Hiking Crozon: Île des Capucins

Tuesday’s hike provided a vivid contrast: boredom and thrills! Our Sunday washout left us hanging just shy of the Île des Capucins so we headed back toward Roscanvel to pick up the hike where we had left off in the rain.

At first it seemed we weren’t going to reach the island today either. This time, however, it wasn’t weather but soldiers. As the island came into sight, people headed the other way told us the path was closed just ahead for military maneuvers and we saw soldiers with guns in the distance. They also said it should reopen in two hours, so we headed north toward Pointe des Espagnols.

It turns out there isn’t much to see between Île des Capucins and Pointe des Espagnols. There are a few nice views…

but mainly you are walking inland of a line of German WWII bunkers. If you enjoy this kind of view, punctuated by fenced-off entrances to bunkers, this hike is for you:

It’s really too bad they didn’t put the trail over a few meters, on top of the bunkers instead. Hence the boredom…

Eventually we turned back, having seen more soldiers at the Pointe de Cornouaille. Then we came out of some shrubbery and the military maneuver came into focus (as well as the reason why a helicopter and a coast guard vessel had been circling some kayakers out in the channel…):

Nothing like a submarine and its escorts to clear out a channel… well, I guess an aircraft carrier would be more impressive, but the French don’t keep theirs in Brest.

While we’re always up for submarine viewing, the Île des Capucins was the highlight of this hike. The submarine and soldiers departed, giving us access at last. And here’s where the thrills part of the trip comes in…

It’s a long, steep way down to the island.

M channeled his inner mountain goat and dashed on down. J doesn’t have an inner mountain goat, so it took her a whole lot longer.

Where’s J?

The views at the bottom definitely made it worthwhile (never mind the bragging rights).

Perhaps this is the rock that gives the island its name? If you squint enough it looks a little like a Capuchin monk’s hood, although it may look more like it in the picture at the top of the post.
Yes, we started waaaay up there

Of course, we still had to go back up. First stairs (some more decrepit than others)…

and then a choice – back up the rocks or the potentially slippery dirt trail…

We chose the dirt. M once again dashed right up, with J laboring behind… In the end our hike looked like this for elevation change:

It does look kind of like falling off a cliff, doesn’t it?

We do wonder, after all this, why the sign below was on our tame hike to the Aber yesterday instead of at the Île des Capucins?

Obviously they don’t have as many lawyers in France as they do in the US…

As we headed back to the car, the sun was just right for a final view of the coast:

Bonus shot of the Île des Morts (Island of the Dead) off Roscanvel, taken from the passenger seat of a moving car out the driver’s side window on the way home. Sometimes you’re just lucky!

4 thoughts on “Hiking Crozon: Île des Capucins

  1. Glad you are still finding new places to explore. Guess you will be packing up soon. Hope your next stop works out as well.


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