Morlaix in Brittany is a medieval town famous for its 19th century viaduct, charming 16th century half-timber houses and the beautiful Bay of Morlaix.
During its wealthy heyday of the Middle Ages, Morlaix was the biggest port in Brittany and the town specialised in the production and trade of linen. In the old quarter of the town today you can walk the cobbled medieval streets with their overhanging timber-beamed houses looming over your path, their carved facades covered in a huge variety of different religious and secular sculptures.
The most impressive of these houses is the Duchess Anne's House. Built to a design that was unique to Renaissance Morlaix, the house is a fascinating example of the lantern house, where a covered courtyard shelters a monumental fireplace and an elaborately carved oak spiral staircase. The Maison à Pondalez is another medieval house also open to visit and is home to the town's history collections focused on daily life here. The Maison à Pondalez is part of the Musée de Morlaix along with Les Jacobins, a former convent which houses temporary exhibitions.
Those who love being more out of doors will enjoy spending time at the Bay of Morlaix where there are all kinds of things to see and do. Visit the imposing Château du Taureau that was built to keep out the English, take a boat trip out to the 7 tiny islets which are an ornithology reserve and home to 60,000 puffins and terns in the winter, or wander across to the charming Ile de Callot at low tide and enjoy the pretty coves and beaches scattered along its shore. There's also the mystical Cairn of Barnenez, Europe's oldest and largest megalithic mausoleum. Built in 4500BC, it is covered in a wealth of engraved symbols.
Morlaix itself has some great panoramic views from the tops of its hills and they are well worth the walk up to see them. Go shopping in the picturesque streets and discover all kinds of market stalls, little boutiques and other charming shops all under the shadow of the towering viaduct. The signature dish of the area, found in many of Morlaix's restaurants, is kig ha farz. A homely dish of several different meats such as ham hock, bacon, sausage and, occasionally, beef served with a buckwheat mixture, leeks, cabbage, carrot and a buttery sauce known as lipig, kig ha farz is the kind of rustic cuisine for which Brittany is renowned. Enjoy with a glass of local cidre.
Why visit Morlaix?
- The Viaduct
- Medieval architecture
- The Bay of Morlaix
- Breton cuisine
- Country: France
- Region: Brittany
- Department: Finistère
- Population: 15,500
- Coordinates: 48.577392, -3.828656
Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.