Brittany has more than 1700 miles of coastline, which makes it a top seaside destination in France. But this region has much more to offer. Medieval cities and picture postcard villages and a hugely diverse landscape both along the coast and in the glorious countryside. There are captivating castles galore, Celtic traditions and more than a dozen towns awarded “petite Cité de Caractère” status. Brittany has a distinctive and delicious cuisine – think succulent seafood, sparkling cider, delicious savoury and sweet an crêpes and much more.
This unique region is brimming with culture, rich in art and history. There are activities galore from golf courses to water sports and hiking the GR34, the famous trail which goes the entire length of Brittany’s coastline. Traffic-free cycle paths, island hopping, the birthplace of thalassotherapy with dozens of welcoming spas. Once you try it, you’ll definitely want to do go back for more.
Brittany is great for families, couples and groups. It’s easy to reach from the UK with several ferry ports along the Brittany and Normandy coast. Easy to drive to from Calais with great autoroutes. And there are trains to major Brittany cities from Paris. It’s a destination that offers something for every type of holiday and every taste.
Top attractions in Brittany
Brittany’s attractions are numerous. There are glorious beaches, seaside resorts, magical forests, stunning countryside, historic towns and the prettiest villages. When you visit Brittany you’ll indulge in some of the best food in France – particularly if you’re a seafood fan. It’s impossible to list all of the many things to see and do, but here are just a few favourites.
In places dramatic towering cliffs and rugged rock formations create some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in France. Elsewhere there are beautiful stretches of sandy beaches and hundreds of charming little sheltered bays and inlets, many of which form harbours for Brittany’s traditional fishing villages. From the fabulous Pink Granite coast, where huge rocks have been eroded into fantastic shapes, to the idyllic beaches of Morbihan, many of Brittany’s coastal areas are dedicated to the protection of nature.
Saint-Malo is one of the key ferry ports in Brittany but it’s worth a visit in its own right. Great beaches, a historic and charming town and some seriously good restaurants make this a magnet for British tourists and one of the most popular destinations in Brittany.
Quimper is the oldest city in Brittany. Originally settled during Roman times, Quimper is most famous for its pottery industry which began in the 17th century. It’s a lively city, fiercely proud of its Celtic heritage and Breton culture.
Locronan in the Finistère department is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France. Just a few miles from Quimper, its history goes back 2000 years. The well preserved houses and cobbled streets are a photographers dream.
Rochefort en Terre
Voted favourite village of the French in 2016 – it’s easy to see why everyone loves Rochefort-en-Terre in Morbihan. A medieval chateau, cobbled streets, beautiful half-timbered buildings and artisan shops and everywhere flowers, baskets, troughs, pots, window boxes, the town is filled with flowers!
Port de St Goustan, Auray
In December 1776, the quiet little port town St Goustan received an illustrious visitor. Benjamin Franklin landed here on his journey to meet King Louis XVI to seek assistance in the American War of Independence. Today the historic little town looks much as it did that day. Half-timbered houses, boats bobbing in the port, cobbled streets where little shops and quirky boutiques do a brisk business. Utterly enchanting.
Perfectly preserved, medieval Dinan, around 30km from Saint Malo looks like a fairy tale town come to life. It’s winding hills, cobbled alleys and ancient buildings are a magnet for tourists. Enjoy a boat ride, thriving café scene and fabulous weekly market as well as just strolling those oh so pretty streets. Read about Dinan here
Read more about Dinan
Pink Granite Coast
In the department of Côtes d’Armor, the coastline has a unique feature – the unusual and often monumental pink granite rock formations. This is unspoiled Brittany, tiny seaside towns, uncrowded roads, authentic and charming. Guide to Cotes d’Armor
Golfe de Morbihan
A “little sea” that’s almost landlocked and just perfect for a spot of island hopping – it’s said there’s an island for each day of the year in the Golfe de Morbihan. Boat rides, the nearby castle city of Vannes, picture perfect Auray, Carnac with its ancient menhirs – this area has so much to please holiday makers.