9 reasons for visiting Brittany

Brittany is quite unlike other parts of France and was actually independent of France until the 1500s. Both in 2015 and 2016 we spent a wonder-full month there and plan to return in 2017. Why should you visit? Here are nine reasons for exploring this magical corner on the edge of Europe.

The sea – the crashing of waves, white sand, rocky inlets, estuaries are probably the first things one associates with Brittany.

POinte du Van

Pointe du Van

A feeling of age, and mystery, permeates the well-known sites at Carnac, but megaliths, standing stones, and barrows which are thousands of years old can be found all over Brittany.

Allee Couverte at Mougau Bihan

Allee Couverte at Mougau Bihan

There are interesting and beautiful gardens in which you can wander, and then linger in the café, such as the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne, the Thabor Gardens in Rennes, and the Exotic Gardens in Roscoff

Roscoff Exotic Garden

Roscoff Exotic Garden

Roscoff Exotic Garden

Roscoff Exotic Garden

The Art Galleries and Museums in Rennes, Quimper, and Landerneau are immaculate, well laid out, and treasure troves.

Georges de la Tour in Rennes

Georges de la Tour in Rennes

Chagall exhibition in Landerneau

Chagall exhibition in Landerneau

The Parish Enclosures, the Enclos Paroissiaux, are unique to Brittany and a fascinating reminder of the wealth of the region in the 16C and 17C, created by the trade in flax, canvas, and linen. There are the ‘great enclosures’ in the Élorn Valley (St Thégonnec, Guimiliau, Lampaul-Guimiliau, and so on), but there are also the hidden gems.

The Church of St Suliau, Sizun

The Church of St Suliau, Sizun

Lampaul Guimiliau

Lampaul Guimiliau

The Calvary at Plougastel Daoulas

The Calvary at Plougastel Daoulas

The soaring Cathedrals in Rennes, Quimper (St Corentin), and Dol de Bretagne (St Samson) are buildings which I have explored, on sites which date back 1500 years. But there are more cathedrals, originally founded as the original Bishoprics when Brittany was first evangelised by monks from Cornwall and Wales: St-BrieucSt Malo, St Patern, St Paul in Nantes, and St Tugdal in Treguier.

The Cathedral at Rennes

The Cathedral at Rennes

The Cathedral at Quimper

The Cathedral at Quimper

The Cathedral of St Samson, Dol de Bretagne

The Cathedral of St Samson, Dol de Bretagne

Historic towns like Dounarnenez, Locronan, Landerneau, and Rennes tempt you to wander and explore.

Rennes

Rennes

The Food. There are endless creperies and restaurants but the real joy is to explore the markets and cook at home!

And above all there is the countryside which is easily accessible – hills, valleys, hidden green lanes, and moorlands.

The Monts d'Arree above Le Releq

The Monts d’Arree above Le Releq

The estuary at Landevennec

The estuary at Landevennec

Further information
Wendy Mewes’ books on Brittany
France this way
Brittany Tourism