Brittany may not be as sunny as Montpelier or as chic as Paris but it is bursting with enough old world charm to leave a warm fuzzy feeling in even the coldest of hearts. Situated in the far North West corner of France, it takes around 5 hours to drive there from Paris. There are local airports you can fly into to or you can even hop on a ferry from England. In the summer the beaches along the coast are a great place to relax and during autumn the countryside lanes come alive with colour. Here are our top five reasons to visit Brittany:
1. Storybook towns
Medieval towns with funny sounding names are in abundance in the region. Cobbled lanes and secret passages wind their way through historic old towns. Overhanging wooden houses lean into the streets below, bulging at the seams. Tiny coffee shops and boutiques selling tins of Breton biscuits frame the laneways. Terrace fronted restaurants are ideal places to sit and watch the world go by.
2. Amazing Architecture
Even the smallest of villages in Brittany has an impressive gothic church at its centre. The granite stone churches are adorned with gargoyles and detailed statues. Their spires can be seen dotting the landscape throughout the region. The most impressive of these is the Cathedral of Saint Corentin of Quimper, constructed between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. The handmade chocolate version in a local bakery is almost as famous.
The viaduct at Morlaix is an impressive piece of industrial era construction that sits proudly above the town. You can walk along it, under it, through it and around it. It will also photo bomb any picture you take in Morlaix.
3. Street Art
In recent years the town of Brest has become a hub of quirky street art. The town council invite famous artists to paint in prominent areas and run workshops for aspiring young street artists. Residents can apply to showcase their art in designated outdoor spaces and the town has been transformed from a blank canvas into a living breathing art exhibition.
4. Woodland Walks
The countryside of Brittany is full of rolling hills, rushing rivers and musty woodlands, making it ideal for hiking. Huelgoat is home to an ancient forest crammed with giant boulders just waiting to be explored.
Lac Du Drennec is a large reservoir surrounded by woodland. A relatively flat path leads around the lake, which can be walked around in under two hours. Tall trees, babbling brooks and bird life wait peacefully in the surrounding forest, just a stone’s throw away from the glassy waters of the lake.
5. Calorific Cuisine
The coastal location means any visitor to Brittany can sample an abundance of fresh local seafood. Traditional crêperies can be found on every high street, serving up thin pancakes filled with sweet and savoury delights. The smell of freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries fill your nostrils as you walk past quaint boulangeries. Delicate macarons and petit four are served with strong coffee at the many pâtisseries. Everything in Brittany is served smothered in the creamy butter the region is famous for. The traditional Breton butter cake Kouign-amann oozes with the stuff, one look at it is enough to raise your heart rate and your jeans size. The glorious regional food of Brittany is all washed down with traditional Breton cider. Luckily you can walk off the calories by exploring the charming towns and picturesque countryside in this amazing region of France.