Cap Frehel – a place of many legends

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The Cap Frehel is one of the most visited sites in Brittany. Once you get there, you will quickly understand why. Just try to imagine the festival of colors: the grey, red and black high cliffs and pink sandstones overlooking the deep green water. This incredible site overlooking the Emerald Coast is classified and protected since 1967, and any construction is prohibited. Only two lighthouses are located here, making this place even more enchanting and romantic. The Cap Frehel is also a place of many legends. Apparently, Gargantua, the good-humored giant, haunted the cliffs in the Cap Frehel, and he left his mark here. He put his stick into the ground near the Fort de la Latte, and this is now the famous Gargantua’s Finger also known as his Needle.

Cap Frehel Lighthouse

At the top of the Cap Frehel are two historical lighthouses. One was built in 1950 and the other, no longer in use, was constructed in 1685 by the renowned architect and engineer Simon Garangeau who worked for Vauban, the legendary military engineer of Louis XIV, who fortified many strategic points around the French coast. On a clear night, it is even possible to see the beam of the lighthouse on the southwest tip of the British island Jersey, 30 miles away. On the eastern part of the Cap Fréhel, on a rock above the sea, is the imposing edifice of the castle - the Fort La Latte. Built in the 14th century and fortified in the 17th century, this magic and mythical site, a witness of a rich French past, is the place that you definitely need to visit.

Seabirds sanctuary

Don't forget to bring your binoculars to the Cap Frehel! This area is an important nesting site for about 700 pairs of native and migratory seabirds. A hazardous rocky path offers some fine views of the birds soaring around the cliffs. This place is home to a colony of guillemots, kittiwakes, auks and shags. Even a few pairs of ravens, beautiful birds with black plumage, a powerful beak and points on its wingtips, inhabit the little island near the Cap Frehel. These birds are extremely rare and therefore protected. To the south and southeast of the Cap Frehel extends more than 1000 acres of heathland where, depending on a season, many different plants and flowers could be found, making this place, a heaven for the botanists.

Practical information

The best way to explore the protected heathland of the Cap Frehel, a place of many legends, is by foot. You can access it via GR34, the old customs officers' path. Otherwise, if you are coming by car, you will find a paying car park about 400 m from the tip of the peninsula. The Fort la Latte is a private castle but open for visits all year round. You can see the famous Gargantua’s Finger, a 2,64 m high stone mounted in a granite like an obelisk, on the road leading to the Fort La Latte.

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