Brittany, northwest France, is a world away from busy days and crowded streets. Spectacular landscapes and preserved nature, fresh sea air and authentic living, miles of coastline and picturesque villages… Brittany ticks all the boxes.
Relax in Rennes a city of art, history and retail therapy
Brittany’s administrative capital is a city of contrasts. Narrow, cobbled streets in the medieval area run alongside wide tree-lined boulevards. Half-timbered buildings dating back to the 17th century merge successfully with modern glass fronted boutiques and up-market bars. Historic and avant-garde architecture blend, a timeless testimony to past and present.
Rennes Saturday morning market is the second largest weekly market in France and well worth a visit. French delicacies, crêpes, fresh bread, mouth-watering biscuits, cheeses, wine, and all manner of French delicacies will entice and tempt you. And, it’s the perfect place to take a break with a pot of steaming mussels and chips washed down with local cider.
Festivals are big news in Brittany. Over 1,000 are held each year. Every four years The International Maritime Festival takes place in Brest, and more than 1500 boats take part (2020 is the date for the next one) and a million visitors arrive to witness the amazing sights. The annual Les Transmusicales de Rennes, one of the best festivals in Europe, known for pushing musical boundaries, takes place in Rennes every December. Every bar, café and restaurant becomes a music venue where professional and amateur musicians merge their talents.
Whether its cultural, musical, sound and light, sporting or folklore, you’ll find a festival in Brittany that’s just right for you.
Own an island for a night
Brittany has an impressive number of islands – around 800 in total. Some of the loveliest islands are off the Pink Granite Coast, Cote d’Armor such as the Ile de Brehat with its elegant villas and subtropical feel. For something quite different, the Milliau Island fits the bill. At low tide you can walk out to this small island and when the evening tide comes in, day visitors return to the mainland, leaving you alone on Milliau. With the island all to yourself, you have the whole night ahead to explore every small corner of the islands 23 hectares of unspoilt nature, swim, or just relax in the tranquil setting.
Brest Terres Océanes
Home to the highest number of light houses in the world, impressively steep cliffs and spectacular tides – the ‘Brest Terres Océanes’ coastline is dramatic and thrilling. This is nature on a grand scale in a little known part of Brittany where you’ll truly feel like you’re off the beaten track. Stunning landscapes, water sports, festivals, and sea excursions, in authentic Brittany and it’s glorious. Find out more: www.brest-terres-oceanes.fr
Dive among shipwrecks
Brittany has 2,800km of coastline so it’s no surprise really to discover that its a great location for scuba divers to explore. There are some 3,500 shipwrecks off the coast, something for everyone from beginners to experts. Head to the Gulf of Morbihan to enjoy the seafloor show of fish, fauna and shipwrecks. The Glenan Islands, St Malo and Cote d’Armor all offer great diving and from July to October, you’ll find the waters of the Atlantic slightly warmer than the rest of the year.
Find details for what’s on in Brittany and loads to do at: brittanytourism.com