Located in Finistère, Brittany, France. The Coast of the Legends or La Cotes Des Légendes offers sublime landscapes. It is an astonishing stretch of coast. Here, the sea meets the wild coast. Everything that lives there does it intensely: the landscapes, the people, the legends. It is an area with strong Breton character, isolated beaches and steeped in nautical history.The Coast of The Legends, is an unknown coastline in France, unspoilt by crowds and one of the last coastlines untouched by tourism, with wild landscapes as well as beaches with fine sand and translucent waters, it is just waiting to be discovered and it is home to TotalSUP writer Helen Trehoret, here she introduces this forgotten stretch of coastline.
I am a hybrid mix of nationalities, but I moved here 5 years ago, after spending a few years in Morbihan, South Brittany. I came to Guissény here on a day trip, fell in love with the area, and soon bought a house. The area is unique that is unspoilt and empty of crowds. It is the perfect playground for all types of paddling, including downwind, surfski, SUP foil, SUP race, SUP surf and OC. Due to the orientation of the land on any given day you can find the perfect conditions, shelter, wind, waves, what ever you want really.
This coast line has a strong link to sea. The SUP community in this immediate area is small in comparison to other areas, but it is growing thanks to our efforts in the area. Everyone has some sort of link to the sea, whether it is windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing or fishing. I would say 95 percent of the community is involved in the sea.
Further afield there are some strong paddlers, a good community is found in Brest with some strong paddlers including Amandine Chazot, not far from there is the home of Starboard paddler Benoit Carpentier. Nearby Dossen there are some good SUP racers, and SUP surfers too. The foiling scene is strong here too, with Greg Closier leading from the front.
I would say that in this area my company is the only SUP and Ocean Paddling specific centre – Barrachou Paddle. We focus on SUP, OC and Surfski paddling. There are a few surf schools in the area for those who want to catch some waves. The area is amazing for foil surfing/suping. This area is a favourite of local foiler Greg Closier. This is an emerging spot. We hope to develop the foiling angle in the future!
Since relocating to this coastline I have launched a SUP and Ocean Paddling Centre to develop the sport in the area. An off shoot of this has been the development of an ocean paddling club that will allow locals to be involved in SUP, surfski and OC paddling in the area. It really is the perfect playground to learn ocean paddling skills.
We have a few races around of us during the summer paddling season. There is a local circuit called the Swell addiction beach race, I really enjoy that circuit as it is local, and is right at my level. Then there are races in Brest which is about 40 minutes south.
Photo Credit: Loic Olivier
Again as part of the Swell addiction beach race circuit, and also The Brest Paddle Cup. At a regional level you can find a SUP race every weekend in the area. About 1 hour away there is the Kelt Ocean Race. Our goal is to develop a small race circuit here in Guissény, as it is particularly ideal for racing here, at all levels!
There are many excellent surf beaches and reefs all along this coastline. The nearest SUP surf spots, that are consistent for waves would be Penfoul in the south, and Dossen to the east. There are some smaller spots in between but it is just being there when the tides, winds and waves are all in line. This is an area to test your oceanographic skills to get the best conditions.
Photo Credit: Caroline Margheriti
Here in North Finistère we are blessed with multiple selection of spots to explore. The jewell in the crown is Lilia to the west of Guissény. This is a stunning paddle during the summer, and there are some great secret waves between the rocks. The paddle route is dominated by the famous Ile Vierge lighthouse, which is being transformed into tourist accommodation.
But the whole coastline is stunning. Meneham to the East is incredible with crystal clear seas, and rocks hidden everywhere, there you will paddle between rocks and will encounter playful seals. Further east is Brignogan Plage which is an enclosed harbour, excellent place to paddle when seeking shelter from the raging Atlantic waves.
If you are looking to do some race training or downwind sessions this coastline is your oyster. But it all depends on the wind and wave direction, sometimes we get some awesome waves coming into Guissény bay, when it works it is amazing.
We can aslo downwind on the Aber W’rach, the river that divides Plougerneau and Landeda. Again when it works it is amazing! A bit further a field is the Rade in Brest, a Downwinders delight called the Radliko! The orientation of the Rade means that you can basically DW it in almost every wind. The problem is catching a return lift!
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