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Ile Tristan, Douarnenez

4.3
#5 of 16 in Things to do in Douarnenez
Tristan Island or the Île Tristan is located at the mouth of the Pouldavid Estuary off the French port of Douarnenez in south-western Brittany. It is only about 450 m long and 250 m wide but despite its small size, it has a rich history. It is closely associated with Breton legends and the lost island of Ys. In the Middle Ages a priory was built there and the island was inhabited through much of the 20th century. In the 19th century, it became famous as the site of the first canning factory for sardines fished in the Bay of Douarnenez, the beginning of the sardine industry which was important for this region.Now uninhabited, the island has become part of the national Parc naturel marin d'Iroise (Marine Park) established in 2007. It is accessible to tourists only once or twice a year, or by special arrangement with the local tourist office. At low tide, the island is connected to the mainland on the Douarnenez (or eastern) side of the estuary.HistoryTristan bears traces of civilization dating back to the Bronze Age. The written history of the island begins around 1118 when, according to a charter dated 1126, Robert de Locuvan, bishop of Cornouaille, donated the Island of St Tutuarn and the lands belonging to it to the Abbey of Marmoutier. As a result, a priory was built on the island. Douarnenez is Breton for the land of the island, as the priory that owned the site on which the town was later built. In the 14th century, the island became known as Tristan, after the Breton legend of Tristan and Iseult.
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Ile Tristan Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
68 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • charming little wild island after 3 minutes of crossing by boat a visit of 2 hours by a guide pationné who made us discover this little island a good time
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  • Great walk on the island. Everything is preserved the trees are beautiful, the fruit garden at the end of August is filled with fruity smells, in places you also have large reeds, flowering shrubs, beautiful views of the sea, in short a great moment of relaxation.
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Google
  • If you want to visit the Island you need to book a 2h guided tour which is in french only. The Island is beautiful though.
  • Very nice island accessible only on foot and only on some days. Picnic forbidden
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