Wild and dramatic, Brittany’s coastline is simply made for explorers. Easily accessible with Brittany Ferries, Brittany combines seaside adventures with visits to medieval villages and prehistoric sites. And don't forget to refuel with fabulous Breton crepes and seafood!
See Brittany’s photogenic towns and villages (Rochefort-en-Terre, Dinan, Vannes, Locronan, Saint-Malo) and vibrant cities such as capital Rennes and Brest. Visiting Brittany’s impressive chateaux; from Fougères to Josselin, they’ll have you stepping right into a medieval fairytale. Get out into nature in Brittany’s forests and national parks – and on the coast, get your eyes and camera at the ready for the stunning islands: you’ll be astounded by the wildlife, the walking trails and the colour of the water.
Hear the old Celtic language still spoken today, either on a storytelling tour or in a local café, where people often gather to listen to Breton stories. The language influences Brittany’s festivals too, such as the Le Cornouaille in July and Inter-Celtique in August, which celebrates Celtic music and dance. Breton music is highly distinctive, with the iconic biniou (bagpipes) and bombarde (oboe). And of course, it wouldn’t be Brittany without the rugged coastline, where you can listen to the crash of waves and the calls of seabirds.
Smell freshly-baked galettes at Biscuiterie Traou Mad in Pont-Aven, where these thick butter biscuits were invented in 1920. You’ll get the scent of the sea at La Belle-Iloise cannery in Quiberon, as you watch the canning process from a balcony. Wander through a local food market and your senses will be aroused with the perfume of herbs and spices and sizzling crêpes. Brittany’s home to numerous parks and gardens too – and out on the coast, the healing and invigorating sea air makes it France’s number-one destination for thalassotherapy.
Taste natural Breton cider at the Cidrerie de la Baie in Planguenoual, where you can learn the step-by-step cider-making process. Local oysters are delicious and widely farmed, eaten at their best between September and April with bread, salted butter and a spritz of lemon and red wine vinegar. Then there’s heavenly Kouign-amann, a traditional Breton treat made like a croissant, with a layer of local butter sealed into the sweet pastry dough. It’s baked slowly until it puffs up and the sugar caramelises. We challenge you to eat just one!
Touch the sea beneath your surfboard on one of Brittany’s many beaches, which offer numerous thrilling water sports – or relax with a pampering beauty treatment at a thalassotherapy spa. Quimper is the place for pottery: the HB Henriot factory offers amazing guided tours of its workshops, where everything is handmade. And in La Gacilly, the narrow streets are jam-packed with crafts of all types, from puppets to jewellery and woodwork to blown glass. Artisans hold ‘open houses’ at their workshop-boutiques where you can admire all these tactile delights.
Pack your car and sail direct with Brittany Ferries
The best way to explore Brittany is in the comfort of your own car. From Portsmouth you’ll cruise to St-Malo, just 45 minutes’ drive from the Mont St-Michel. For western or southern Brittany, choose the Plymouth to Roscoff route, offering great access for Brest, Quimper and Concarneau. If you’re coming from Ireland, Brittany Ferries now offers two sailings a week from Cork to Roscoff.