The Rhuys Peninsula, nestled in the Gulf of Morbihan, offers more than just coastal trails—it boasts inland walking paths as well. An excellent example is the route from Suscinio Castle to the Atlantic Coast, which takes you through a serene protected natural area. The highlights along this scenic trail encompass the grand Suscinio Castle, prime spots for birdwatching, panoramic views of the Atlantic coast, and a vibrant lagoon. During our two-week road trip through Brittany, we strolled along this route, and to our delight, we didn’t encounter any other tourists along the way.
Suscinio Castle (Château de Suscinio)
Suscinio Castle has stood proudly for approximately 800 years, showcasing its remarkable features such as curtain walls, a walkway, a drawbridge, and panoramic views of the surroundings. A testament to the lives of the Dukes of Brittany, this historical landmark is naturally shielded from the sea by a dune massif, salt marshes, and freshwater ponds, creating an ideal habitat for birdwatching in its well-preserved natural surroundings.
Castle visit begins at the Duke’s house. It includes intriguing spaces like the banquet room, private bedroom, and baths. The entire castle compound extends to include lodging and a hunting camp, offering a comprehensive glimpse into the rich history and lifestyle of the Dukes of Brittany.
As we set off on the trail following the castle, a well-maintained wooden walkway guides our way through the marshes. However, the wooden path comes to an end after a short distance, and we had to navigate over slippery stones, passing scattered trees and bushes, to reach the birdwatching platform.
The birdwatching platform, nestled in the bushes, is an open area concealed behind a tall wooden fence. Peering through the fence, we were greeted by a vast expanse of wetland. It being mid-October, we spotted some migratory birds gracefully soaring in the sky. Generally, birdwatchers frequent this site throughout the year, with opportunities to observe a variety of birds, including Avocet, Little Egret, Sacred Ibis, White Stork, Whooper Swan, and Black-necked Grebe.
Atlantic Coastal Views
Leaving the birdwatching platform behind, we continued along the trail, which transformed into a stony path after approximately 100 metres.
Marshes around us were high, and we could only see the narrow path ahead of us. This part of the trail requires fixed shoes since some places are slippery. When it rains, the stony track could be flooded. There is no need to worry about losing your way because the entire walking path from Suscinio Castle to the Atlantic Coast is well sign-posted in the Breton language and the French name of places.
Surrounded by towering marshes, we had limited view to the narrow path ahead. Sturdy footwear is a must for this section, as some areas can be slippery. In rainy weather, the stony track may get flooded. However, losing your way is not a concern, as the entire trail from Suscinio Castle to the Atlantic Coast is well signposted in Breton and French.
After a brief stretch, we emerged from the marshes next to a expansive lagoon, finding ourselves now treading on the dunes. It took us a little while longer before we reached the beachfront and beheld the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Feeling the might of the ocean, I couldn’t help but marvel at the wonders of nature. It truly was a heavenly walk.
Feeling the might of the ocean, I couldn’t help but marvel at the wonders of nature. It truly was a heavenly walk!
Continuing our stroll to the east, we passed a quiet picnic spot where an elderly couple was taking a break. We discovered that this area served as an excellent photo spot, capturing the distant view of Suscinio Castle behind the lagoon. We could venture as close as possible to the lagoon, its shallow waters separated from the ocean by the dunes. The colourful damp grass within the lagoon created dark red stripes, casting an idyllic scene.
Leaving the dunes behind, we followed the road Chem Lousaou. Another observation platform awaited, offering visitors a chance to photograph the lagoon and observe the birds in the vicinity..
Travel tip for the walking trail from Suscinio Castle to the Atlantic Coast
Parking is conveniently situated near Suscinio Castle or directly adjacent to the beach area.
Stretching over several kilometres, the beach offers a tranquil retreat. Accommodations like Douceur et tranquillité sur la Presqu’Île de Rhuys, along with a campground, line the coastal expanse.