A holiday in Brittany promises to be a unique experience, with picturesque scenery and excellent food fulfilling every France lover’s dreams. Even sceptics will be won over by the coastal hiking trails, golf courses, luxury holiday apartments and the Breton way of life. We tell you the perfect spots and the best time to experience the peninsula in its full glory.
Brittany: holidays on the French coast
Germany’s neighbouring country has an incredible amount to offer. In addition to culinary experiences, fine wines and experiencing the French way of life, especially the beautiful regions all over France attract the masses. Because the country has a lot to offer, from the coast to the Alps, there is really everything you could wish for.
To make your trip to one of the most beautiful regions of France unforgettable, we will not only tell you which places you should not miss, but also how to get there and what you should definitely try while you are there.
Do you like Brittany, but want to explore more regions of France? Then take a look at our XXL travel guide to holidays in France! We’ll tell you what else our neighbouring country has to offer.
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Location in the north-west of France
The French peninsula is full of culture, as the Bretons are particularly proud of their country. The relationship between Brittany and France is similar to that between Spain and Catalonia. You know me, you live together, but you don’t really feel like you belong to the rest of the country. Nevertheless, French is spoken here, of course, and also otherwise Brittany is not so different from the rest of France.
- Area: 27,208 km²
- Population: 3,330,000
- Capital: Rennes
Best time for unforgettable trips to Brittany
At the very beginning, it should be mentioned that Brittany is by no means known for its maximum temperatures in France. Rather, you’ll find a mild, pleasant climate here, which rarely exceeds 30 degrees Celsius even in summer. The masses of tourists are attracted every year mainly by the impressive cliffs and friendly inhabitants. The region is especially popular for camping holidays in France.
Weather map for current temperatures
Maybe you’re thinking about going to one of the beautiful places on the French coast soon, or you’re already sitting in the car on the direct way to Brest, but you’ve completely forgotten to check the weather? No problem, we provide you with current temperatures and all other relevant information about the current wind and weather situation in Brittany.
Getting there: Travel time, stops and more
Before you even think about your accommodation, the very first question is: How do I get to Brittany? Of course, there are many different options, all of which will get you to Brest, Crozon or wherever else you want to go in the northwest of France. Of course, public transport is limited, especially in rural areas, but there are many other options to get you from A to B here.
By car: tranquil route through beautiful French small towns
Exploring Brittany by car is a particularly good option if you want to get around quickly and keep all your freedoms free while you’re there. However, the drive from Germany to Brittany is not quite short. From Saarbrücken, one drives straight over the A4 past Reims and Paris to Rennes, the capital of Brittany. But even if one is already at the German-French border and passed Saarbrücken in France, one still has at least 7 hours to drive to Rennes.
Here, a small stopover is a good idea, so you can not only see the northwest, but also explore the rest of France for a little moment. For example, the small town of Le Mans is located directly on the way to Brittany. This attracts with historical, French buildings that make this small town particularly contemplative. The city itself can be easily explored with the tram and the next day it goes on to Brittany.
By train: fast transport with a stopover in Paris
Also by TGV, the French high-speed train network, you are in Rennes within a very short time. Small catch: The train to Rennes does not depart in Paris from the same station at which the TGV arrives from Germany. But here, the possibility to get to know the streets of Paris more closely opens up. On the way from one station to the other, one passes the beautiful sandstone buildings of the capital, sees museums, shops and the way even leads past the famous Notre Dame. A piece of the French metropolis can be included in the trip here quite relaxed between two train connections.
The optimal route to the coast to Brest
Unfortunately, when you come to Rennes, you haven’t quite arrived at the most beautiful part of Brittany. While the capital of the region naturally attracts with cultural programs and a beautiful cityscape with a mix of modern and classical architecture, most people come to Brittany to take a closer look at the impressive coasts.
The largest coastal city in the Breton region is Brest. With just under 140,000 inhabitants and as a research and university location, it is still a very inviting city that also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine, but more on that later. Fortunately, from Rennes, the train as also the car brings one on a fast way to the most western city of France. Within 2 1/2 hours, one arrives relaxed at the coast.
Cultural diversity in the North-West of France: culinary and local experiences
The national pride of the Bretons is not only based on the special location as a peninsula, but also on the culinary specialties, the breathtaking nature and other attractions that you can only see in Brittany. What you should not miss at all, we tell you here.
Typical dishes: lobster, oysters, cider
The rest of France drinks wine, in Brittany they drink cider, a kind of apple wine, and in the most different versions. On the one hand, of course, the gently tart classic, but especially for variants with honey and currant liqueur, the coastal region is known. Every apple fan is well served here.
The favorable location directly on the sea promises excellent seafood and fish. Especially lobster and oysters, which are already considered a delicacy, are available here in particularly good quality. Friends of luxurious dishes will get their money’s worth here, but also a little more down-to-earth you can get the national specialties, for example in the form of mules frites, so scallops with fries, which are often served with mayonnaise and are available even in the most elegant restaurants.
Finally, the absolute insider tip. No one should leave Brittany without trying this dish at least once. France is known worldwide as the home of crêpes, but the Bretons have their very own version of the specialty. Made from buckwheat flour, the batter is darker than standard crêpes and the thin pancakes also differ in name, as the Bretons love their savoury filled galettes. Especially with fish and horseradish, but also other exquisite combinations. All in all, Brittany is definitely the place to be for gourmets.
- Mules frites
Activities and Sightseeing: Sailing trips, flowering garden and idyllic hiking.
Whether it’s hiking on the cliffs of Brittany or relaxing on the beach, the region of France offers many relaxing and time-consuming activities. In addition to the most beautiful areas you must visit, we tell you what else you can do in Brittany to make your holiday unforgettable.
Activity number one when it comes to fun and action is sailing. The geographical position of the region makes it predestined for everything that falls into the area of boats. People especially often come here to skipper and get their sailing license in idyllic surroundings. All along the coast you will find sailing schools and boat rentals that will let you live out your exciting hobby. For those who like it a bit more luxurious, you can rent a private yacht here to pamper yourself.
All over the world, France is known for its colorful flower fields, which were used in the past and still today for perfume production. But also castles and fortresses from the Middle Ages had their own gardens, so that a committee was formed in France, which fulfills the task of preserving exactly these. La Domaine du Montmarin is particularly recommended. From May to August the gardens are in full bloom, but beware: the beautiful fields are unfortunately not allergy friendly.
Also a must-visit spot is the pink granite coast along the Atlantic border of the region that offers simply indescribable beaches of sand and gravel. Here you want to enjoy the sunset with a glass of Kir Breton. There are also lighthouses at regular intervals, called phare in French, which promise particularly beautiful holiday photos.
The small bay of Mont-Saint-Michel is not to be missed. Above the beach, the historical city walls of the castle tower up and offer a unique view over the Atlantic. But Mont-Saint-Michel is not any more an insider tip for a long time, that is why one unfortunately cannot stroll quietly and undisturbed through the little town. Nevertheless, a trip here is worth it all the time!
- Domaine du Montmarin
- Pink granite coast
- Mont Saint Michel
The most beautiful areas of the Breton coast
Of course, the entire coast of France attracts and as a peninsula, Brittany simply has a lot to offer, but there are clear favorites among travelers. We don’t want to keep the most beautiful regions of Brittany from you and reveal them to you here.
Experience the coasts and cities up close – Video
To get you in the mood, as a little amuse-gueule or appetizer for your time in the northwest of France, we’ve picked out a beautiful overview of cities, beaches, coastline and more for you, which gives you a little taste of what to expect in Brittany:
Côtes – d’Armor: sea, beaches, cliffs
At first, the name Côtes – d’Armor may cause confusion, because Armor is damn close to the French word for love ‘Armour’. However, the regions has hardly anything to do with that, at least from the name. Ar Mor is Breton for ‘situated by the sea’ and describes pretty well the geographical circumstances in which the region is located. The area in the northwest of France is especially popular with campers, but also offers everyone who likes to enjoy the mild coastal breeze around the nose, the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful holiday here.
The area is also home to popular destinations for tourists from all over the world, but you can also find peace and quiet away from the big cities. Each coastal village has its own character with small restaurants and quiet beaches where you can feel the beach between your toes and the water lapping your ankles. The smell of the sea and the gentle sound of the waves add to the tranquil setting. The following cities offer you the opportunity to experience the diversity of the Côtes d’Armor first hand. If you are looking for a villa or a similarly luxurious holiday home, you have come to the right place
- Saint Brieuc
Finistére: Luxurious beachfront condos
By far the most sought-after holiday accommodation can be found in the department of Finistére. This area attracts with the whitest beaches and a deep blue ocean. Coupled with the Breton charm, few can say no. The French are also never too shy for a round of golf. Good thing Finistére is home to one of Brittany’s most popular golf clubs. The Golf Club Golf De Pen Ar Bed is where the high society of the peninsula gathers.
These are the most popular coastal towns in the holiday region:
Campsite, holiday home or hotel: relaxing holidays with family and dog
Everyone has their own ideas about the perfect holiday. Some love camping and nature, others prefer to be pampered in a hotel and the next prefer to live close to the locals in a cottage in the middle of a fishing village. In Brittany, everyone gets their money’s worth and we tell you where and how to find your dream accommodation on the Breton coast, which you can book with your partner, family and even dog.
Luxury hotels with spa and all-round care
For those who love luxury, there is no shortage of it in Brittany. Whether in the bustling capital Rennes or in the tranquil Monte-Saint-Michel, everywhere you will find the most exclusive luxury accommodations that guarantee absolute relaxation. For example, the Balthazar Hotel & Spa in Rennes has already sweetened the holiday for many. In the middle of the capital and equipped with whirlpools, sauna and co., you can stay here well and additionally make day trips to the idyllic coast. Especially for a couple’s holiday, the refuge here is perfect.
The family-run Hotel le Manoir Saint Michel is just a stone’s throw from the beach. Especially with children, this small hotel with charm is worthwhile, because different leisure activities are located nearby. Horse riding and water sports on the beach, a golf course and bike rental to actively explore the surroundings are all nearby.
Holiday homes and villas on the beach with a view
Nothing lets you get to know a region better than staying in a holiday home or a beach villa. Of course, you can always rent these with services such as a private cook or cleaning lady, but you can also go shopping yourself and enjoy your own French breakfast with café au lait and croissant. In addition, the towns and villages offer the very best restaurants from small and intimate to excellent and luxurious. There is something for everyone.
Camping holidays on the Breton coast
Especially for camping holidaymakers, the coastal region is an absolute dream. Close to beaches and impressive rock formations, you will find campsites that are among the most beautiful in France. Whether with a dog or with children, here you will find the right place for everyone to explore the beautiful French region. Rumour has it that if you’ve been here once, you’ll definitely come back.
FAQ: Key facts about leisure, beaches and towns in Brittany
Finally, we would like to briefly review what we have read and briefly answer the most important points. If you are missing something, you can always go back in the text and read the most important facts, as well as read more detailed again.
What must I have seen?
Whoever goes to Brittany should not miss the coast at all. Special recommendation here: The coastal village of Mont-Saint-Michel, which is not only an incredibly photogenic location, but also offers a home to small restaurants with regional menus and elaborate dishes.
We also recommend a trip to Domaine du Montmarin. Especially when the hedges and fields are in full bloom, the colors that surround you here are indescribable. The perfect setting for an Instagram picture that your friends will envy.
Which French specialty is the national dish of Brittany?
The cuisine of France is known all over the world. Both sweet specialties and savory dishes are on the menu here. But what do people in Brittany particularly like to eat? The answer is: crêpes and galettes. The wafer-thin pancakes are not only filled with Nutella, here you can get really creative. From ice cream to beurre sale to salmon and lobster, there really are no limits here. Washed down with a glass of cider, you can’t get enough of the deliciousness.
As a sports fan, what sporting activities can I particularly enjoy in Brittany?
All sports enthusiasts also get their money’s worth in Brittany. Especially water sports and sailing are particularly popular here, because the coast with its many beaches offers the perfect environment for sailors and kite surfers. There are also many options for hiking and cycling around the peninsula.