Ville Close (Walled City)

Top choice in Finistère

This special walled town, fortified in the 14th century and modified by the architect Vauban two centuries later, sits on a small island linked to place Jean Jaurès by a stone footbridge. Just past the citadel's clock tower and main gate, look out for the 18th-century Tour du Gouverneur, which is one of the access points for strolling the ramparts . As you continue, rue Vauban leads to place St-Guénolé and the former church – and later hospice – of the same name.

On the way you will pass stone houses converted into shops, crêperies, ice-cream stalls and galleries. Indeed, the best way to explore the island is to wander at will. The eastern side of the island has a small hilly park, and there's a passenger ferry (€1) that runs across the inlet to the opposite quay at place Duquesne. The Ville Close is thronged in summer and on weekends.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Finistère attractions

1. Musée de la Pêche

0.11 MILES

This excellent museum, just inside the main western gate of the Ville Close, delves into Concarneau's seafaring traditions using everything from archive…

2. Château de Keriolet

0.99 MILES

This impressive building is an exquisite example of 19th-century architecture. Its intriguing Russian connections are revealed during a guided tour …

3. Plage des Sables Blancs


This lovely stretch of sand is around 1.5km northwest of town. There are lifeguards on duty in summer.

4. Plage du Cabellou

1.18 MILES

About 7km south of town, this is decent spot for sunbathing and swimming, with views back to Concarneau.

5. Pointe du Cabellou

1.24 MILES

Head southwest of town to this viewpoint poking into the sea, where you can discover the remains of an old 18th century fort.

6. Musée de Pont-Aven

7.89 MILES

For informative insights into the town's place in art history, stop by this well-organised and well-presented museum. Gallery size has doubled in recent…

7. Musée Départemental Breton

12.2 MILES

Beside the Cathédrale St-Corentin, recessed behind a magnificent stone courtyard, this superb museum over several floors showcases Breton history,…

8. Cathédrale St-Corentin

12.22 MILES

At the centre of the city rises Quimper's dramatic Gothic cathedral, with its distinctive dip in the middle where it was built to conform to the land. It…