Extend the summer season and enjoy sea and surf on Brittany’s many beaches. Seek thrilling watersports or relax at a spa, then explore markets selling local arts and crafts. It’s all just a hop across the Channel with Brittany Ferries.
Sailing and surfing
Brittany’s focus on the sea means there are plenty of opportunities for watersports throughout the region – but with great waves, sailing and surfing are especially popular. Also sometimes known as fly-surfing, kite-surfing involves gliding on a small surfboard (a bit like a wakeboard) pulled by a kite. This sport was first devised in the 1960s but only became a reality in 1984 thanks to two brothers, Dominique and Bruno Legaignoux from Brittany, who were passionate fans of surfing. The arrival of freestyle and the radicalisation of surfing sports have led to the development of other disciplines, such as tow-in surfing (surfing giant waves towed by a motorboat). This technique is particularly popular in La Torche… but is for daredevils only!
Invigorating climate, salty breezes and a wonderful maritime landscape: these three assets have made Brittany a favourite destination for fans of health and beauty spas that specialise in thalassotherapy (seawater and other sea products). Indulge yourself at any of the 13 thalassotherapy centres – all part of the Thalasso Bretagne Group – that are dotted along the coast from Saint-Malo to La Baule. Each spa features its own special setting and treatments, including wonderful massages to promote total relaxation, and using seawater and marine extracts to work their magic.
Art and crafts
Quimper is the place for pottery: the HB Henriot factory offers amazing guided tours of its workshops, where everything is handmade. Established in 1690 and famous for its personalised lug bowls invented in the 1930s, the factory has been open to the public for around 100 years and is one of the most visited tourist sites in Brittany, with nearly 40,000 annual visitors! Here you can discover all the secrets of the potters’ trade, from design to freehand decoration of the finished product. Watch the creative process at work and choose your favourite items to take home.
The Morbihan village of La Gacilly is synonymous with the late Yves Rocher, who created and ran his cosmetics empire here – but it’s also renowned for its arts and crafts. The narrow streets are jam-packed with artists and craftspeople of all types, from puppet-makers to jewellery designers and wood-turners to glass-blowers. The craftspeople hold ‘open houses’ at their workshop-boutiques where you can admire all these tactile delights.
Finally, for three days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays), the Place des Halles in Dinard is transformed into an open-air top-of-the-range boutique, with cashmere sweaters, costume jewellery, perfumed candles and soap, decorative items, designer seconds, and more.
Get there with Brittany Ferries
The best way of exploring Brittany is in the comfort of your own car, packed with everything you need. With Brittany Ferries you can sail direct to Brittany from Portsmouth or Plymouth.
Plan your trip to Brittany with Brittany Ferries.