Gavin May report 2022
Ok, sometimes the guys in the dory take a line, but my boat was fully berthed with springs tied before Chief Navigator had a chance to step onto the pontoons! The facilities have been smartly upgraded, but it is still a rather odd communal affair.
Concarneau is a popular place -it must be as even the busker is here, and the Pl de Gaule square is now finished, and it is all rather more chic. The local Carrefour is also unusually poor. Plenty of bars and restaurants, clothes and boutiques to handle the tourists arriving by the coach load.
The fortified walled ramparts are free, and it’s fun to walk about the ramparts. The main street caters for the bussed-in tourists with the usual offerings, but there is one biscuit and chocolate shop you may not be able to avoid!
Not a bad market on Fridays, and a smaller one on Mondays, too.
If you need a full restock, the No 1 or 2 bus from outside the indoor market, or 150m away outside the Tourist Office, will take you up to a large L’Eclerc for E1.00 where if you avoid spending too much time looking at the lawnmowers, you can buy anything. The fishmongers counter had a guillotine for slicing whole tuna- I would think a single slice has at least a kg. The white fish fillets were being sold by the metre, as far as I could assess. In the past, I haven’t found the supermarkets will clean or fillet the fish, but they do here.
Fuel is no longer available at the marina.
The Glenans boats are now less of an issue. I understand that there are now fewer than at one time, and they have their own space and should use the breakwater meaning the visitor’s pontoon should be less tricky Thurs and Fri evenings when the Glenans school changes over its students.
For a stroll, take the little ferry across to the opposite side, E1.00 each way, at the end of the shopping street in the Citadel. Walk only as far as the modern curved building at the end of the creek, though. I know the other side of the creek is 100 metres away, and the beach seems not much further, but the houses seem to own the waterfront, and you will spend the next 20 to 30 mins walking through roads and round the back of houses. We gave up and turned around.
Quimper day trip.
About 45 mins by bus, E2.50 each way. The old city with a pedestrianised area of cobbled streets, stone and wood panelled houses, and seems famed for its crepes! Plenty of upmarket shops to stroll about before lunch, and there is a fine free and well-designed fern and grasses garden just up beyond the Tourist Office, through a doorway in the wall. There is a small covered market that seemed oddly empty unless we simply arrived at the wrong time. A pleasant time if you need a break from all that sea.
Yes, it is impressive that the marina is partly surrounded by the ramparts of the old city, and now works are completed you can take a walk around them all. Inside is a surprisingly small area and streets with classy tourist shops when you can spend small fortunes on artisan works be it stone, glass or chocolate. If you walk to the far end, there is a small ferry to take you across to the other side for euro 1 each way, and an easy stroll out towards the beach that you can see from the marina and probably the best view of those ramparts. You can take the long way around via the industrial fishing basins; no charm as it is very industrial but some seriously heavy fishing engineering works if that is of interest.
Given the size of the bus car parking spaces, I imagine this is a busy tourist spot in season, so be aware that your enjoyment may depend on how heaving the place is. The doubled roofed building insight is the small indoor market… fresh bread, even fresher fish and so on. Behind is a small square, yet another Place De Gaulle being expensively smartened up, with a supermarket and a fishmonger. An artisan baker is on the main drag, out beyond the indoor market for about 400 metres.
As the pilot guides advise, the Glenans sailing club boats occupy nearly all the visitors’ pontoons Thursday and Friday until they leave. This is a busy stopover, so I would not arrive late. With a possible lack of available berths you may not have a choice but be aware that if you are on the outer end of the pontoon, or worse, the breakwater, and unless you are a heavy sleeper you may find the fishing fleet’s pre-dawn departure rocks you awake and maybe not rock you back to sleep so easily. In fact, even in dead calm, there seems to be a lot of boat rocking!
Gavin May kindly provided the above report – 2021
This is a great, sheltered marina in a lovely setting. With the Ville Close old town overlooking the marina. A great place to visit – except in July and August.
We visited in late May 2017 and the marina was fairly quiet. They do not take reservations.
Pontoon D is for visitors and is the 2nd pontoon from the walled area to the North. D pontoon has more space between the pontoons to the South of it (between D and C) and so this is recommended for larger boats up to 12m. There is also a long breakwater pontoon which you can moor alongside.
2022 – we are informed that Concarneau no longer provides fuel at all
The marina office is good however the showers and toilets are only accessible through the office and so when the office is closed, you can only access a single toilet which has access from the outside and a single shower which needs a code. Take your own toilet paper in case it has run out. Not very convenient.
The marina showers require a card from reception. You take it to your shower room, swipe it over a unit by the door and select your cubicle number. Then press #. A number of people did not press # and ended up with a cold shower or streaking across the shower room to complete the process. Showers are good but tiny. Officially they close 30 mins before the marina office closes.
Concarneau has a walled area of the town and inside is a really nice street with lots of souvenir, clothes and food shops. Well worth a visit.
There is a Petite Train near the entrance to the walled town which gives a 35 mins tour. The times displayed on the board for the Petite Train were not accurate. The Tourist information office is past the entrance to the walled town by the old harbour.
We did not find the boulangerie. There is one in the “Halles” which is like an old market and is worth a visit. It opened at 8:30 in June 2017.
From late July to mid August the marina is full every day according to reports.
Europcar appear to have an office in Concarneau
VHF channel 9
Very quick response in excellent English
Restaurants – www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g187097-…