A top-notch start in Brest
Starting on 25 July, the Temps Fête festival will give you a taste of things to come at Brest 2020, the eighth edition of one of the largest gatherings of boats in Europe. There will be the latest-generation speed boats, naval training ships and classic yachts to name a few. All sorts of sails will parade along the dockside and in the bright harbour of Brest. Amateur sailors will join this flotilla, sailing closest to the port before leaving by the east channel and heading off to the town of Douarnenez.
A few days earlier, on 12 July, TV channels from around the world will descend on Brest. Cyclists in the Tour de France will set off from the Breton city on the sixth stage of the Big Loop as it is called. Before the official start of the race, find a spot in the commercial harbour and watch the parade that passes by ahead of the race. Cheer on these two-wheel champions as they race through the Cité du Ponant.
Discovering naval history and oceans
Climb up to the castle which sits atop the city's rocky spur. It is one of the few remains in Brest to be spared by history. Admire the view over the harbour from its ramparts before visiting the National Maritime Museum. Inside its walls, 17 centuries of maritime and military history unfold before you – fascinating! From there, follow the tree-lined promenade overlooking the commercial harbour as far as Cours Dajot. Off the coast in front of you are the superb Plougastel-Daoulas peninsula and Île Longue.
Then, dive into the thrilling world of Océanopolis with your kids. This ocean discovery park will help you understand the complexity of the underwater world. Visit the Brittany pavilion and marvel at the coast's biodiversity. Make sure you are there to watch the seals being fed – that is something you just cannot miss!
Musée nationale de la Marine
Château de Brest
Boulevard de la Marine
+33 (0)2 98 22 12 39
Port de Plaisance du Moulin Blanc
+33 (0)2 98 34 40 40
Tall ships and concerts in Douarnenez
Hop in your car and in just over an hour, crossing the Parc d'Armorique regional park, you will be in Douarnenez, one of Finistère's most charming coastal towns. There, the Temps Fête festival is held from 25 to 29 July, where sea lovers from far and wide come to celebrate splendid tall ships. Several hundred traditional boats line up along the port in all their glory in front of the town's former fish canneries. Admire these three-masted beauties as they bob alongside misainiers, the old fishing boats used around there. Races and boat manoeuvring competitions give every crew, proud of its vessel, the chance to show off the extent of its talents.
Once this fantastic flotilla sets sail, get ready to enjoy a magical atmosphere created by sailors and locals alike. In the evening, join in the good vibrations at the festival concerts where musicians from around the world and around the corner come together. This year's line-up sees Malian duo Amadou & Mariam, Sudanese diva Alsarah & The Nubatones and young French electro-pop sensation and local lad, Douchka. That nicely rounds off your stay not far from the city of Brest.
Temps Fête Festival
From 25 to 29 July 2018
29 Boulevard du Général de Gaulle
+33 (0)2 98 92 29 29