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Ile-de-Sein travel guide

Photo of Ile-de-Sein

Visit Ile-de-Sein (Brittany, France)

Ile-de-Sein is a small island and village a few kilometres west of the Pointe-du-Raz at the western limit of the Finistere department of Brittany. The island is only about 2km long, and covers little more than 50 hectares.

Exploring l'Ile-de-Sein

Tourism is now the main activity on the island, which only has a hundred residents but receives many thousands of visitors each year. The main highlight on the island is the village and port area, which is classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France' and is a picturesque village of small, typically whitewashed houses clustered around the port.

There are two menhirs (standing stones) on the island next to the church, indicating how long the remote island has been inhabited.

A small museum in the town called the 'Abri de Marin' explains the unique lifestyle and challenges of living on the island, both currently and in the past. (You might come across other 'Abri de Marin' in Brittany. These buildings were built in the early 20 th century specifically to give fishermen staying on the islands and in the ports an alternative to spending all their time in the inns, which was creating a problem of alcoholism among the fishermen.)

There are a selection of restaurants and a few other small shops, otherwise facilities are very limited.

Constant exposure to the force of the Atlantic winds means that the low-lying island is an inhospitable place for plants and trees, which can't grow in the extreme conditions. It is this stark environment and the ever present sea that is a large part of the appeal of the Ile-de-Sein so after exploring the village take a walk around the island.

Cars and motor bikes are not allowed on the island, so all movement is on foot, but since the island is small that is no problem - and there's no chance of getting lost!

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The main lighthouse to the west of the island is the Phare Saint-Corentin, rebuilt in the 1940's after the earlier lighthouse here was destroyed in the Second World War (you will perhaps already have noticed the second lighthouse on Ile-de-Sein, which is the Phare de Men Brial in the port area).

The remoteness of ile-de-Sein means that the island needs to be self-sufficient, and all the energy and water required need to be produced on the island - in small energy and desalination plants next to the Phare Saint-Corentin.

Getting to Ile-de-Sein

The port and village are on the more eastern (closer to Brittany) side of the island, with ferries to reach the island leaving from Sainte-Evette near Audierne all year round - the crossing takes about an hour. During July and August a ferry service also operates from Camaret.

You can find more travel ideas in the Finistere guide and the Brittany guide.

See also: 

Map of Ile-de-Sein and places nearby

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Visit near Ile-de-Sein with France This Way reviews

Audierne

Audierne

The picturesque harbour area and the proximity of beaches combine to endure the popularity of Audierne

Audierne guide
Pont-Croix

Pont-Croix

The Collegiale Church of Notre-Dame de Roscudon and the narow surrounding streets are the highlight of your visit to Pont-Croix

Pont-Croix guide
Morgat

Morgat

The long sandy beach at Morgat has been the centre of activity here for more than 100 years, since the resort was first established

Morgat guide
Camaret

Camaret

The pleasure port, local beaches, historic monuments and prehistoric standing stones nearby all make Camaret a popular Brittany destination

Camaret guide
Crozon

Crozon

The Crozon peninsula in western Brittany has an ideal combination of villages, coastline and beaches

Crozon guide
Douarnenez

Douarnenez

Tourism based around the beaches and pleasure port have largely overtaken fishing as the principal industry at Douarnenez

Douarnenez guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Finistere

Tourist classifications for Ile-de-Sein

Ile-de-Sein is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Ile-de-Sein, Pont-Croix, Quimper, Brittany, 29990, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 48.04, longitude -4.74

Plan your visit to Ile-de-Sein, Finistere

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Pointe du Raz: grand site of france
  • Pointe de Penhir: site of natural beauty (25 km)
  • Baie de Douarnenez: site of natural beauty (25 km)
  • Camaret-sur-Mer tour dorée (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (29 km)
  • Presqu'île de Kermorvan: site of natural beauty (36 km)
  • Argol: enclos-paroissial (39 km)
  • Locronan: most beautiful village (40 km)
  • Menez-Hom: site of natural beauty (43 km)
  • Conservatoire botanique du Stangalac'h: remarkable garden (43 km)
  • Brest: ville fleurie 4* (43 km)
  • Saint-Renan: recommended detour (44 km)
  • Océanopolis: aquarium (45 km)

The French version of this page is at Ile-de-Sein (Francais)

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