Brittany: Places to Explore

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  • Auray

    The ancient town of Auray grew up along the banks of the Loch River, best admired from the Promenade du Loch overlooking the quayside. Cross the river to explore the old, cobbled streets of the...

  • Belle-Ile-en-Mer

    At 18 km (11 miles) long, Belle-Ile is the largest of Brittany's islands. It also lives up to its name: it is indeed beautiful, and less commercialized than its mainland harbor town, Quiberon....

  • Cancale

    Nothing says Brittany like seafood and nothing says seafood like this village, one of the most picturesque fishing villages in the region. Head here by bus from St-Malo and then make for the...

  • Carnac

    At the north end of Quiberon Bay, Carnac is known for its expansive beaches and its ancient stone monuments.

  • Combourg

  • Concarneau

    Concarneau may be an industrial town known for its sardine packaging but its 17th-century Vaubau-designed Ville Close has to be one of the most picturesque sites in Brittany.

  • Dinan

  • Dinard

    The most elegant resort town on this stretch of the Brittany coast, Dinard enjoys a picture-book perch on the Rance Estuary opposite the walled town of St-Malo. Toward the end of the 19th century,...

  • Douarnenez

    Douarnenez is a quaint old fishing town of quayside paths and zigzagging narrow streets. Boats come in from the Atlantic to unload their catches of mackerel, sardines, and tuna. Just offshore is...

  • La Baule

    Star of the Côtes-d'Armor coast and gifted with a breathtaking 5-km (3-mile) beach, La Baule is a popular resort town that can make you pay dearly for your coastal frolics. Though it once rivaled...

  • Nantes

    The writer Stendhal remarked of 19th-century Nantes, "I hadn't taken twenty steps before I recognized a great city." Since then, the river that flowed around the upper-crust Ile Feydeau...

  • Paimpol

    Paimpol is one of the liveliest fishing ports in the area and a good base for exploring this part of the coast. The town is a maze of narrow streets lined with shops, restaurants, and souvenir...

  • Pont-Aven

    Long beloved by artists, this lovely village sits astride the Aven River as it descends from the Montagnes Noires to the sea, turning the town's mills along the way (there were once 14; now just a...

  • Quimper

    A traditional crowd-puller, the twisting streets and tottering medieval houses of Quimper (pronounced cam-pair) supply rich postcard material, but lovers of decorative arts head here because this...

  • Rennes

    Packed with students during the school year—its Place Ste-Anne studded with bars and cafés housed in medieval buildings with character to spare—Rennes (pronounced wren) is the traditional...

  • Ste-Anne-la-Palud

    One of the great attractions of the Brittany calendar is the celebration of a religious festival known as a village pardon, replete with banners, saintly statues, a parade, bishops in attendance, women...

  • St-Malo

    Thrust out into the sea, bound to the mainland only by tenuous manmade causeways, romantic St-Malo—le cité corsaire, or "the pirates' city"—has built a reputation as a breeding ground for...

  • Trébeurden

    Trébeurden is just one of the scenic highlights of the Côtes d'Armor, the long stretch of Brittany's northern coast, loosely divided into two parts, the Côte d'Emeraude (Emerald Coast) and the...

  • Vannes

    Scene of the declaration of unity between France and Brittany in 1532, historic Vannes is one of the few towns in Brittany to have been spared damage during World War II. Though it draws visitors...

  • Vitré

    There's still a feel of the Middle Ages about the formidable castle, tightly packed half-timber houses, remaining ramparts, and dark alleyways of Vitré (pronounced vee-tray). Built high above the...

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