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Visit Pont-Aven and its treasures

Pont-Aven made its mark by becoming the "city of painters". With this recognition and fame, other artists settled there to develop the town centre but also the surrounding area, which is increasingly rich in discovery.

What to visit in Pont-Aven?

Did you know that Pont-Aven was competing in the election for "The French people's favourite village" in 2020? Well, this pretty town in the Pays Bigouden has everything to please visitors. Here's an overview.

The museum in the "City of Painters

Gauguin, Bernard, Sérusier or Filiger, ... these names are no doubt familiar to you. It was in the 1860s that the love affair between this pretty Breton town and painters began. For the record, in 1886 and then in 1888, Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard met at the Gloanec boarding house and subsequently created the Pont-Aven School, in which Paul Sérusier participated. This is how Pont-Aven became an emblem of art history.

Today, Pont-Aven is still a playground for painters whose colours are found on canvases, each as beautiful as the next. To discover and contemplate these works, come and visit the Museum of Pont-Aven (former School of Pont-Aven) where the evolution of this art is presented, and where many artists open their galleries to you.

pont aven museum

The narrow streets of this city of art and history

A well-known saying represents the town and its history: "Pont-Aven, town of renown, 14 mills, 15 houses". Indeed, due to its privileged location with the river Aven running through this aptly named town, Pont-Aven once had 14 working mills.

As you stroll through the narrow streets of Pont-Aven you will see secret footbridges, the Xavier Grall Walk. As you venture along, you will pass from one bank to the other along the wash houses while discovering the few remains of mills. These are part of the cultural and historical heritage of the commune. It is here that you will contemplate the pretty viewpoints with the mimosas, cherry trees and other flowery banks.

Stroll on the Aven

You will arrive at the marina of Pont-Aven, which used to be one of the most important harbours in Cornouaille. Nowadays, motorboats and sailing boats embellish the landscape. At low tide, you will see one of the rocks nicknamed "Gargantua's hoof", which will remind you of the shape of the shoe of this legendary giant.

The marina is also the starting point for excursions with the Vedettes Aven-Belon to enjoy a green setting between land and sea. In this way, you will follow the Aven River to discover the wooded banks where pretty thatched houses and sumptuous manors are to be found. You will pass by the port of Kerdruc and then Port Manec'h where the Aven and the Bélon flow into the Atlantic Ocean. You will walk along the beautiful beaches of fine white sand.

port of pont-aven
View of the town and the river Aven from the port

Walk in the Bois d'Amour

Following the banks of the Aven, take an enchanted walk where the scenery under the beech trees will transport you into a mysterious and vibrant world. The Bois d'Amour, this mythical place of Pont-Aven has seen many artists inspired by its colourful palette. It was here that Paul Sérusier's Talisman was painted, which later became one of the founding paintings of the Nabis movement.

Ideally located on the heights of Pont-Aven, the Bois d'Amour is also a must for tourists and Pont-Aven inhabitants to enjoy a natural and soothing setting in the middle of nature. You will discover the chapel of Trémalo, bordered by numerous paths for a moment of relaxation in the open air with friends or family.

Where to stay near Pont-Aven?

Are you planning a holiday in Southern Brittany and discovering this small Breton town? We suggest our campsite near Pont-Aven, located less than 30 minutes away by car.

We are ideally situated a few kilometres from one of the most beautiful villages in France, and very close to the port of Doëlan. You will not be disappointed by the swimming pool, our on-site leisure activities, and you will have time to contemplate the many landscapes that South Finistère offers. All in all, a great holiday in Brittany.

Pont-Aven in pictures

Here is a small glimpse of Pont-Aven, the "City of Painters".

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