Brittany is an authentic travel destination in many ways. Nature has created remarkable landscapes. The unique Breton panorama also serves as a backdrop for charming towns with a rich history, as well as for thousand-year-old sites that are unique in the world. To capture the essence of Brittany, here are the places you must visit.
A land of festivals and gastronomy, Rennes also boasts a rich built heritage. The narrow half-timbered houses that have stood the test of time stand alongside more majestic buildings such as Saint-Pierre Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Opera House. Other curiosities dot the Rennes landscape, such as the Thabor gardens and its green mantle, as well as the Champs Libres, which houses a library and a museum under its contemporary architecture.
This city on the Emerald Coast has powerful ramparts facing the sea. A castle and fortifications complete the unique panorama of this Breton city. Saint-Malo also knows how to surprise lovers of outdoor walks with the Pointe au Grouin where the Ile aux oiseaux (Bird Island) is bathed or the Marais Blanc (White Marsh). The city is an unmissable cruise stop on the Bellot, a boat of the Ponant company. The best offers of the Ponant company also allow you to travel to the Mediterranean, the Nordic countries and the Caribbean.
A student town, Brest appeals for its festive atmosphere, but not only that. The Breton city offers interesting walks along its coastline dotted with ancient lighthouses. A tour through Brest also allows you to appreciate other interesting places such as the National Museum of the Navy housed in a castle and the Meneham site, which bears witness to the former life of the inhabitants of the Ponant city.
In Dinan, time seems to have stood still in the Middle Ages. Built on the banks of the Rance river, the town is revealed behind 3 km of walls inherited from medieval Dinan. Strolls through the historic centre take place along flower-filled lanes, lined with beautiful half-timbered houses and artists’ studios. But to really soak up the unique atmosphere of Dinan, you should visit the Fête des Remparts, which highlights Dinan’s medieval heritage.
Brittany is full of mysterious places like Carnac. The site is a must-see when visiting Morbihan with its impressive group of menhirs, among the largest in the world. Follow the alignments of megaliths, which are about 4 km long and date back almost 4,500 years BC. In some places, you will discover dolmens and tumuli. During the visit, learn how to lift a menhir before taking a gourmet break at the menhir biscuit factory.
In Brittany, legends rub shoulders with reality in everyday life, as evidenced by the Brocéliande forest. It is said that this Breton forest was the scene of several scenes from the Arthurian legend. During walks, follow in the footsteps of the fairy Vivian, Merlin the magician and the knights of the Round Table. These walks in the heart of nature cross legendary places such as the Barenton fountain, where Merlin is said to have met the fairy Vivian, or the giant’s tomb and the castle of Trécesson.
In Breton, Morbihan means “little sea”, a name that fits perfectly with the gulf, a unique site where the Atlantic Ocean juts out into the land. Here, the climate is much milder than in the rest of Brittany, allowing a generous nature to flourish. The gulf is therefore an ideal playground for walkers. The circuits reach megalithic monuments and can include interludes along the water on board sailing boats.
Belle-Île-en-Mer has not usurped its name. This Ponant island reveals a unique landscape that renowned painters have immortalised. Let yourself be seduced like Claude Monet by the jagged rocks of the Aiguilles de Port Coton. Go to the Pointe des Poulains and discover its fort where the actress Sarah Bernhardt lived for about thirty years. Walk along the coast and watch the aerial ballet of herring gulls and black-legged kittiwakes before marvelling at the ingenuity of the Vauban Citadel.