Close to the sea, see Carnac’s prehistoric standing stones. Or go east to the Gulf of Morbihan, an inland sea scattered with tiny islands offering spectacular scenery. Soft sandy beaches and calm waters, from Carnac to La Baule, await your pleasure, whilst inland Brittany’s lush interior reveals vivacious towns, peaceful hamlets, spectacular heathlands, ancient forests and imposing châteaux.
At a Glance
Just like Britain, but with a particularly mild climate, unforgettable sunsets, glorious beaches, picture-postcard villages and historic cities. A stone’s throw from the channel ports. So near and yet so deliciously far, what’s to stop you spending your holiday in Brittany?
It’s the shortest of hops to the longest of coastlines. If you’re into bucket and spades there’s mile after mile of sandy beaches, rockpools, lighthouses and sailing regattas in the summer. If you’re into ice buckets and white wine, there’s chic towns and peaceful hamlets where you can goggle at traditional Breton costumes and lace headdresses being worn from a seaside restaurant.
Brittany is the market garden of France. You won’t find better vegetables and fruit in season. The seafood is the best in France and compares with the finest in the world. The region is famous for its cider and muscadet and crêpes, as well as gateau Breton, a rich buttery cake found in every self-respecting boulangerie. For a thrilling filling try 'Kig ha Farz', a bag pudding with lamb stew.
Beg-Meil (Point of the Mill) has to be the perfect spot for a family holiday. Scented pines and twisting pathways lead to wonderful sandy beaches like Oiseaux and La Cale, nestling in rocky coves, and Sèmaphore and Grande Beach which are both reached from the dunes.
On the green landscape of Carnac sit thousands of ancient stones, arranged by the pre-Celtic Neolithic culture around 4500 BC. Central to their culture, the stones may have had some astrological significance. How they got there we don’t know, but it could have been rock & roll.
Just across the border with Normandy is one of the most famous sights in France – a magnificent Benedictine abbey dating back to the 8th century. Reached by a causeway, it is visited by 3½ million people each year, a good number of whom get stranded when the tide comes in.
If you think a unique centre that brings together just about everything that swims in the Polar, Tropical and Temperate oceans sounds fishy, you’d be right. But this stunning centre’s 50 different aquaria also contain sea lions, penguins and other hunters of the deep.
With its picturesque streets of medieval, half-timbered Breton buildings, the fortified city of Quimper is a wonderful place for simply strolling, though it is also home to the magnificent Cathedral of St Corentin and the unmissable Musée des Beaux Arts.