Morlaix – Finistere, Brittany
A beautiful harbour and marina entice yachts and boats into the town of Morlaix , all of which is overlooked by a giant viaduct.
Morlaix feels quite cosmopolitan, despite the fact that there are area’s of Morlaix and indeed Finistere as its department that are steeped in history.
You only need to visit the museum at Queen Anne’s house to get a feel of the style and antiquity of the area together with an admiration of the local arts and artefacts that link back to the 17th century. In addition Morlaix was once famous for its pirates.
The viaduct is partially constructed from the locally found pink granite and secures the rail link between Rennes and Brest. It took two and a half years to build, is 292 metres long, 62 metres high and it opened in for its first rail journey in December 1863.
Directly below the viaduct, is the Morlaix town centre where you can enjoy various styles of restaurant experiences. Indian and Chinese restaurants, brasseries, fast food, are all here, not to mention one or two niche restaurants on the edge of town.
Apart from the fishing and farming industry, the business sector of Morlaix is currently thriving with a bit of reliance on the tourism sector. In Morlaix there are plenty of hotels and chambres d’hôtes (guest houses) around, serving seasonal tourism and stop-over’s to and from the ferry port of Roscoff.
On the outskirts of Morlaix I stayed in a chambres d’hôte called La Barcarolle in the village of Locquenole in a beautiful spot overlooking the bay. It was efficiently run by a lovely lady called Sophie, who was bemoaning the fact that whilst her customers loved staying at the guest house, there was nothing to do with their leisure time locally, particularly in the evenings where the nearest eatery is a pizza van and the nearest pub or “Tabac” opened and closed when it felt like it. (normally about 8pm)
She also told me how hard it was to get good staff in the area, because many people are on benefit from the government which they lose if they work above a certain number of hours.
So she effectively did everything herself; the marketing, paperwork, room cleaning, breakfasts, bed making, before, I suspect, she collapsed into a corner exhausted at the end of the day. I do recommend La Barcarolle, the rooms were lovely and very clean. Good rates too.
Another good reason to stay over in Morlaix is its proximity to the N12 main route which links Brest most of the way to Rennes. From Morlaix town centre you should be on the N12 in around ten minutes