Brittany is one of the most touristic regions in France. Its geographical location and its culture are two assets that make it a very popular region for European tourists. Many travellers come to discover the Armorican peninsula from April to September. While this is the most colourful period for the region, it is well worth a visit all year round. Here are 5 good reasons to discover Brittany.
Brittany and its many-faceted coastline
Brittany is the region of France with the most extensive coastline. With almost 2800km of coastline, it represents about a third of the French coast. If this coast is extensive, it is above all magnificent and varied. From Mont Saint Michel, perhaps Norman, to the marshes of Guérande, the Breton coast has many faces. In the north-east, from Saint Malo to Cap Fréhel, passing through La Rance and Saint Jacut de la Mer and Saint Cast le Guildo, you will discover a coastline cut between land and sea. Beautiful coasts to visit by kayak. You can find a great kayaking guide here.
A little further west, the Pink Granite Coast will surprise visitors with its pink rocks, polished by the wind and the sea. After the Ile de Batz, a wilder coastline is presented, with its abers. Here you can feel the work of the storms on the landscape. The Breton point is the wildest and most legendary. Here you can feel the weight of the elements.
Once you reach Cornouaille, it is the Brittany of the rias that begins to offer more peace and quiet. The coast is more indented here. The sea blends in with the land wherever it can. Many rias offer magnificent walks. Walks that make you want to discover the islands opposite, such as Groix and Belle Île. The latter announces the arrival of the Bay of Quiberon, its megaliths and its history. This bay, protected from the swell by the almost island and the islands of Houat and Hoëdic is a haven of peace.
The Breton lands, lands of legend
It is impossible to talk about Brittany without mentioning the Celtic legends, the korrigans or King Arthur. Brittany has always had the most mysterious stories. The legend of King Arthur permeates the entire Broceliande forest. A walk in this forest will make you discover the places where Merlin the Enchanter left his traces. Perhaps you will hear the call of the fairy Morgana?
Towards the Monts d’Arrés, in a landscape where the wind prevents the trees from growing, there is no doubt that you will come across a korrigan, a little goblin, who has a tendency to play tricks on you.
But the legends are also all about wrecks, boats stranded on the coast and peasants pillaging the wrecks.
As soon as the first months of spring arrive, Brittany seems to wake up. Nature emerges from a long period of storms in the most beautiful way. The flowers open up, flooding the countryside, the coast and the gardens with a thousand colours. You will surely pass by a stone cottage where a blue, pink or fuchsia hydrangea is basking in the sun and a hollyhock is stretching towards the sky, awakening its brilliant colours.
Gorse bushes line the paths in a dazzling yellow. This wild plant is one of the symbols of Brittany. Many islands are famous for their gardens, some of them exotic. The favourable climate of the islands allows the flora to find a favourable environment.
A strong culture
Brittany is characterised by a strong culture. For a very long time, the region was an independent duchy. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, in Nantes, is one of the symbols of this dynasty. Like Savoy or Catalonia, Brittany has kept its culture and a very strong claim to it.
Many events allow you to immerse yourself in this culture. The best known is undoubtedly the Interceltic Festival of Lorient. This festival is the most important in France. It brings together all the Celtic regions of the world, such as Ireland, Scotland, Galicia and others. But Breton culture is also contemporary, as shown by its many music and artistic festivals throughout the year, such as the Transmusicales de Rennes for example.
Brittany’s geography allows for active holidays. Its geography and historical heritage allow for a variety of walks and bike rides. It is possible, for example, to cross Brittany by boat or bicycle along the Nantes-Brest Canal and the Blavet. The Tro Brez is a Catholic pilgrimage on foot which links the towns of the seven founding saints of Brittany.
Dans le même temps, la mer offre de nombreuses possibilités. Les fans de vents et de vagues pourront profiter de spots comme celui de La Torche, dans le Finistère pour faire du surf, ou à Quiberon, pour faire du Kit Surf.
Les passionnés de voile pourront régater à la Trinité Sur Mer ou apprendre à naviguer à l’école des Glénan. Enfin, pour les amoureux de l’art, les occasions ne manqueront pas de découvrir des peintres à Pont Aven, la ville de Gauguin. Les artistes et artisans d’arts sauront, eux, vous faire découvrir leurs ouvres à Josselin.