Pointe Saint-Mathieu discovery walk

Plougonvelin Plougonvelin
  • Type Pedestrian
  • Distance 4 Km
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Walks
Pointe Saint-Mathieu
Chapel of Our Lady of Grace
Pointe Saint-Mathieu Abbey
The National Memorial to Sailors who died for France
Musée mémoires 39-45

About us

Put on your sneakers and let yourself be captivated by the magnificent panorama offered by Pointe Saint-Mathieu.

A place rich in history with a strong religious interest.

Along the way, you'll discover the Pointe Saint-Mathieu lighthouse, the old abbey, the abbey museum (which will tell you a lot about Saint Mathieu), the Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel, blockhouses, the Mémoires 39-45 museum and, above all, breathtaking scenery.

The circuit is a memorial trail featuring several granite blocks bearing the names of the boats and their crews that disappeared.

At the Iroise Bretagne Tourist Office, you'll find hard-copy hiking maps and topoguides published by the Fédération Française de Randonnée du Finistère.

At the bottom of the page, see all the activities and restaurants in the area.

Documents to download
Step 1/8:

This monument was erected in 1927 in memory of all state, merchant and fishing seamen who perished at sea. The stele, designed by René Quillivic, depicts a sailor's wife in mourning. Inside the cenotaph are portraits of lost sailors, including perhaps that of your grandfather... The path of remembrance that runs alongside the sea at the Rospects site is an invitation to meditate.

The National Memorial to Sailors who died for France

At Pointe Saint-Mathieu, the light-filled ruins bear witness to an intense religious life since ancient times. In the Middle Ages, the Abbey of Saint-Mathieu de Fine Terre was a monastery, a place of pilgrimage and a landmark for sailors, who would jump ship at the sight of its tower of fire. Today, it is a departure point for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and a site that can be visited day and night.
In front of you are the remains of an abbey church built from the 11th century onwards, then remodeled in the 14th and 16th centuries. Until the French Revolution, Benedictine monks prayed, worked and welcomed numerous pilgrims who came to venerate a relic of the apostle Saint-Mathieu.

Saint-Mathieu de Fine Terre Abbey

For almost a thousand years, every effort has been made to keep a fire burning at Pointe Saint-Mathieu. In the Middle Ages, long before a lighthouse was built on this rocky spur, the monks maintained a lantern at the top of the Abbey to guide sailors as they entered the Brest Narrows and the perilous Four Channel. Many innovations were needed to keep the lighthouse burning in all winds and tides!
The Saint-Mathieu lighthouse welcomes you all year round to its granite tower. At the top of its 163 steps (37 meters), you'll see the Pointe du Raz and the Ouessant rail, the Iroise Marine Nature Park, its maritime life and the islands of the Molène archipelago.

Saint-Mathieu Lighthouse

Located at the foot of the Abbey, the Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel is the former church of the hamlet of Saint-Mathieu. The pretty arched porch dates from the 14th century, while inside, polychrome 17th-century statues adorn the walls. The chapel is open to visitors every day!

Pointe Saint-Mathieu is the starting point of a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. This means you'll come across pilgrims embarking on a long journey!

Notre Dame de Grâce chapel

This large bunker, built 30 kilometers from Brest, housed the headquarters of the Graf Spee battery, the largest in Finistère and a key component of the Atlantic Wall. We hold our breath as we descend the steps to the German barracks. In this maze of narrow corridors, voices resound and our senses are stirred.

The 39-45 Memories Museum

A stopover is a must!
The blockhouse with the cap offers a splendid view, on a clear day, of the Rospects, Tas de Pois, Cap de la Chèvre and Pointe du Raz.

The blockhouse with the cap

Davied is a Breton word. It's used to haul up a load from the shore, generally wrecked seaweed, i.e. the seaweed that the sea pulls up and deposits on the shore.
This is a flat stone on which a notch is inserted to support the arm and its pulley.

The davieds are not very common, but they can still be found in the Pays d'Iroise.

/! Don't get too close to the edge of the cliff.

Les davieds des Rospects

In front of you, you'll see the Pierres Noires lighthouse and the Molène archipelago, which comprises 9 islands and numerous islets.

Tourist route D85
Getting there with Google Maps