The well known and then some of the less well known towns of Brittany!
Please browse our other pages as there are specific activities such as Sports, Leisure, Gardens to Visit and many of the holiday activities for children are suitable for adults without children. Look at the menu above.
Dinan is a walled town on the River Rance and retains a mass of its medieval features. The old town links to the port by the Rue Jeruzal which is a steep cobbled hill, surrounded by timbered buildings. It is possible to take boat rides up the River Rance from the Port and one can also hire small motor boats for a day out on the river. Every other year Dinan hosts the Fete de Remparts which is a Medieval Festival during which the town is turned over to street entertainers and the visitors and residents wear the costume of the time. Knights ride by on horses, musicians stroll the streets and medieval fayre is available at Dinan hostelries The Thursday market is very much a country market and here you can buy items such as bread and organic vegetables through to live pigs and chickens. Visit the Maison de la Rance to find out about the history and wildlife of the River Rance. There is also the Railway Musuem which is open from June to mid September in the afternoons. Taxis Dinannais 02 96 06 00 . Tourism Office 02 96 87 69 76.
La Fôret de la Broceliande. Not far from Dinan - heading towards Rennes you will find what is considered "Merlin's Forest" Following the harp festival in Dinan in July, there is a harp workshop there in August . This is a dream forest where locals believe the mythology of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table originated.
Venue for the British Film Festival, Dinard bas been a big attraction to the holidaying British in the last two centuries and is full of pretty villas of character and gothic charm. The beaches are magnificent and it is possible to walk around them on a landscaped walk way.
Travel to nearby St Malo is possible by Vedettes which cross the River Rance. There is a huge casino, parks for children, golf and go-carts as well as a vast choice of restaurants and bars.
The market takes place on Saturday mornings and in the summer also on Tuesday and Friday mornings and is less rural than the Thursday Dinan market but full of exciting finds for the addicted marketeer. Market Day Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning.
Taxi: 02 99 46 41 61 Tourism Office: 02 99 46 94 12
Dinard offers masses of entertainment and the four beaches have children's beach clubs, Kayaks, Windsurfing, Pedalos, Diving and Yachting. Hot Air Balloon flights are available from Emeraude Montgolfiers, and the Aero Club offer trial flights. There is horse riding, golf, mini golf, two go-kart tracks - Dinard Karting and Karting des Nelles. a Casino and the newest attraction is "Paintball" at La Roncière at Le Richardais Tel: 0663291765. This is open all week and takes up to 200 players. Boat trips are available including a trip up the Rance with commentary on a restaurant boat. There are coach companies offering tours and it is possible to take a helicopter ride over the coast to Mont St Michel - Helistar Helicopters Tel 0820200225.
It is possible to take a tour around the town of Dinard and there are three themes, A Visit of the town and La Pointe du Moulinet, a tour of the beautiful villas of Dinard and La Pointe de la Malouine and a walk along the Promenade Claire de la Lune gardens with explanation of the botany and its history Tel: 02 99 46 94 12
For the culture orientated - Dinard has 22 Art Galleries and there are numerous concerts and plays staged.
Home of the Corsairs, pirates who went out to sea gain booty, St Malo is full of the atmosphere of that time. Surrounded by rampart walls, it is possible to walk around the top of these and look out to sea and over the town. Summer time St. Malo is full of street artists, entertainers and the restaurants and bars nearly all have outside seating. If you come to Brittany by sea, you cannot but help to be entranced by the view of the town and its tall buildings and Cathedral spire. Visit the Musée d'Histoire de la Ville et de Pays Malouin (tel 02 99 40 71 51) and the Maison de Corsaire (Tel 02 99 56 09 49) Go to the Pointe de Groin ( a wild life area) for a superb view of Mont St. Michel. The Route de Rock takes place in August. Market Day Thursday and Friday mornings. Tourism Office: 02 99 56 64 48
Did you know that St Malo actually encompasses three towns - St Malo itself plus St Servan and Paramé?.
Charming St. Servan is close to the Gare de Naie - port where the larger boats arrive. In late June of each year (usually the last weekend) the town is alive with artists for "Solidor en Peinture" Grand Festival des Artistes Peintres. On the Saturday over 500 artists of all ages from "7 to 77" set up easil and paint in the streets. It does not matter how experienced the artist is and on the Sunday there is an exhibition of the work. Anyone can take part and there are prizes! See more at www.solidorenpeinture.com
Paramé has many shops and boutiques, is alive with colour and has a lovely beach, overlooked by the Caravelle Bar which serves late night cocktails in outrageously big glasses.
Close by there is actually an English Fish and Chip Shop which opens at lunch times and then in the evenings up until 10..00 p.m. (9.00 p.m. on Sundays). Closing day is Wednesday and also closed on Tuesday evenings. Ideal solution for food to eat whilst travelling and coming off the evening boat or to take home to your Gite or Maison Secondaire! Excellent fish and chips and an improvement on some English Fish and Chip shops!
The Less Well Known Towns
Auray - Market days first and third Mondays of the month. www. auray-tourisme.com Taxi: 02 97 56 31 25. Tourism Office 02 97 50 84 27
Bazouges - close to Rennes and Combourg. Many lovely walks - gardens - (see gardens). All sorts of exhibitions - sculpture, wrought iron. Charming little town. Tourism Office Tel: 02 99 97 40 94.
Becherel - The "Book Town" of Brittany is a little town which has a sleepy charm that is interrupted by a monthly Brocantes and Book Sale. Once a year they have a festival. Based on Hay on Wye in England, the town has book shop after book shop. Some serve coffee. There also art shops and various ateliers. Creperie selling crepes and gallettes and some local dishes and Cafe in town and restaurant serving traditional French food at Caroroc 3 minutes out of town. - also visit le parc de Caradeuc a lovely chateau and gardens not far away
Brocéliande - a magical forest south west of Rennes. Merlin's tomb is claimed to be here and this is considered a very mystical place. See Ploërmel for more information.
Cancale - Famous for its shell fish, Cancale is in a bay where oysters are farmed. Visit the many, many restuarants along the sea front and in the town. Parking is difficult in summer so get there early for lunch however some restaurants are more relaxed about eating hours. Market Day is Sunday. Oyster Museum, Sea Farm, Shell Exhibition, Taxis 02 99 89 87 20. Tourism Office 02 99 89 63 72
Carnac - http://www.carnac.info is an informative site about Carnac. Also www.carnac.fr. Market days are every Wednesday. Tourism Office 02 97 52 11 19. On the coast and offers golf, yachting, thalassa,. Visit the Musėe de la Prehistorie. 1st to 15th July Sculpture Geante de Sable. (Sand sculptures)
Combourg - Situated underneath a beautiful chateau, Combourg has lakeside restaurants and a special charm. You can visit the chateau which is furnished in period style. Beautiful gardens. The market takes place on Monday mornings.
Concarneau - Fourth largest fishing harbour in France and third city of Finistère, Les Ramparts have been classified historical monument in 1899. Visit: Musée de la Pêche (1,500m2) which shows the history and techniques of fishing of all countries through videos, aquariums, dioramas and models. In a two hour visit you will find out everything regarding fishing from the construction of ships to the conservation of fish. Open everyday all year round. Marinarium de Concarneau. You can observe the marine life and the species in the new aquariums. Open from February to December with possibility of guided tours with reservations. Chateau de Keriolet is on the highest part of the city. You can discover the destiny of a Russian Princess and see the architecture of the 19th century. Currently being restored. Open everyday from June to September, otherwise phone on 02 98 97 36 50 La Ville-close guided tour explaining the history of the fortifications with the visit of la Tour de Major (XV century). Panoramic visit of the city and the harbour from the ramparts. Le petit train is a tour of the city from April to September. Le Moulin mer, watermill was built in 1450
Corseul - has worked hard to promote its Roman roots. Not far from Corseul is the remains of the Roman Temple of Mars. Very impressive and makes one wonder about modern building methods. The town has renovated the walls of a Roman villa, added Cyprus trees and made this come alive to visitors. The villa walls (illustrated left) are in the centre of Corseul.
Cornouaille - an area of coast much favoured by artists both in the present and past. One of its most famous children was Gauguin. Its towns include Quimper and Pont-Aven. This is an understatement so to find out more go to www.gauguin-2203.com and www.pays-de-cornouialle.com
Dol de Bretagne - Dol - once capital of Brittany - retains many of its timbered buildings and has a magnificent Cathedral. The market takes place on Saturday mornings and stretches across the town. The Cathedral encourages lovers of music by arranging all sorts of musical soirees and entertainment during the summer. Street entertainers throughout July. Fete du Village Traditional and Old Crafts early July. Pardon de Saint Samson 27th July Cathėdraloscope is located in Dol and gives you a chance to learn all about cathedrals.
Mont Dol -- A village close to Dol de Bretagne. Was once an island in the sea but the locals perhaps did not want another Mont St Michel and reclaimed the surrounding fields from the sea. Very rocky and unusual and apparently folk lore says was the site for a big disagreement between the Devil and St. Michael and the Devil left his claw mark in one of the rocks. Do not go up the steep road to the top of the rock with a car with a slipping clutch! or any other problem!!
Domangnė - Short distance from Rennes heading towards Vitrė and Laval - Cider Museum.Tel 02 99 00 06 80. Very extensive history and information about cider making.
Erquy - beautiful coastal town equidistant between St. Malo and St. Brieuc. All manner of activities - sailing, swimming art, canoeing etc. The town is charming and very much a seaport and seaside resort.
Fourgères - impressive town which is dominated by the biggest castle in Europe. Extremely well situated for holidays and particularly attractive to walkers, garden lovers, art lovers and also shoppers! Full of beautiful fountains, statues and pretty squares. Click here to learn much more about Fougeres
Jugon des Lacs - Take a walk around the lake and then meander into the town to eat. Pretty and old. Quiet and tranquil. Jugon des Lacs is situated n the valley where the River Arguenon flows. Le Chateau de la Hunaudaye is close by where various "spectacles" are held in the summer. The Fộret de la Hunaudaye is also on the town doorsteps. La Ferme d'Antan is situated at nearby Plédélliac. This is a farm as it used to be years ago at the turn of the century. Watersports of all sorts offered at many locations.
Lancieux - beautiful beaches on this peninsula situated in a 988 acre bay looking out over Agot Island and Ebihens Island. Windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, swimming and kite flying as well as meeting place for the model aero club at the Lancieux beach of Le Briantais. A site of natural beauty, Le Briantais is guarded in order to ensure that the wildlife and fauna develop. Le Briantais is a place to visit for bird and nature lovers.
La Richardais - just a stone's throw from Dinard and on the Rance. The Chateau Montmarin is here and there is also at nearby Jouvente what was a "Jersey Pub" belonging to Randall Vautier and which is now a private hotel and bar and from where Hot Air Balloon Flights take place. Visit Museum and Garden of Sculpture which is open at weekends and on public holidays fin May, June, September and October from 3 to 7 p.m. and every day from 10.30 to 12 and 3 to 7 p.m. in July and August. ww.manoli.org.
Lorient - Further south west and very famous for its annual Celtic Festival. Visit the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes - a 2 hour visit Tel: 02 97 82 19 13. The Festival de Kerhery takes place in June and May. The Festival Interceltique de l'Orient is a celebration of Celtic folklore and heritage in Brittany, featuring 4,000 traditional musicians, singers, dancers and painters. Taxi: 02 97 21 29 29 or 02 97 83 28 28 Tourism Office 02 97 21 07 84 www.l'orient-tourisme.com or www.l'orient.com
La Galicy - further west and past Rennes - tiny village full of artists, sculptors, potters.
Le Minihic-sur-Rance Small village which is pretty and evocative of the days when sailors went off to Newfoundland leaving their families to farm the land. Two thirds of the town's property is protected under historic preservation laws.
Le Quiou - Chateau de Hac - this is a mediavel chateau built in the first half of the 15th century. Furnished with period furniture. Mediavel knot garden Close to Evran
Malansac - between Vannes and Redon - Parc de Préhistoire de Bretagne. Prehistoric parc full of dinosaurs, cave men in their natural environment. 5 lakes and 40m cliffs. Discover history with 30 different scenes. www.prehistoire.com
Monteneuf - A site of many standing stones between Vannes and Rennes - Southern Brittany. Over 11 acres you will find 400 monolinths. Outstanding in Europe this site has quarries which enable the visitor to understand how these stones were created and erected in the Neolithic age.
Paimpol - A fishing port with history behind it, Paimpol's fishing fleet sailed in to Iceland in the past century. Musee du Costume for costumes and Coifs, also visit the Musee de la Mer.
Perros Guirec - Charming but overtones of sophistication. Many beaches. Visit the Wax Museum and the ages old church with 17th century wooden altar piece. On the pink granite coast. However parents read this!! Perros Guirec has a "Station Kid" rating. The French equivalent of a Michelin Star for being a particularly child friendly resort. There are not many resorts in France with this accolade. Go to Activities for Children in Britanny to read more
Piriac sur Mer - South West Brittany resort. Its Breton name is Pen Kiriak" which means "Bad Place" in Breton. However bad place it is not and it has a StationKid award for being exceptionally child friendly and no gingerbread houses here by the way just a lovely place. Adults can enjoy the flowers in the summer and the beach which has a pavillon bleu des plages award for being a super, clean beach on which to swim. It acquired petite Cité de caractère in 2002 which means it is a pretty and historic small town.
Plancouet - Such a pretty place and where the Plancouet water comes from, as does the local Plancouet cheese. Plancouet market is on Saturday mornings which is very interesting for the weekend visitor. Plancouet water's history can be studied at the Musée de la Source.
Plerguer - Goat Farm is situated here. Numerous races of goat to look at plus many other animals. Plerguer is close to Dol de Bretagne.
Pleurtuit - fast being developed as a more interesting town that it has been, Plertuit is the site of the airport. Many hiking trails on the outskirts. Pleurtuit has a pretty church and hosts various "Brocante" (bric a brac) sales in the summer. the Airport organises Microlight flights and a chance to take aerial photographs.tel 06 07 88 95 08.
Pleudian - Another lovely little town. In Summer the town organises the Fete de Ble which is really worth a visit and you have the chance to watch Breton dancing, local craftspeople in action and look at a miniature Breton house. There is also the Musée "Passé Simple" which covers the years from 1900 to 1950 and is open all year round. The Musée du Cidre is not far from here if you head to Miniac Morvan.
Ploërmel - is a town and area on the edge of the Brocéliande, The town was founded in the 6th century and was the home of the Dukes of Brittany. There is an astrological clock there Close by is Campénéac which is associated with legends of the Round Table. Many other mystical and floral villages including Monterrein, Loyat, L'aupont, Gourbel and Montertelot. Le Lac au Duc is a place for water sports and sailing, The Nantes to Brest canal is not far away. There is le Chemin du Diable au Paradis des Hortensias a 7.6 km road edged by thousands of hydrangeas which borders the lake. www.ploermel.com
Ploubalay - next town on from the airport. Lovely stone work and offers the Fete de Poney and L'Ane in September when ponies, horses, donkeys, goats etc are sold. The events includes a market, roundabout and carriage rides. Loads of stalls selling Galette Saucise and plenty of agricultural atmosphere
Port St Père - Planète Sauvage is here. Visit Africa in France to be found south-west of Nantes. Enter by car or travel around by Safari Bus. All sorts of things interesting to children such as face painting. There is a Bush Village, Monkey Forest, Marine City, Reptiles etc. The animals are real! www.planetesauvage.com
Quiberon - on the Cote Sauvage, Quiberon was a fishing port and famous for its sardine catches. A very beautiful place. The ports are picturesque and evocative of the years when the landing and preparation of sardines was the livelihood of the town.
and in the Quiberon area is a pretty seaside resort called Kerhostin. www.vivre-a-kerhostin.net will take you there - "virtually".
Quintin in the Vallee de Perche just south-east of St Brieuc and an hour's driving from Rennes is a mediaeval city dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The town and surrounding area includes 13 monuments including two castles, Absolutely beautiful and picturesque areas.
Redon - This beautiful town was once "the Warehouse" of Rennes as it was where the barges arrived on canals to deposit their loads. Site mégalthique- in St Just, exceptional natural landscape where you can visit dolmens and megalithic buildings dated 5000 to 1500 B.C. Le Manoir de l’Automobile- in Lohéac has 400 collection cars exhibited from the beginning of the century to Ferraris including sports and prestigious cars from the 1970s. It covers 15000m2 and explains the history of cars.Musée de la Batellerie de l’Ouest- in Redon: A permanent exhibition that invites you to discover la batellerie which, thanks to the connection with the sea has made Redon wealthy. Constructions of canals. Daily lives of mariners are shown through photographs, documents and videos. La Maison de l’Abeille in La Roche-Bernard. Discover the life of bees, the work of beekeepers from the prehistory to today. You can watch honey being extracted during this time of year. You can also buy honey, chouchenn, pains d’épices, sweets gélée royale etc.
Roscoff - beautiful beaches. One of the main Brittany seaports. Visit the Ile de Baix in the Bay of Morlaix. The "Onion Johnies" set sail from here to sell Onions in England. Beautiful old granite buildings and a wealth of history.
St Briac sur Mer - close by the sea and Dinard and St Lunaire and on the estuary of the Fremur, St. Briac has a lively seafront area which sports interesting restaurants. Looks very pretty at nightime and has lots of little lanes to fascinate the visitor. Festival of Breton music is held here in September of each year. Very pretty and full of tiny streets, St Briac has been the inspiration of may artists including Renoir, Nozal, Rivière, Signac and Bertrand. www.saint-briac.com
St Cast le Guildo - Seven beaches!! There will be no grumbles from the youngsters who can trampoline etc. to their hearts delight. During summer evenings the town is lively and there are musicians in the restaurants, Quite sophisticated Station Balinaire. The area Saint Cast le Guildo is divided into two main parts; Le Guildo and Saint Cast. Point Passion Plage is a beach that is open all year round and offers a variety of sports and activities. Two other beaches are Grande Plage and Plage du Pen Guen.On arriving at Port de Le Guildo you will see the remains of the fortress of Gilles de Bretagne. Further down the east side of the river you can see the “sonorous stones” and discover the legend behind them, based on Gargantua. In the area surrounding the port you will find Notre Dame and the hamlets of Saint Jaguel, renowned for its huddled building. Sainte Brigitte is a 12th century chapel and a brilliant example of Breton architecture. The Isle and port of Saint Cast were once a fishing district and there are now numerous traditional houses surrounding Sainte Blanche chapel.Le Bourg (Town centre) is the administrative and religious centre of Saint Cast and the main house was built in a very traditional style of the late 19th century. Les Mielles (“Dunes” in Gallo) is a pedestrianized, touristic area that is very close to the beach. Activities are held here throughout the summer. La Garde stretches from chic villas to the point, where a mass is held every August 15th.
St Juvat - Known as the Flower Town. Quite tiny but very floral and has won many awards to such. Stop here on the way back from Becherel.
St Lunaire - Debusey was inspired to write "La Mer" when staying here. Beachy, a little sophisticated and when the sea pounds the shores on a windy day has the romantic overtones that inspired Debussy
St Suliac - a chocolate box village on a hill that slopes down to the River Rance, you should visit in order to be envious and wonder why you are not living there. The town organises a Fete with the them of St Suliac 100 years. The town is breath taking at the best of times but for this event when the houses are draped with fishing nets, corn dollies and flowers you will need your camera at the ready.
St Martin des Landelles - not far from Mont St Michel - l'Ange Michel is a recreational park where one can take part in a variety of sports including horse and pony riding, go-karting, tobaggoning, rodeo, bowling, billiards, quad bikes and trampoling. Enjoy the Bubble Pool, the Aqua park, bird and floral parks, www.ange-michel-loisirs.com
Taden - little hamlet just outside Dinan. Beautiful old Manor House. Every Friday in July and August an old market is held around this. Also visit 15th century Le Moulin du Prat at La Vicomté sur Rance a short distance away, which has just been restored.
Vannes - (Gwened) Market days Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Taxis 02 97 34 34 34 and 02 97 54 02 05 www.vannes-sud.com Tourism Office 02 97 47 24 34, There are many musuems in Vannes including The Musee des Beaux-Arts www.mairie-vannes.fr The Gulf of Morbihan provides a rich supply of oysters, fruits de mer and fresh fish.
More and more to come . . . . . . . !!