The GR34 national hiking trailsThe GR34 national hiking trails
©The GR34 national hiking trails |Yannick Derennes
The GR national hiking trails

GR34 and GR38

Also known as the ‘Sentier des douaniers’ (The Trail for Customs Officers), the GR34 is a walking path that follows the coastline of Brittany for more than 2,000km. From Mont-Saint-Michel down to Saint-Nazaire, the landscapes change significantly. In this area, you can admire the views over Douarnenez Bay, the wild plants including the moorland with its heather, gorse and broom. The coastline is dotted with jagged cliffs and deep creeks, offering a natural spectacle unlike any other.

Leaving Douarnenez to the west you quickly understand why this is called ‘the wild coast’. It’s not exactly a simple stroll, as the narrow path can be pretty steep, edged by moors to one side and a cliff to the other. You pass between rocks, clamber up narrow slopes then almost immediately head back down again to sea level  – it certainly puts your muscles to the test!

Sometimes there are steps roughly cut into the rock to make walking easier. But all the effort is absolutely worth it, as you’re in the middle of a natural landscape that’s unspoilt and you can enjoy this breathtaking panoramic view of the bay. The only noise you hear is the movement of the sea below, the calls of cormorants, seagulls and other seabirds. Only occasionally, you’re reminded of civilisation by a house perched in the heather somewhere above the path, perhaps a fisherman sitting on a rock far below, or maybe another walker enjoying the view – other than that, you’d think you were all alone in the world!


The GR38 is a trail that crosses Finistère from west to east, taking you from the Iroise Sea to the Black Mountains. Following the GR38 takes you through undulating, green landscapes, and along the Nantes-Brest canal. Reaching Douarnenez, you can also then connect to the GR34 coastal path.

The two sections within Finistère are:

– Douarnenez to Châteauneuf-du-Faou
– Châteauneuf-du-Faou to Baud (in Morbihan)

Practical information

  • Handbooks for hikers are on sale at the Douarnenez Bay Tourist Office
  • Good hiking shoes are essential
  • Paths not recommended for little children and people with difficulties to walk.

Other hikes and walks