BRITTANY – WHY GO?
Jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, Brittany's rugged coastline has that breezy, good-to-be-alive fresh-air tang. This is the place for uncrowded beaches, rocky islets and watersports. Inland, it's a story of sleepy towns, atmospheric stone villages and pretty fishing harbours. Blink, and you might even think you were in Cornwall.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Breton culture is very distinct from the rest of France with a rich heritage of Arthurian legends and local folk tales. Tune into the Celtic vibe here – the Breton language still thrives, and you'll see women in traditional lace headdresses at special events.
Discover France’s favourite city – with its cobbled streets and Gothic cathedral riverside Nantes recently topped a poll for the city where most French people would like to live. Although now technically part of the Loire region, Nantes has retained its original culture and charm to remain an honorary Breton.
Another Brittany charmer is the medieval town of Rochefort-en-Terre, with its banks of flowers and half-timbered facades. Trawl for antiques in the backstreets, and then climb to the top of the town to watch the sunset – calling into a little bar for a sundowner, of course.
‘Beautiful island’ is the ideal name for capturing the gorgeous scenery of Brittany’s largest island. In the summer enjoy the brilliant beaches and in winter look out for brave barnacle pickers scaling the cliffs to collect the delicacies to sell to Spain.
Côte de granite rose
Brittany’s northern coastline stretching from Bréhat to Trégastel is known as the pink granite coast because of the unusual and pretty coloured rock that has formed there. Erosion has created interesting shapes along the coast and the pink granite is only found in two other places in the world – Corsica and China.
MAKE A DATE
Les Loustiks de L'Akoustik is a fun Rochefort-en-Terre street festival with something for everyone.
Nantes’ 3km riverbank plays host to jazz and blues bands, traditional Nantaise boats and a regatta at Rendez-Vous de L'Endre.
Nantes celebrates its Celtic roots at Celtomania: expect a Breton take on the Ceildh. Anglo-Saxons are welcome of course...
Take a ferry from Audierne to the secluded island of Ile de Sein for a romantic meal away from the crowds.