- The race 2011
- All about the race
The public enjoy the Festival des Vieilles© Service communication de la ville de Carhaix
• Stage town for the first time
• 8, 200 inhabitants
• Cantonal subdivision of Finistère (29)
Carhaix is perhaps best known for its Festival des Vieilles Charrues music festival – literally ’the Old Ploughs Festival’ – which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, running from the 14-17 July. Last year, what is France’s biggest music festival welcomed 240,000 people, but Carhaix also hosts a number of other events and festivals throughout the year, including the Festival of Amateur Theatre in May, the Bagadañs festival each 14th July (a meeting of bagadoù – pipe bands – and cercles celtiques, or Celtic clubs), the Paris-Brest-Paris cycling event in August and the Brittany Book Festival in October.
Situated right in the heart of Brittany, less than an hour’s drive away from the region’s major towns, Carhaix enjoys a strategic and somewhat special location between the Montagne Noires – the Black Mountains – and the Monts d’Arrée. Capital of the richly historic Poher municipality, Carhaix is one of western France’s oldest cities, built more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans.
Considered the economic powerhouse of central Brittany, Carhaix can offer businesses a strategic position. Drawing from a potential workforce of 110,000 inhabitants, the town boasts strong commercial nous, with 250 shops and services. Carhaix also has more than 190 clubs and societies.
In July, the commune usually vibrates to the rhythm of Les Vieilles Charrues, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2011. This is one of the most popular music festivals in France, with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, Joan Baez, Peter Gabriel, Manu Chao, etc. Next year Carhaix will also witness the arrival of the peloton of champions of the cycling planet. In recent years, Carhaix has been preparing for the event by hosting stages of the Kreiz Breizh Elite on several occasions. Mathieu Ladagnous in 2005, and Cyril Gautier in 2008, have already raised their arms there as a sign of victory.
The emblematic Fort La Latte at Cap Fréhel, and a listed monument© Phovoir
• Stage site for the first time
• The peninsula of Côtes-d’Armor (22)
Cap Fréhel, with its 400 hectares of wilderness, is home to one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in France. A heritage site, it is also the largest area of coastal moorland in Brittany. From the cliffs, the view extends all the way to the bay of Saint Brieuc, Bréhat, the Chausey islands, Saint Malo and Granville – a truly panoramic view that attracts a million visitors each year!
A paradise for sea birds – both migratory and non-migratory – Cap Fréhel is made up of a number of steep cliffs, inlets and fine sandy beaches, beaten by a merciless, but beautiful, emerald sea. There are also a number of monuments steeped in local history, such as the Fort La Latte – a mediaeval fortress built from pink sandstone – and the 33-metre-high Cap lighthouse, which can be seen from the old GR34 toll road, now the coastal path. Sports-wise, Cap Fréhel is perfect for outdoor pursuits: sailing, horse-riding, hiking, golf, fishing... But for those who are looking for something a little more relaxing, then they need look no further than the beach at Sables-d’Or-les-Pins!
Above all people go to Cap Fréhel for a breath of fresh air, but all five senses are invigorated by a visit there. Cap Fréhel has a stunning lighthouse that towers above its spectacular cliffs. Cap d‘Erquy and Cap Fréhel are part of the “Grand Site de France” Network (that includes exceptional, fragile, protected and listed cultural landscapes that are both renowned and emblematic). In terms of cycling, the site initially honoured women by hosting a stage of the Women’s Tour of Brittany there in 2005.
• Website of the Tourism Office
• Website of the Côtes d’ARMOR
• Website of the Tourism Committee of the Cotes d’Armor
• Website of the Tourism Office of Pays de Fréhel