Quimperle travel guide

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Visit Quimperle (Brittany, France)

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Quimperlé is a town in southern Brittany between Lorient and Concarneau and at the eastern edge of the Finistere department. Quite a small town, it is based around the Ellé river and the Isole river where they converge to create the Laita river.

Explore Quimperlé

France This Way review:The combination of riverside setting, a medieval centre and the abbey make Quimperlé an attractive and popular destination for visitors.

rue Dom Maurice, Quimperlé

Quimperlé is a magnet for tourists due to its very pretty centre, with streets containing some medieval half-timbered houses typical of the Brittany region, along with some more grand houses once owned by nobles of the town.

Start your visit with a stroll along the Quai Brizeux before heading off to explore the town and abbey.

The best example of medieval houses in Quimperlé is perhaps the lovely 'Maison des Archers' on Rue Dom Morice. The house, built around 1550, has a half-timbered facade and is five stories high and holds occasional art exhibitions. The house next door is said to be the oldest in the town and was built about 1500.

Further along the same street at number 4 is a newer house built in the 17th century and its exotic decor is probably due to the explorations of the world taking place at the time.

There are also some interesting churches to be discovered in the town, including Sainte-Croix abbey church in the heart of the old (lower) town and the gothic style church of the Notre Dame de l'Assomption (13th - 15th century) in the upper town.

The church of Notre Dame de l'Assomption was very popular with pilgrims. Inside it is decorated with ornate statues and carved wooden beams.

The Abbey Sainte-Croix is the principal historic monument in Quimperlé. The abbey dates in part from the 11th century and is very unusual in having a circular design.

Note that the church suffered a major collapse in the 19th century, including its belltower, so much of what we see today dates from the late 19th century. The original crypt and some of the original roman style church can still be seen.

Inside the abbey church there are some very interesting highlights including the beautifully detailed 16th century altarpiece and a statue representing Christ being placed in a tomb (a 'mise au tombeau'), also dating from the 16th century.

The figures in the mise a tombeau were originally painted, but this was washed away when the statue spent many years neglected outside.


Other sights of interest

To the rear of the Church of Sainte-Croix in the Rue Bremond-d'Ars you can also see the ruins of the Church of Saint-Colomban, while to the front there is an unusual 19th century market hall in wrought iron and brick that looks to have been inspired by the Eiffel tower erected earlier in Paris.

Also close by, the old stone bridge called the Pont Fleuri in the town lives up to its name and is bedecked with flowers all through the summer, and in a very picturesque setting.

The baroque style Ursulines Chapel in Quimperle is now used for displaying occasional contemporary art exhibitions - remember to look up at the beautifully decorated ceiling!

As you explore the town centre you cross the rivers in several different places and it is the views along these rivers that provides a large part of the charm of Quimperlé. Various activities are also available on the rivers near Quimperlé, in particular canoeing and kayaks.

Because there are two rivers here each with a different character there are lovely tranquil stretches of rivers suitable for all the family to enjoy peacefully together as well as other stretches which are well known for the challenges they present to expert canoeists - in fact competitions are often held here on the river at Quimperlé.

The port of Quimperlé was very important at one point and traded wine, salt, spices, cereals and wood. Along the rivers edge you can admire the lovely trader's houses built in the 16 to 19th century.

port of Quimperlé

Attractions nearby

The most interesting places to visit near Quimperle are to the west of the town, with the port towns of Pont-Aven and Benodet and the town of Concarneau among the most visited.

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

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Visit near Quimperle with France This Way reviews



Clohars Carnoet is home to the pretty port of Doelan and the port of Le-Pouldu with its artistic connections.

Clohars-Carnoet guide


Due to the fishing industry and war time damage Lorient is not a typical Brittany destination but retains some highlights such as the Submarine Museum

Lorient guide


The watermills and harbour area give Pont-Aven its own special appeal

Pont-Aven guide


Port Manec'h is an attractive seaside village which became popular in the Belle Epoque.

Port-Manech guide


Kerascoet is a beautiful hamlet of thatched cottages near to the sea and the beach of Rospico.

Kerascoet guide


Port Louis is a pleasant town with a citadel and a large sandy beach.

Port-Louis guide

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

Address: Quimperlé, Quimper, Brittany, 29300, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.87, longitude -3.55

Plan your visit to Quimperle, Finistere

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Zoo de Pont-Scorff: zoo or wildlife park (13 km)
  • Lorient: town of art and history (14 km)
  • Parc Victor Chevassu: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • Massif Dunaire de Gavres-Quiberon: grand site of france (25 km)
  • Concarneau: town of art and history (27 km)
  • Marais de Mousterlin: site of natural beauty (35 km)
  • Parc du château de Trévarez: remarkable garden (37 km)
  • Archipel des Glénan: site of natural beauty (38 km)
  • Jardins de Kerambar’h: remarkable garden (38 km)
  • Jardin du prieuré de Locmaria: remarkable garden (43 km)
  • Jardin du château de Lanniron: remarkable garden (43 km)
  • Quimper: town of art and history (43 km)

Market days in Quimperle, France

Regular market(s) are held in Quimperle each Friday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Quimperle (Francais)