Brittany (Bretagne) is the westernmost region in France, a peninsula on the northwest coast that stretches out into the Atlantic. Home to destinations such as Rennes, which has a thriving student community; Brest, an off-the-beaten-path city; and the walled former island of Saint-Malo, Brittany is rich in history, naturally beautiful, and too often overlooked in favor of Paris and the French Riviera.
Home to untouched coastlines, gorgeous islands, and fishing villages galore, sleepy Brittany is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, and history buffs alike. Sample locally sourced oysters in Cancale, get to grips with French cuisine during an immersive chef-led cooking class, or enjoy local market tours.
Afterwards, take in the top sights and sounds on foot or by bike (electric or otherwise) during guided excursions throughout the region, from Rennes to Brest. Finally, get out on the water with boat tours, water sports activities, and island day trips.
- Brittany is ideal for travelers looking to escape the glitz of the Riviera and the hustle and bustle of the capital.
- Known for being linguistically and culturally distinct to other parts of France, Brittany is a great place to learn more about Breton life, history, and language.
- Exploring in the company of a local guide can help break down the language barrier and show you places you might otherwise have missed.
- Many of Brittany’s historic sites, from archaeological sites to centuries-old buildings, may not be easily accessible for those with strollers and wheelchair users.
Brittany is well-connected to the rest of France, as well as parts of the UK and Europe, by the Brest Bretagne Airport. The region is also just 5-hours from Paris by road and roughly an hour away from the nearby city of Nantes. While public transport options exist in the region, for ease and efficiency, getting around by car is your best bet.
Thanks to its location in northwest France, Brittany weathers cool winters and warm summers which are ideal for beach fans, water sports enthusiasts, and fair-weather walkers. July sees the arrival of the annual Festival de Cornouaille in Quimper, while the InterCeltic Festival takes place each August. Spring is also a pleasant time to visit this region for city exploration and more.
Aside from the better-known Rennes, Brest, and Saint-Malo, Brittany plays host to a wealth of small towns and villages worth an afternoon’s exploration. Colorful Quimper is home to one of the region’s finest Gothic buildings—the Saint-Corentin Cathedral—while Belle-Île-en-Mer is arguably the most beautiful of all Brittany’s islands. Meanwhile, foodies won’t want to miss coastal Cancale and its famed oysters.