Established around the fortified island of Ville Close, Concarneau overlooks the Baie de la Forêt on the south coast of Brittany. It was once an important shipbuilding hub, as well as a significant military and trade site. Today, Concarneau hosts the annual Festival of the Blue Nets (named in honour of the local fishing fleet), which celebrates Breton and pan-Celtic culture.
Things to do in Concarneau
Wander the fortified streets of the Ville Close, which was established on Concarneau’s rocky islet in the 13th century. Later remodelled by the 17th-century French engineer, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, it features narrow streets lined with boutiques and restaurants. The town’s ramparts can be accessed via the tower of the Maison du Patrimoine and offer sweeping views across the bay.
You can delve into Concarneau’s maritime history at the Musée de la Pêche, which boasts an impressive collection of vintage boats, model ships and everyday objects used by sailors. Workshops related to fishing and the marine world are regularly held here, as are storytelling events. Also not to miss is the Marinarium, which showcases the unique marine biology of the region.
A short drive from the centre of Concarneau is the Château de Keriolet, which was commissioned by Zénaïde Narichkine-Ioussoupov at the end of the 19th century. Designed by Joseph Bigot, it features elaborate Neo-Gothic architecture imbued with symbols of Breton history and tradition. The Château de Keriolet hosts temporary exhibitions and music events throughout the year.
Getting around Concarneau
Concarneau is a 25-minute drive from Quimper and 30 minutes from Quimper–Cornouaille Airport, which has regular flights to Paris. Trains connect to the Concarneau railway station and buses travel throughout the city. Concarneau’s Ville Close is best explored on foot.