Justin Foulkes


France's westernmost département, Finistère (www.finisterebrittany.com) has a wind-whipped rocky beach and cove-strewn coastline dotted with lighthouses and beacons lashed by the waves. Wild and mysterious, Finistère is, for many travellers, the most enticing edge of an already enticing region.

The etymology of the name Finistère literally emerges from 'end of the earth' (the Latin Finis Terræ) – an extremely apt name for this domain, especially as one approaches the raw shore which is redolent of the west coast of Ireland. Swaths of this beautiful land are preserved in the Parc Naturel Régional d'Armorique (www.pnr-armorique.fr).

Finistère's southern extent, called Cornouaille, takes its name from early Celts who sailed from Cornwall and other parts of Britain to settle here, and today it is a centre of Breton language, customs and culture.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Finistère.