‘Further west than the west’, Ouessant is the westernmost island in Finistère. It’s also the island that has the most lighthouses, including Le Stiff, La Jument, Nividic, Kéréon and the Phare du Créac’h, which is home to the lighthouse and beacon museum.
It’s also a land of many legends, including the story of Lampaul Bay and the clash between Saint Guénolé and Saint Gildas, which led to the creation of the great rock (or grande roche) right in the middle of the two coastal points. It’s also the only island that is accessible by plane, and one of only two islands (the other being Batz) where you can get around by bike.
In the heart of Iroise Marine Park and Armoric Natural Park, there are plenty of activites for young and adults alike. A day on Ouessant is not enough to do them all but here are some of the sites you cannot miss.
Far less demanding than doing the Tour de France, the Tour d’Ouessant is a cycling circuit that only takes a day and will lead you to landscapes that will take your breath away, all around the island.
The 32 kilometres of paths will show you Ouessant’s wildlife, here in the heart of the Iroise Marine Park. Please be aware that cyclists cannot follow the coastal path, as it is reserved for pedestrians only!
And as it can be difficult to bring everything you might need, you’ll find bike-hire centres on Ouessant where the staff will be happy to help you find the bike to suit you.
The Famous Five
No fewer than five lighthouses surround Île d’Ouessant, and each one has very specific features.
Kéréon, watching over the Passage du Fromveur to the south-east of the island, is built on a miniature island called Men Tensel - Breton for ‘the vicious stone’ - in the middle of some impressive currents.
Le Stiff, built in 1695 by French architect Vauban, is the oldest of the five. Constructed on the highest point of the island, it rises 90 metres above the sea.
Next comes Jument has a range of 19 miles (or more than 30 kilometres).It is named after the rock it stands on (the "old mare", Ar Gazek-Koz).
On the far west, you find Nividic lighthouse. Recognisable thanks to its helicopter pad on top, it gave its name to a skin cream that is well-known in Brittany.
Finally, Le Créac’h is surely the most iconic lighthouse on the island, and is also home to the lighthouse museum, which you’ll find at its base. It is one of the most powerful lighthouses in the world.
Chez Niou style
Located at the heart of the island in a spot known as Niou Huella, the Écomusée du Niou ecomuseum celebrates Ouessant traditions and typical island constructions.
Opened in 1968 in a pair of traditional houses, this is one of the oldest ecomuseums in France.
A testament to Ouessant’s heritage.
Île d’Ouessant is a rich and fascinating ornithological reserve. Nearly 200 species have chosen to live on the island all year round.
If you are lucky enough to visit Ouessant during migration periods, you can see up to 400 different species! Whether you bring your camera or not, you’re not likely to forget such an impressive sight.
For true bird-lovers, the Ouessant Research Centre (Centre d’études du milieu ouessantin) can be found in Keridreux, near Le Créach lighthouse. Here you’ll find all the information you’ll need about the birds of the island.
Where everything begins and everything ends
Accommodation, shops, local produce, bike hire and more – everything is grouped together in the main village of Ouessant, a few kilometres from the airport.
The town itself will probably be your starting point for visiting the island, but do take the time to explore the streets, where you’ll find countless traces of history and plenty of typical Ouessant charm.
Ready to go?
Find out more about our ready-made breaks on the island of Ouessant.