A famous seaside resort on the Cornouaille coast in Finistère, Bénodet is known for its unique location at the mouth of the Odet River. In Breton, the name of the town means “head of the Odet”.
During the middle ages, Bénodet was a commercial outer port for Quimper used to transport grain, wine, canvas, wood, fish and other coasting materials towards Spain, Bordeaux, England and the Netherlands.
The boom in Bénodet began at the beginning of the 19th century. During the Second French Empire, a well-off crowd was drawn to Bénodet to enjoy the revelry of the holiday town. Villas, castles and manors were built along the banks of the Odet River and on the seafront. The first hotels opened: the Grand Hôtel, Hôtel de la Plage and Hôtel Ker Moor. The town built lanes and promenades and set up the beach huts on Trez Beach, creating the very first tourist facilities in southern Finistère.
An appetite for swimming in the sea and pleasure boating helped develop high-class tourism that supported the railway to Quimper. The town was transformed from a little farming and fishing village to Finistère’s top seaside resort.
Talented writers composed works here, including Emile Zola, André Suarez, Frédéric le Guyader and Guillaume Apollinaire. The light and emotion of Bénodet have been portrayed by numerous artists and painters, such as André Dauchez, Lucien Simon and Eugène Boudin.
Enjoy a visit to the seaside museum to learn a part of Bénodet’s history.
Are you curious for more? The story continues…