"Doelan - a picture postcard harbour." Doëlan by ranger49

Doëlan Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 20 photos

A place to return to.

This picturesque, miniature harbour is located in a deep in-let, bordered by wooded hillsides and provides a safe have for the dozens of small fishing and pleasure craft that moor here.
Now a popular destination for holiday makers, some fishing and boat repairs still go on here and there is always something to see at the "port end".
Many charming houses and cottages are dotted around the quay and on the slopes looking out across the water. On the opposite bank to the port there is a wide slip-way for bigger boats and some larger buildings that include the neglected canning factory known as Capitaine Cook from the days when sardine fishing was a major industry around the coast of Finistere.The owner moved the business elsewhere and the future use of the land and buildings has been the subject of much controversy with strong local opposition to a developer's plan to build a residential holiday resort - open for only 8 months of the year.
The village seems to lack a focal point and certain amenities for the permanent resident population. It seemed to me that the space would be an ideal site for a muti-function community hall/small cinema/theatre/art gallery/museum of local interest and culture.
Such a facility would primarily benefit the local population on a year round basis but would also be attractive to visitors.

The light houses

Not one but two light houses were built here in 1846 to protect the sailors who used the waters in this uneven channel. A red and white one and a green and white one guarding the upstream and downstream passages.
Before 1846 many sailors were lost but by the time the lighthouse were built the heyday of Doelan as a major fishing and commercial port were already in decline as the sardines fell victim to the disease that affect the catch in all Breton harbours aand the railway advanced into southern Brittany.
With the opening of a station at nearby Quimperlé the transport of goods by sea soon switched to land and railways. Small scale fishing, Canning/ conserverie (until closure of the Cook factory in 1990s), and more recently tourism. provide the economic base of the village.

What will the future bring?

Doelan will, I think, remain popular for a long tome to come as an unspolit holiday destination. There ia plentiful supply of good quality self catering accommodation, B & Bs and camping facilities. The coastal path provides good walking and there are cycling tracks all around. Plus of course endless sailing opportunities and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

It might also become a TV star!
How come? you may ask.
The popular British TV series Doc Martin is filmed in the Cornish fishing village of Port Isaac Location
The French TV1 company have bought the rights to make a French version.
Two locations are currently being considered Doelan - and Collioure in Lanquedoc. Collioure
The latter is a great favourite of mine but personally I think Doelan would provide a better backdrop for the story.
And the publicity that would follow from a starring TV role could inject new blood (and money) into the community and protect it from the kind of unsustainable and environmentally ugly speculative development mentioned above.
UPDATE
Doelan got the contract and stars as "Port Garrec" in the French version of the "Doc"!
A third series went into production in May 2012.
It is fun - but although I am a Francophile I prefer our homegrown version.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZQl3MbH4g8
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  • Last visit to Doëlan: Oct 2009
  • Intro Updated Mar 12, 2014
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Reviews (9)

Comments (3)

  • Raimix's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Nice little page about cozy French location:) I liked the architecture of : Bar le Rive Gauche :) Greetings from Lithuania :)

  • Briony's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Looks like a magical place! Lovely Pictures.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Fresh fish and sailing shilps are wonderful Barbara! What an absolutely charming place. I so enjoyed the tour!

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