Located in the north-west region of France, easily accessed by ferry from the UK and other European ports, Brittany is a veritable treasure trove of picturesque beaches, endearing towns and rugged scenery. A beautiful, year-round destination, the region is popular with locals and tourists alike, however it still retains its charming laid-back atmosphere and peaceful, truly French feel.
The cosmopolitan university city of Rennes is the administrative capital of Brittany, a title which belies its rich history and photogenic half-timbered houses which line the streets around Place Ste-Anne. Be sure to visit on a Saturday, when the crowds come out of the woodwork to peruse one of France’s largest Saturday markets.
Among Brittany’s other popular cities are Brest, St Malo and Vannes, each of them charming in their own right, offering a blend of culture, history, scenic buildings and restaurants in abundance.
The landscapes of Brittany are diverse and beautiful, from the rocky coast of the north punctuated by pristine sandy coves, to the more level terrain of the south coast with its vast beaches. There is no end of characterful villages to explore, where quaint cafés sit alongside spectacular seafood restaurants serving up the day’s catch. Spend hours meandering through cobbled streets, browsing tasteful boutiques and exploring peaceful corners which seem to have been caught in time.
Numerous festivals and events take place throughout the year to celebrate Brittany’s strong Celtic heritage, including the Festival of Brittany which sees more than 300 events taking place across the region in May. The Festival Le Cornouaille in Quimper is another proud nod to the richness of Breton culture, with music, entertainment and traditional costume. Be sure to look up what’s on during your stay, as rarely a month goes by that fun and frivolity can’t be found somewhere in Brittany!