Pointe de Pen Hir

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Brittany, France, Europe
229 ft / 70 m
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Pointe de Pen Hir
Created On: Jan 9, 2004
Last Edited On: Aug 28, 2005


One of the tallest cliffs on the Brittany coast. Take a trip to this old French province and check out some of the sea cliffs.
This is a prominent area of somewhat accessible sea stacks and sea cliffs on the Atlantic. A sea stack is a rock on or near the shore that presents a challenge to climbers. Well known examples are the Old Man of Hoy in the Orkney Isles, Percé Rock in the Gaspe and the Totem Pole in Tasmania. This area should be approached in good weather because the seas can run high. At a Pen Hir website I noticed a picture of a sign proclaiming this as a climbing area too and the same sign warned against throwing rocks or trundling boulders! Parts of Pen Hir are a bird preserve so some areas are probably off limits at certain times. The stacks are known as Tas de Pois (heaps of peas). In the language of Wales, Pen can mean summit or head and I think the meaning is the same here. For example the tallest cliff in Acadia park is called Great Head and Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons is the highest mountain in South Wales. Some one knowing things Celtic can elaborate on this.

Author: nartreb
Date: Dec 10, 2004 10:50 AM
"Old French province" isn't really correct - by the standards of French provinces, Brittany is one of the young ones.

Though within the Frankish empire in the time of Charlemagne, Brittany revolted in 845 and remained independent (as a kingdom at first, then the title changed to Duke) until after the death in 1488 of the last male Duke, Francois II. His daughter Anne married Charles VIII of France in 1491 (and then married Louis XII in 1499 after Charles died) and her daughter married Francois I of France. Brittany officially became a province of France by a 1532 treaty signed by the Breton Parliament.

I think this might go back a bit earlier. In 1457, Arthur Comte de Richemont(Earl of Richmond) became Arthur III Duke of Brittany probably through the backing of Charle VII whom he had helped.

Author: Claude Mauguier
Date: Dec 10, 2004 08:47 AM
Pen hir = long head, long promontory.

Pen = generally used for "extremity", "head", "end" of something.

Hir = adjective for "long" : Men-hir = long stone

Trez-hir = long beach, long stretch of sand.

Getting There

I will assume you are starting from Paris. Take the A-11(L'Oceane Route) out of the south side of Paris, starting a few miles west of Orly Airport. Drive southwest to Chartres, the cathedral town. Continue west from Chartres to Le Mans on the A-11. Take the A-81 until it ends west of Laval. Continue west to Rennes the seat of the former dukes of Brittany on the E-50. Continue westbound on the N-24 through Josselin reaching L'Orient. Continue westbound on the N-165, E-60 to Quimper the town known for china ware. From Quimper go north on the N-165, E-60 to Chateaulin and thence westbound again on the D 887 to Morgat. From Morgat take local road D 8 westbound to Camaret and Point de Pen Hir. The Mappy site says its about 620km from Paris and about 7 hours.

Red Tape

Parts of Penhir are a birding santuary so some restrictions as to the time and area of climbing are probably in force.

When To Climb

Probably spring and summer. The storms and surf can be severe.


Camping is had at Camaret sur Mer near the point Pen Hir.

Hotel Great Open Sea Campground


29570 Camaret on sea

Phone 33 (0)298 279 141-Faxes 33 (0)298 279 372

External Links

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Claude Mauguier - Dec 10, 2004 8:47 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Pen hir = long head, long promontory.

Pen = generally used for "extremity", "head", "end" of something.

Hir = adjective for "long" : Men-hir = long stone

Trez-hir = long beach, long stretch of sand.

Viewing: 1-1 of 1

Pointe de Pen Hir

4 Images 0 Climber's Log Entries 9 Comments 1 Additions & Corrections


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