Tréguier marina is very friendly and agreeable, whether you are there just for a night and a good meal, or lingering a few days to get to know the town and the surrounding countryside.
Berthing at Tréguier
Tréguier marina is very friendly and agreeable, whether you are there just for a night and a good meal, or lingering a few days to get to know the town and the surrounding countryside. The facilities are comprehensive and the Maître de Port most helpful.
The tide in the river runs strongly through the marina pontoons, especially on the ebb, and you should always plan to approach or leave Tréguier marina within an hour of slack water. Once alongside, make sure you are well secured with double springs and plenty of fenders.
The visitors’ berths are at the end of the two downstream pontoons and are clearly marked. These outside berths are the easiest to approach and leave, although when they are full Mr Le Berre may direct you to a pontoon further in.
Most yachts can get up to Tréguier Marina at almost any state of tide, although towards low springs the last half mile is touch and go. If you wait downstream for the tide, aim to arrive at the marina just half-an-hour before high water. It’s feasible to come up or leave at night, providing you take it slowly, follow the buoyed channel carefully and watch out for the occasional sand barge.
Charges: visitors’ charges at Tréguier Marina are graded by length and include use of the showers. A 40ft (12.2m) boat will be charged FFr141 per night this season. The monthly price is FFr1,745 (the current exchange rate is about FFr9.50 per £1 sterling).
Anchorages in the river
Below Tréguier, you have to choose your spot with care. Always show a riding light at night.
Château de Kestellic: the most popular anchorage is a mile downstream from the marina. Anchor under the west shore in 6-7m.
Mouillage de Palamos: further downstream, you can anchor off the west side of the river up to a cable upstream or downstream from No 6 red buoy. Drying mud extends well out from the shore.
La Roche Jaune: you can still find room to anchor a little way downstream from Roche Jaune village, clear of the moorings, or you may find a vacant mooring. Use Admiralty 3672 to find the best spot.
Pen Paluc’h: just over half-a-mile downstream from Roche Jaune village, you can anchor off the west bank near the promontory of Pen Paluc’h, between No 1 green buoy and the green beacon marking Roc Don. Places to visit
Around Tréguier: up in town, you should find time to spend a couple of hours browsing round the cathedral, the chapter house and the cloisters. If you have a taste for small local museums, Ernest Renan’s house is worth a visit and provides some fascinating insights into the traditional culture of small-town Brittany.
Biking or hiking: if you carry bicycles on board or decide to hire, there is plenty to explore in the country lanes each side of the Tréguier River. On the west side, take the road through Plouguiel and follow the D8 north past Plougrescant towards Pointe du Château and Le Gouffre. A maze of fascinating tracks skirts the north end of the peninsula, giving glimpses of the estuary to the east and open sea to the north and west. Out on the coast at Le Gouffre you come across a miniature stone cottage built between two large rocks. This tiny retreat has become a famous and much photographed logo for North Brittany. The east side of the river is equally rewarding. Crossing Pont Canada, you can meander through Trédarzec hamlet and follow the D20 north towards Kerbors and Pleubian, diverting down narrow lanes to see the river from unusual vantage points.
By car to Guingamp: if you hire a car, it’s only about 15 miles south from Tréguier to the magnificent old walled town of Guingamp, which is the local centre for all aspects of the Breton culture. The street signs are in both French and Breton. You can visit La Basilique church, the splendid 15th-Century Château de Pierre II, and stroll around the ancient ramparts of the town. If you are in Guingamp for lunch or dinner, you must eat at Le Relais du Roy in the main square (42 Place du Centre, Tel: 02.96.43.76.62). Monsieur and Madame Mallegols will look after you extremely well.
Cycle hire: cycles L. Gégou, on the quay road (Tel: 02.96.92.31.22).
Local taxi: Tel: 02.96.92.23.95.
Car hire: at the Station Service Elf, just opposite the marina (Tel: 02.96.92.30.52).
La bonne nourriture: Choosing shellfish
Oysters: Brittany oysters appear on most menus and a dozen of these make a fine start to a meal. Huitres creuses have deep shells and plenty of flesh. Aficionados usually prefer oysters raw, with just a squeeze of lemon juice, but huitres gratinées are also delicious, grilled with bread crumbs and finely grated cheese. A good-quality Gros Plant du Pays Nantais white wine goes well with oysters.
Mussels: Brittany mussels are superb and usually appear on menus either as moules marinière (mussels in white wine) or moules au cidre (mussels in cider). I prefer moules au cidre, since a syrupy liquor of reduced cider complements the flavour of mussels perfectly. A Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine takes some beating with mussels, but a dry Breton cider is also excellent.
Langoustines: these large shellfish resemble miniature lobsters and are excellent, provided they are not overcooked. Even in otherwise first-class restaurants, langoustines are often boiled just a shade too long. I enjoy eating langoustines on board rather than in a restaurant: you can make sure they are dropped into boiling water for no more than 112 minutes. Then drain the water off rapidly and let them cool before serving with a rich mayonnaise.
Scallops (Coquilles St Jacques): scallops are most commonly served gratinée in a cream sauce with cheese or mushrooms, but the simpler the sauce the better. One of the best ways to serve scallops is in a warm salad. Chopped bacon (lardon) is browned in a few drops of oil and thus creates its own fat. Butter is added to the pan, the scallops are fried quickly in this mixture and then served on a bed of chopped salad leaves. A walnut oil dressing and small crunchy croutons finish the dish perfectly. A robust dry rosé wine such as Tavel is excellent with Coquilles St Jacques gratinée.
Lobster (homard): lobster is normally excellent in Brittany and usually better value than in England.
Crab: a good Brittany flat-back crab (tourteau) contains several different types and textures of meat and makes a substantial meal in its own right. Crabs in France are normally served in their shells and you pick out the meat yourself.
Restaurants in Tréguier
Tréguier has an excellent choice of restaurants, bars and bistros, so you will eat well almost anywhere in this charming market town. Just behind the marina is the Restaurant Les Trois Rivières in the Aigue Marine Hôtel, the most convenient but also one of the best choices in Tréguier (Tel: 02.96.92.97.00). The hotel looks slightly garish from the outside, but you will eat well and be looked after by Chantal and Jacques Chaumet. The cuisine is modern and imaginative, making good use of local seafood.
The Hôtel de l’Estuaire is also handy for the marina, just downstream on Place du Général de Gaulle. We’ve always dined well in the comfortable restaurant overlooking the river (Tel: 02.96.92.30.25). L’Estuaire is run by the Geffroy family and has a reliably traditional style.
Auberge du Trégor at 3 Rue St Yves is very pleasant (Tel: 02.96.92.32.34) follow Rue St Yves out of the cathedral square and it’s a little way along on the left. Le Trégor is run by Laurence Turpault. La Canotier is another good bet at 5 Rue Ernest Renan (Tel: 02.96.92.41.70).
For something light and tasty at lunchtime, try the Crêperie des Halles at 16 Rue Ernest Renan (Tel: 02.96.92.39.15). To reach Rue Renan from the marina, follow the quay road downstream from the Maison des Plaisanciers until you reach the Hôtel de l’Estuaire. Rue Ernest Renan leads inland just beyond the hotel and the convivial Café du Port an attractive route up to the town centre even if you are not looking for a bite to eat.