With lots of natural scenic splendour, this is a great place to get out and about, by boat, by bike or on foot.
The Tour de France set off from Brittany this year with four days of competition: Brest to Landerneau (Sat 26), Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne (Sun 27), Lorient to Pontivy (Mon 28) and Redon to Fougères (Tues 29). Were you inspired by the scenery? For amateur cyclists, Brittany offers 2,000 km of marked routes. Take your own bikes on the ferry or book an eight-day cycling adventure with www.abicyclette-voyages.com
ADVENTURES ON THE WATER
Combine yoga positions with stand-up paddle boarding on the Rance, or discover the unspoilt shores of the Armorica Regional Natural Park. Kayak through the waters of the Glénan archipelago or take a two-day sailing trip around the Bréhat archipelago with Christophe on board the Saint-Quay. Cruise with a Morbihan sailor via www.morbiembark.com; no experience necessary but over-14s only.
MYTHS, MAGIC AND MENHIRS
Take a guided walk in the Monts d’Arrée to hear stories of Breton fairies, known as korrigans; discover tales of mermaids and smugglers on the Pink Granite coast; and immerse yourself in Arthurian legend in the Brocéliande forest. Les Saint Bretons at Carnoët is Brittany’s answer to Easter Island with 150 huge granite statues; enjoy 360° views then explore the surrounding Landes de Locarn, a magical area of deep valleys, peat bogs and giant boulders.
ART AND HERITAGE
Take time out to explore urban buildings with a new future: www.ateliersdescapucins.fr/en (Brest); gwinzegal.com (Guingamp); rennes.theroof.fr (Rennes); dedale.lartprendlarue.org (Vannes); and legaragesaintnazaire.com (Saint-Nazaire). Breton textiles were world-famous from the 17th to 20th centuries; follow La Route du Lin through the industrial museums of Côtes-d’Armor. To discover L’Art dans les Chappelles, visit artchapelles.com.
Brittany is big on Fest-noz, the evocative term for an evening of traditional Breton music and dance that was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage in 2012. At the time of writing, the Festival Interceltique is scheduled to take place from August 6-15 in Lorient (www.festival-interceltique.bzh). Also in Morbihan, La Semaine du Golfe welcomes more than 1,000 traditional boats between May 10 and 16. In Côtes-d’Armor, the Fête des Ramparts takes place in Dinan (July 22-25), and in Ille-et-Vilaine, the Dinard Film Festival runs from Sept 29 to Oct 3.
PARKS AND GARDENS
Exotic plants brought to Brittany by maritime adventurers thrive in many Breton gardens. Explore the themed gardens of the Domaine de la Roche-Jagu near the river port of Pontrieux, and the geometrical planting at the Jardins de la Ballue at Bazouges-la-Pérouse. For inspiration for your garden-themed travels, visit the Association des Parcs et Jardins de Bretagne where there is a handy map showing you what to see.
From France Today magazine
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