Nestling in a verdant valley and benefiting from an enchanting setting, Pont-Aven is a lovely place for a walk with its narrow streets, small bridges, washhouses and old windmills, some which have restored mill wheels. Beautiful granite houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, a house with a turret, and 20th-century villas contribute to its charm.
It was the light that attracted the painter Paul Gauguin in the 19th century. He founded the Pont-Aven School there in 1886, and was followed by Émile Bernard, Paul Sérusier, Maxime Maufra... They met up to paint at Lover's Wood (Le Bois d'Amour), beneath the Trémalo Chapel. A discovery trail "In the Footsteps of Paul Gauguin" makes reference to this period of pictorial effervescence surrounding the artist. Today, painting is still a major attraction in Pont-Aven, with many artists' studios and galleries, exhibition venues and a Fine Art Museum.
The food-loving town of Pont-Aven has another well-known speciality: the famous pure butter biscuits called galettes, made artisanally and found in many places around town.
The River Aven, which runs through the town, can provide a focal point for exploring the area. You can enjoy lovely walks along its flowery banks, a canoe-kayak or licence-free boat ride, or a guided tour aboard a vedette boat.
Holidaymakers gather at Port-Manec'h beach, a family-friendly beach decorated with white cabins, located at the mouth of the Aven and Bélon, 10 kilometres from Pont-Aven. Yachters meanwhile can take refuge in the well-sheltered harbour.