La pointe de La Torche.
La Torche’s low summit is crowned by a prehistoric tomb with the finest of views, along the whole 40km of the bay on clear days. A Nazi blockhaus stands firmly in place below the tomb – fearing invasion here, the Germans fortified the spot. However, natural drama now dominates. Despite the rugged terrain, men have long been attracted to La Torche. Finds going from Neolithic times to the Dark Ages have been found around it.
Fragile beauty spot
New wooden fencing is helping sea plants stabilise the fragile dunes around La Torche. To the north, a line of ancient pebbles backs the long beach, but it is fragile, especially as people have been removing stones – now it’s being protected. Birds are attracted in large numbers to the marshlands behind this coast, as explained at La Maison de la Baie d’Audierne. The sandy soils around Tronoën prove excellent for growing flowers commercially; in season, daffodils, hyacinths or tulips vividly carpet swathes of land as if painted from above.
Dangerous tidal currents discourage swimmers around La Torche. However, walkers love the huge unbroken strand, while surfers congregate to ride the magnificent, long, ocean rollers. Windsurfing world championships have even been held here. Surf shops and crêperies have opened behind La Torche.
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