Attractions in Brittany

Brittany is the largest French peninsula. It is bordered to the north by the English Channel and to the south by the Bay of Biscay.

Brittany is home to many megalithic monuments; the words menhir and dolmen come from the Breton language. The largest menhir alignments are the Carnac stones. Other major sites include the Barnenez cairn, the Locmariaquer megaliths, the Menhir de Champ-Dolent, the Mane Braz tumulus and the Gavrinis tomb. Monuments from the Roman period are rare, but include a large temple in Corseul and scarce ruins of villas and city walls in Rennes and Nantes.

Brittany has a large quantity of medieval buildings. They include numerous Romanesque and French Gothic churches, usually built in local sandstone and granit, castles and half-timbered houses visible in villages, towns and cities. Several Breton towns still have their medieval walls, such as Guérande, Concarneau, Saint-Malo, Vannes, Fougères and Dinan.

The most impressive castles of Brittany can be seen along the border with France, where stand the Château de Fougères, the Château de Vitré, the Château de Châteaubriant and the Château de Clisson.

Along the coast, Vauban and other French architects designed several citadels, such as in Le Palais and Port-Louis

Brittany is also known for its needlework, which can be seen on its numerous headdress models, and for its faience production, which started at the beginning of the 18th century. Quimper faience is known worldwide for its bowls and plates painted by hand, and other towns, such as Pornic, also maintain a similar tradition. The potteries usually feature naïve Breton characters in traditional clothing and daily scenes. The designs have a strong traditional Breton influence, but Orientalism and Art Deco have also been used.

Because of its distinct culture and beautiful landscapes, Brittany has inspired many French artists since the 19th century.

See also: Cities in Brittany

Saint-Malo is a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the English Channel. Saint-Malo during the Middle Ages was a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance River, controlling not only the estuary but the open sea beyond.

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Vitré is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany in north-western France. Vitré, a sub-prefecture until 1926, is the seat of a canton of around 17,000 inhabitants (2006). It lies on the edge of Brittany, near Normandy, Maine, and Anjou.

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Quimper is a commune and capital of the Finistère department in Brittany in north-western France.Quimper is the prefecture (capital) of the Finistère department.The name Quimper comes from the Breton kemper “confluent” because the city was built on the confluence of the Steir, Odet and Jet rivers.

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The tide mill of Birlot is a tide mill located on the island of Bréhat in Brittany. Its specificity lies in the supply of sea water of the mechanism. It does not work directly with the current tide which will activate the wheel , but nevertheless uses it to fill the pond which serves as a water reserve.

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The Abbey of Bon Repos is set in the heart of the beautiful countryside of central Brittany, alongside the Nantes Brest Canal. The name, when translated means ‘Good Rest’ and the legend says that after a tiring day hunting in the Quénécan Forest back in 1184, the founder of the abbey, Viscount Alain III de Rohan fell asleep in this spot.

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Belle-Île or Belle-Île-en-Mer (ar Gerveur in Modern Breton; Guedel in Old Breton) is a French island off the coast of Brittany in the département of Morbihan, and the largest of Brittany’s islands. It is 14 km from the Quiberon peninsula.

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Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department. Rennes is classified as a city of art and history.The Parlement de Bretagne is arguably the most famous 17th century building in Rennes.

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Experiences in Brittany

Own an island for a night

Own an island for a night On the Pink Granite Coast, when night falls, the Milliau Island could be yours.

Looking for an adventure just like Robinson Crusoe’s story? In Northern Brittany, you can walk to Milliau Island on foot at low tide. When the evening tide comes in, day visitors return to the mainland, leaving you alone on Milliau, with a fantastic feeling of freedom. With the island to yourself, you have the whole night ahead to explore every small corner of the islands 23 hectares of unspoilt nature, to swim, or just simply relax in this tranquil setting. And when the fun is over, you can retreat to your friendly gîte, an ancient 16th century farmhouse.

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Diving among shipwrecks

Brittany is famous for its natural and cultural heritage, but it also reveals as many treasures underwater to those who want to dive there. Fauna and Flora abound on the falls and nestle in the 3,500 shipwrecks that history has left in the depths of the sea, leaving Brittany with a unique underwater heritage. Depending on the tides and their depth of immersion, shipwrecks are reachable for beginners also. Under the watchful eyes of a diving expert, Breton wrecks are fantastic playgrounds for all the living species that found shelter in them: blue lobsters, spiders, congers, catsharks, cods or even Jon Dory fishes. Not forgetting those hiding behind anchors, propellers, engine rooms… or even in the middle of anemones or sea sponges decorating the walls…

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A Balcony facing the horizon

Air Nature Ballon organises balloon flights all year round, setting off from the Château de Bogard, for a beautiful journey with wonderful views over Brittany’s fields, forests and villages around Saint-Brieuc Bay. The trip departs from the picturesque grounds of the 18th-century Château de Bogard at Quessy, early in the morning or in late afternoon. Visitors are welcome to join in the preparations, inflate the balloon before being transported up, up and away for a onehour airborne trip, offering 360° views. Looking down from the basket, at 400, 500 or even 1,000 metres above the ground, you will be enchanted by the beautiful panorama unfolding below. The hot air balloon goes where the wind blows. With your head in the clouds, you’ll fly over rivers, châteaux and woodland. You’ll spectate the coastline of Saint-Brieuc Bay and the multi-coloured mosaic of the area around Moncontour. A grand geography lesson with a sweet scent of freedom…

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