In the Département Finistère, at the end of the world so to say, lies the Pointe du Raz, a stony cape forming the peak of Cape Sizun. The rugged cliff at the Atlantic ocean, once formed by the wind and the sea, marks the western tip of France. It has a unique, wild character and stands up to 80 meters out of the water. The promontory was ranked as a „Grand Site National" (significant site) and counts as one of the most remarkable 'Pointes' of the Breton Coast.
Between waves and rough cliffs, the Pointe du Raz offers a gorgeous panorama. Looking west over the emerald coloured sea, in a distance of eight kilometers, you can get a glimpse of the fisher's islandIle de Sein, as well as the lighthouse Ar Men behind it. Across the foaming spray, you can also see two uninhabited lighthouses, protruding on small islands off the coast: Phare de Tévennec and Phare de la Vieille. Standing at the very end of the plateau is the admirable statue of the Notre-Dame des Naufragés (the Mother of God of the castaways). By the way, you shouldn't miss the sunset at the Pointe du Raz. It is impressive to see the sun dissapearing behind the horizon.
Nature conservation at the Pointe du Raz
The headland is habitat to many sea birds, for instance the black-headed gull. Hobby-ornithologists will find here what their hearts desire. The area around the Pointe du Raz was officially protected in the year 1996 to preserve the living space of the birds. Because of the tourism boom (over one million people visit the Pointe du Raz every year), the nature was in danger of being destroyed. Measures to move the touristic facilities inland as well as the use of gas-powered shuttle busses are in place to help recreate the original vegetation.
Hiking at the promontory
At the information centre you can collect maps with indicated routes. Various footpaths (around 15 minutes) lead through the moor and along the steep coast up to the Pointe du Raz. If you want to do a longer tour, you can follow the GR34 (customs official trail) or the E5. The latter is a European long-distance trail and connects the cape with Venice in Italy, which is about 3.000 kilometers away. The cape is not only very attractive to hikers; also surfers love the cape: In the Baie des Trépassés and at the Enfer de Plogoff you can see them riding the waves.
The information centre at the cape
The information centre, which lies a little further inland, presents a movie about the restauration measures at the Pointe du Raz, as well as a number of exhibitions. Additionaly, there are restaurants, crepêries and shops with regional products, as well as sanitary facilities. From the information center, shuttle busses take you to the headland. If you prefer not to explore it on your own, you can also partake in a guided tour.
By the way: the postcard with the image of Pointe du Raz is the most-sold postcard in Brittany!