Skip Navigation

Bretagne

Travel Guide Europe France Bretagne

edit

Introduction

Phare de Benodet

Phare de Benodet

© All Rights Reserved danedmunds

Bretagne (Brittany) is the far west region of France and borders Pays de la Loire to the east and a very small part of Basse-Normande to the northeast. The old Breton language is Celtic and in the same group as Welsh and Cornish. Its departments are Finistère, Côtes d'Armor, Ille et Vilaine and Morbihan.

Historical Brittany also includes Loire Atlantique with Nantes, former capital of Ducs de Bretagne. Since 1969, Loire Atlantique has been attached to Pays de la Loire administrative region.

Top

edit

Geography

Bretagne is a peninsula most of which is washed by the Atlantic and by The Channel. It has no high mountains and most visitors keep to the coast, although the charms of inland Huelgoat are increasingly being recognised.

Top

edit

Cities, towns and villages

Côtes d'Armor

  • Dinan - quaint town up river from Saint Malo.
  • Guingamp - inland town close to the northern coast
  • Lannion - a very nice city close to the Pink Granite Coast.
  • Perros-Guirec - a very atttractive little town on the 'Pink Granite Coast.
  • Saint-Brieuc - a nice coastal town with a beautiful bay and superb surroundings.

Finistère

  • Brest - city in the extreme west of Bretagne, rebuilt after World War II
  • Concarneau - lovely fortified harbour, crowded in summer
  • Douarnenez - harbour known for its fish canneries
  • Huelgoat - delightful inland village with fine woodland walks.
  • Le Guilvinec - fishing port - almost messy but enormously atmospheric with great food from the sea.
  • Locronan - very nice old time village
  • Morlaix - charmful city with a roman viaduct.
  • Quimper - beautiful Gothic and semi-timbered houses in cobbled lanes, and a cathedral as well
  • Roscoff - small but attractive port to the west side of the north coast.

Ille et Vilaine

  • Cancale - Harbour on Emerald coast, famous for oysters
  • Dol de Bretagne - a wonderful photogenic village with stone houses and oversized church.
  • Fougères - ancient city at the east border with an old fortress
  • Redon - small town located at the confluent of rivers Oust and Vilaine
  • Rennes - the capital, inland to the east.
  • Saint-Malo - walled and picturesque town on the north coast.
  • Vitré - still a very nice old city with a medieval castle

Morbihan

  • Auray - lovely town crossed by a small coastal river which opens into the Gulf of Morbihan
  • Lorient - economically dynamic city, also rebuilt after World War II
  • Quiberon - harbour ​​at the southern end of the peninsula of the same name
  • Vannes - beautiful ancient town

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Phare de Le Coq

Phare de Le Coq

© All Rights Reserved danedmunds

  • Carnac - a wealth of stone rows and other prehistoric remains.
  • Forest of Huelgoat - great walks including a rock chaos and an earthwork claiming to be a camp of King Arthur!
  • Quimper Cathedral
  • Nantes-Brest Canal

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Top

edit

Weather

The weather in Bretagne can be better compared to that of England than that of France. It has a typical maritime climate with relatively cool summers and mild wet winters. Temperatures during winter are mostly above zero, even at night. Summers are mostly around 20 °C or a little more. Inland is warmer though, and somewhat colder during winter.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

There are international airports in Rennes, Brest and St Malo with flights to and from the UK. There are national airports in Lorient and Quimper whose main destinations are Paris and Lyon (for Lorient).

By Train

There are two main railways, one north and one south of the peninsula, both connected to Rennes. From Rennes, there are regular links to Paris by TGV (about every 2 hours). The journey takes 2 hours. The northern branch goes through St Brieuc, Morlaix and onwards to Brest. The southern branch goes through Redon, Vannes, Lorient and Quimper. A map of the TER (regional railway) can be found here on the SNCF website.

By Car

There is an extensive road network, with main motorways and national roads connecting the peninsula to the rest of the country. Routes can be checked on the viamichelin.com website.
Note there is no toll on motorways in whole Brittany

By Boat

Lesconil Harbour

Lesconil Harbour

© All Rights Reserved danedmunds

Ireland

United Kingdom

Jersey and Guernsey

Top

edit

Eat

Pointe de Combrit

Pointe de Combrit

© All Rights Reserved danedmunds

Bretagne is known in France for several culinary specialties, mostly cakes and bakery, such as crêpes (pancakes), kouign amann (a famous cake, made with a lot of butter and sugar), far breton (a pastry with prunes) or palet breton (dry cake), but also other traditional dishes, such as Kig Ha Farz (meat dish cooked with vegetables and buckwheat semolina) or, of course, sea food.

Top

edit

Drink

You should take local cidre with crêpes.
Chouchen is a local variety of mead but not so widespread.

Top

Contributors

as well as davidx (8%), Alexarcheo (4%), FloSBT (3%), Peter (2%), Voyagepedia (1%)

Help contribute to this article to share the ad revenue.

Bretagne Travel Helpers

This is version 72. Last edited at 12:10 on Mar 31, 14 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License