Sables-d'Or-les-Pins Travel Guide

  • Sables-d'Or-les-Pins
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Things to Do
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Things to Do
    by CatherineReichardt

Sables-d'Or-les-Pins Things to Do

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    by CatherineReichardt Updated Aug 19, 2012

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    When you're travelling along this section of the Bretagne coast, there's a surfeit of fortified structures and a strong sense that you're never far from the next castle.

    The castle of Fort la Latte is located east of Cap Fréhel. It is perched on a rocky offshore crag, joined to the mainland by a drawbridge, and provides a commanding vantage point along the Emerald Coast and the Bay of Fresnaye. The castle was first constructed in the 14th century - although its strategic significance is such that it is likely to have been settled much earlier - and underwent extensive expansion during the 17th century.

    Fort la Latte is almost a caricature of a perfect island castle and, understandably, this location is much favoured by movie crews. For English speakers, it was perhaps most notably the location for the diabolical 1958 historical potboiler, 'The Vikings', which starred Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

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    by CatherineReichardt Updated Aug 19, 2012

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    There are so many seabirds at Cap Fréhel that it's easy to overlook the fact that there might be other wildlife: that is, until your Small Son comes running to tell you that he's just touched a snake!

    Unbelievably, the snake was still there, half in and half out of its burrow. Fortunately it turned out to be a small, non-venemous grass snake - not that our son could have realised that, and he really should know better, living in a country that is home to some extremely poisonous snakes!

    The clifftop walk is rocky, so on sunny days in particular, keep your eye out for reptiles - lizards and, of course snakes - that are basking in the sun, as well as small rodents who may scurry between the boulders and the heathery vegetation.

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    by CatherineReichardt Updated Aug 19, 2012

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    Cap Fréhel boasts not one, but two, lighthouses constructed to guide shipping around this particularly treacherous rocky section of the Bretagne coast.

    The older - and smaller - of the two structures was desined by the respected military engineer Vauban for Louis XIV and was commissioned in 1702. Its odd shape is accounted for by its interesting design as effectively the lighthouse comprises two adjacent towers, the narrower of which contains the staircase, and the broader of which constitutes the living quarters.

    The taller lighthouse is 30m high (double the hight of its predecessor). It is in fact the third lighthouse to be built on this site, as the 18th century lighthouse was destroyed by the German occupying forces in 1944 and the old lighthouse had to be pressed back into service until the new lighthouse was completed in 1950.

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