (10 EUR/day)

Check prices and availability

More Hotels and Accommodations in Roscoff

Hôtel Le Temps de Vivre Roscoff, Roscoff Brittany France
Hôtel Le Temps de Vivre Roscoff

Town center accommodations don’t have on-site parking. However, public parking is available nearby. Parking fees apply during high season. 

Budget | Hotel du Centre – Chez Janie is located along the old fishing port in the historic center of Roscoff. Stay here for the central location, excellent on-site seafood restaurant, and friendly staff. No elevator. 

Budget-Midrange | Hôtel La Résidence des Artistes offers clean and comfortable rooms in Roscoff.

Luxury | The seafront Hôtel Mercure Roscoff Bord de Mer is situated behind the Notre-Dame de Croas-Batz Church. Book a seaview room, or enjoy the panoramic sea views from the hotel’s lounge. 

Luxury | Housed in an elegant, historic building, the seafront Hôtel Le Temps de Vivre Roscoff offers spacious contemporary rooms and an excellent breakfast. Limited private parking available with reservation (18.50 EUR/day). 

7 Best Things to Do in Roscoff and Morlaix Bay

1. Roscoff Town Center

Roscoff is an attractive port town huddled around the old fishing harbor, enclosed by stone jetties. 

Most ferry lines operate from the deep-water Port du Bloscon. But, the old harbor still operates a pleasure ferry to Île de Batz. Depending on the tide, pedestrians either embark the ferry from Quai Neuf, or at the end of the adjoining bridge.

Attractive stone houses, built by ship-owners, line the pretty lanes behind the harbor. Evidence of the town’s maritime prosperity can be seen in the gothic church, the 16th-century granite houses, and the merchants’ (and smugglers’) ground-level cellar entrances. 

Roscoff Historic Town Center, Brittany France

Along Rue Gambetta, there’s an enticing procession of restaurants, boulangeries, and specialty shops.

For seafood, dine at Chez Janie, a hotel and restaurant overlooking the old port. For Breton cakes and pastries, swing by Stéphane Giraud Roscoff (google maps). To buy local products like Roscoff seaweed tartar, visit VagaBoutiK and Algoplus

Finding Smuggler’s Beaches in Roscoff

Roscoff, Brittany, Bretagne, France

Roscoff’s history is tied to its commercial links with the English, at times auspicious and at other times deadly (depending on the decade / century). 

Between 1763 and 1786, the Breton and English enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship rooted in smuggling.

Our local Breton guide informed us that you can easily identify a smuggler’s beach by looking at the rocks. Flint pebbles indicate smuggling, because the English would load up the holds of their ships with ballast (flint) for stabilization. 

As soon as they arrived, they would dump all the flint on the Breton shoreline, replacing the weight of course with smuggled goods. Sure enough, we were able to spot flint on Roscoffs’ beaches, just north of the gothic Notre-Dame de Croas-Batz Church.

Tip | Contact the Roscoff tourist office for information on guided tours. 

2. Térénez – Saint-Samson Coastal Walk in Plougasnou

érénez - Saint-Samson Coastal Walk in Plougasnou, Morlaix Bay, Brittany

Located on the opposite side of Bay of Morlaix, Plougasnou is a quiet commune that harbors a  wild, windswept coastline that’s still a secret. 

One of the best experiences of our 10-day trip to Brittany was walking along the GR 34 from Térénez to Saint-Samson in Plougasnou. 

We loved this walk for several reasons. First, the quiet trail closely hugs the coast, passing by a number of striking rock formations and seascapes. Second, the circular route passes by the Bib Gourmand-awarded Restaurant La Maison de Kerdiès which serves gourmet Breton cuisine in a panoramic dining room overlooking the Bay of Morlaix. 

If you want to plan a perfect day around Roscoff, wake up and eat breakfast in La Brise, drive 45 minutes to Port de Térénez and walk north along the coast to Plage de Saint-Samson and then Plage de Guerzit. 

Ignore the GR 34 deviation and stay on the coast. 

Continue inland to Restaurant La Maison de Kerdiès for lunch (make a reservation in advance), and then complete the loop back to Térénez. 

After the walk, swing by Cairn of Barnenez and then explore the historic city center of Morlaix and then end your day with dinner at Chez Janie in Roscoff. 

Trail Stats

Trailhead | Port de Térénez – there are some parking spots across Le Radeau | Google Maps 

Distance | 7.6 km circuit

Time Needed | 2 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 48 meters

Here’s a map of a longer variation of this trail.

3. Dine at Restaurant La Maison de Kerdiès

If you skip the coastal hike (outlined above), we still recommend driving to Saint-Samson to dine at Restaurant La Maison de Kerdiès

This outstanding restaurant serves traditional, homemade Breton cuisine using local and seasonal products. 

The lunch menu is a three-course affair with two options for each course, most of which are inspired by the sea. The price is a steal! 

The quality of the food and service is enhanced by the sea views, thanks to the floor to ceiling windows. 

Reservation | Recommended

Opening Times | Tuesday – Sunday during high season. For off season opening times, inquire directly. 

4. Visit Morlaix

Morlaix Historic Center, Brittany France

In the middle ages, Morlaix was a flourishing port, trading with England (during times of peace) and growing in prosperity on fine linen, piracy and the tobacco trade. 

If you look superficially at a map, the city appears to be inland, far away from the open sea. But, it actually stands on the confluence of the Queffleuth and Jarlot rivers which join and flow together into Morlaix Bay. 

Modern-day Morlaix is an eccentric place with loads of street-art, half-timbered houses, and a giant railway viaduct built in the 1860s. 

Start your visit in the historic medieval center, where you can see the three-story overhanging houses, unique to Morlaix. 

These half-timbered houses with manorial halls and spiral wooden staircases were built by wealthy linen merchants in the 16th century. 

To understand the grandeur of these houses, you have to go back to the War of Succession. Impoverished by the wars, lesser nobility abandoned their titles to pursue trade. They sought to showcase their former noble status by building these opulent merchant houses, inspired by the architecture of their country manor houses. 

Visit the restored La Maison à Pondalez on Grand Rue (google maps) to see one of the best-preserved examples of this architectural style. 

5. Boat Ride to Château du Taureau with Vagabonds de la Baie 

Vagabonds de la Baie Boat Ride, Morlaix Bay, Roscoff, Brittany

One of the best ways to experience Morlaix Bay and its many rocky islets is by sea.

Vagabonds de la Baie offers 12-person boat tours to Château du Taureau, the island fortress that was built to protect Morlaix from the English.

Other tours take in the tidal island of Île Callot and the coast of Carantec, the lighthouse of Île Louët, and the marine reserve, home to seals, Northern Gannets, Oystercatchers, and Cormorants.

6. Pointe de Penn al Lann Walk in Carantec 

Pointe de Penn al Lann Walk in Carantec, near Roscoff, Brittany, France

The coastal town of Carnatec is located in the heart of Morlaix Bay on the peninsula between Plougasnou and Roscoff. 

The town center is small, but boasts a respectable creperie, Crêperie Restaurant Ty Brizec, and bakery, Maison Nochez. 

The main reason to venture here is to walk the coastal path from Chemin des Huîtres around the peninsula to Plage du Kélenn. 

This narrow, fern-lined trail leads to Tahiti Beach and Pointe de Penn al Lann, which affords an inspiring view of Louet Island and its lighthouse as well as Château du Taureau.

7. Cairn of Barnenez

Did you know that Brittany is home to the largest and possibly the oldest collection of neolithic megaliths (standing stones, dolmen, allées couvertes) in the world? These megaliths were erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. 

Measuring 72 meters long and 13-28 meters wide, the Cairn of Barnenez is the largest megalithic burial site in Europe and dates back to around 4800 BC.

Keep in mind that archeologists believe that the Stonehenge was built in several phases from 3100 BC to 1600 BC. 

Barnenez mausoleum is located on the Kernéléhen peninsula, a 40-minute drive away from Roscoff. 

Opening Times | Open all-year-long, except on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th. See exact opening times and entrance prices

This Roscoff travel guide was created in collaboration with Visit Bretagne and Sensation Bretagne.

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Roscoff Travel Guide Brittany France

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

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