The Tour 2022 (H): Île de Sein

The fifth crime being solved by Commissaire Dupin leads him to the Île de Sein. At average only 1,5m above sea level, the entire island is quite exposed to wind, storms and sea-level rise. Christianisation came late, but then they took it seriously – hence, the highest point (11m) of the île is occupied by the church.

Approaching Île de Sein

Starting in Audierne (pretty nice and probably worth a visit itself), the boat passes by the Pointe du Raz. I am secretly a bit proud of my rock-climbing skills, when following the way over the languet with my eyes.

Passing by La Pointe du Raz – where I walked straight to the end of the rocks

The boat spits out a maximum of 145 tourists, leaving them alone from 10:30h until 16:00h. During daytime the island’s population is roughly doubled, then. Before noon, everything is quiet, especially with low tide.

Quai du Nord with idling fisher boats

The Northern quay, the few bars and restaurants and the boats – all deserted.

Wherever I look, all I see is “something-plus-sea”, all calm, almost void.

One of the elder Lighthouses

At noon, I settle down on my (reserved) table at “The Tatoon”, recommended by Dupin-detective stories. At 12:20h, all tables are taken. I have not seen so many people in one place since we left the boat this morning. After a glass of wine and a “Lieu Jaune” I must confess that the reputation (and pricing) of the restaurant has left the taste and quality slightly behind. However, I am full of new energy and stroll some more over the island’s surface.

Facets of Île de Sein

All around, there is beauty to be found. In flowers, in colours and even in stones.

Wild Stones
Calm Stones

Besides the restaurant, the only fix topic on today’s list is the beacon. The big one at the far end to the East. What a pity that it opens up for hundreds of steps and a small platform on top in high-season only.

… oder nichtsein…

As little as Île de Sein is in length or width, it offers enough tiny paths to cross it back and forth and diagonal and close to the sea and in between. Stumbling over a little chapel here, a nice bay there and without need for a map or a plan.

…next to the (closed) main lighthouse: chapel from the 1970ies

Meanwhile, the sun is powerful, the tide is high and I’m moving on. The island is absolutely charming and 5-6 hours are enough to enjoy most of its facets.

… the island really has some lighthouses…

When the boat brings us back to Audierne in the afternoon, I am relaxed, tired and full of island impressions. Lucky me that I have chosen a nice camping municipal behind a surfing bay in Camaret-sur-Mer.

Hector almost soaks in all those narrow roads that bring us to our destination, but when getting to a halt before the reception, they just close down for today. Good that I have a plan B = the big aire de camping cars for 100 (sic!) motorhomes.

The only thing of interest are the menhir stones on the field next to the aire.

What a pity that, compared to all other camper parkings I have seen, this one is a soulless stopgap. No service, no toilets and, lucky us, currently no barrier. Taking into consideration that I have not seen a charming part in Camaret so far, that the official campsite looked boring, that none of it is close to a surf beach – it is a quick decision: I will look for a better, a really nice campsite first thing in the morning.

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