Brittany--4 more days, where to base?

Feb 5th, 2010, 05:30 AM
  #1  
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Brittany--4 more days, where to base?

In mid-June I'll be in Brittany for 10 days with my husband as part of a 7-week European trip. We rented an apartment in Dinan for a week, so we will have lots of time to explore that area, but we have 4 additional days to spend before meeting up with friends in Giverny and then a week in Paris.

I would appreciate advice on where to spend those 4 days, and recommendations on reasonably priced accommodations (prefer under 80 euros per night) as well. We were thinking of heading to Carnac and Vannes but are interested in hearing where Brittany experts would choose. Thanks!
aprillilacs is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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I wouldnt call myself an expert haha but we spent 10 days in Brittany in 2008. We really liked Vannes and the surrounding areas. You can see our pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/jamie.a..../BrittanyDay9#

If you click my name you can get our trip report.

Enjoy!
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Feb 5th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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You do not say what your interests are: rural vs. urban/quaint town versus large city.

If I had my druthers, I would stay in Quimper on the Blavet River. Major centre culturelle, large enough to have lots of interesting museums, quimper faïencerie you can visit & buy the pottery, petit train touristique, lost of fêtes and other activities, cruise on the Blavet etc. You can also are within easy half-day/day trips of Concarneau, the Point du Raz, Brocéliande, Fouesnant Forest amons so many other points of interest.

Besides Quimper, I prefer smaller, so I like (in order) Concarneau and Pont l'Abbé which are both on the southern coast "Le Morbihan"= The Little Sea. They are more westerly than Carnac and Vannes, and deeper into Brittany, so they retain more of the essence of Brittany.

Understandably, the Carnac area with its alignments is of great interest. I prefer St. Anne d'Auray and Trinité-sur-Mer near the ocean or Rochefort-en-Terre further inland over the larger city of Vannes. I don't have hotels in this area to recommend because we usually are on our way to La Rochelle for the night, but I'm sure others will have reco's.

As unexciting as it may seem, when in Quimper we stay at the south Ibis Hotel. By the time we reach this area we have stayed in enough "charming" little mom & pop places that we want a bigger room, internet access that really works, a tv and close-in parking. Others have recommended Le Roi Gradlon, but I believe that is over your budget for sure.

ps: be sure to visit Fort La Latte and Dinard on the Northern Coast!
klondike is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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While we stayed in Questembert, I really enjoyed the town of Quimper, nearby
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Feb 5th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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If you do venture to the Quimper area, a wonderful place to stay about 18km from the town is Guilguffan. I discovered it when another Fodorite stayed there. One of the most beautiful toile de joy (sp) rooms I've ever stayed in!

Also the hotel in Audierne, even further west is very good value for the money. It's name has slipped my mind, but I think there's only one good-size hotel there.
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Feb 5th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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>>We rented an apartment in Dinan for a week, so we will have lots of time to explore that area<<

Not really - you will be surprised by how fast the time will go, and also the many sights that you could not get to because you ran out of time. We stayed in a gite near Dinan for 2 weeks in '01 before we spent 1 week in a gite near Pont Aven. In '08 we stayed for 2 weeks at a gite directly on the shore near Penvenin (close to pink rock region) for 2 weeks - and were busy sightseeing the entire time.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 5th, 2010, 09:44 AM
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That's nothing, Stu!

If I add up all my time in Finistère, which is only one of the four départements in Brittany, I have probably spent about 3 months there. I'm still finding things that are new to me.
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Feb 5th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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I think the Vannes area that you have chosen is a good one for your 4 days. I agree with Klondike, though, that rather than look for a place to stay in Vannes, you should check out in particular La Trinite sur Mer. We stayed there at Les Petits Hotensias last year and enjoyed the hotel and the town with its many sailboats in the harbor so much that we intend to return this year. If you stay there you can day trip to Concarneau and Pont Aven to the West (and to Rocheforte en Terre in the other direction with its beautiful flowers) but still be better situated for your long drive to Giverny at the end of the time you intend to spend after your Dinan rental than you would be if you went all the way West to someplace like Concarneau or Quimper to stay.

I checked and les Petits Hortensias does not have any rooms in your price range (least expensive is 99 euros) but there is another place in town whose website looks good which has rooms for 70, 85 and 90 euros. I haven't seen it personally but the site looks good. Check les-chambres-marines.com. If you choose to go there, in Ste. Anne d'Auray, be sure to have lunch at L'Auberge right on the main street of town. The restaurant is lovely. There are pix on the walls of the Pope dining there during a tour of the area so I'm assuming it must be among the best the area has to offer. Also in La Trinite, try to have dinner at Le Chantier, a little place under the bridge directly on the water (hard to find, ask someone at your hotel for help). I had the best fish of my life there--a Sant Pierre, steamed in fresh fennel with fennel seeds. Fantastic.

We love La Trinite sur Mer and the area surrounding. Since it's on the sea, it will also provide some contrast to Dinan which is not. Enjoy.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Look up the hotel on booking.com, they seem to have more pictures.
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Feb 5th, 2010, 10:32 AM
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We vacationed in various places around Brittany for 3 weeks in Sept.07. We stayed at a B&B in Locmariaquer for 4 days and did day trips to Vannes and Quimper from there. It's also close to Carnac.

Our B&B was La Trouque Toupie, at a price of 62 euros for a double. Sorry, I have no idea the price now but it is listed in Chambre d'hotes de Charme en France Guide Rivage and the Guide du Routard.

None of our friends have been to Brittany so that makes ME a Brittany expert in my neck of the woods Brittany was everything we had hoped for and even more. Have a wonderful time, Deborah
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Feb 5th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice (more is welcome!). I realize I didn't provide much guidance on our interests--on a 7-week trip, we hope to get a little of everything, city and country, indoors and out. And since the only things I can think of that I DON'T like are too much religious art, eating beets, and climbing up steep mountains (though my husband occasionally even gets me to do that), all the input is welcome.

I'm drawn to the water, so Trinite sur Mer does sounding very appealing, but I'll check out all the recommendations.

Great pictures, jamikins--nice photo gallery. Where were the pictures in the Brittany Day 7 folder taken? Beautiful!

And Stu--glad to hear that we won't run out of things to do around Dinan!
aprillilacs is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Rocheforte en Terre was one of the big disappointments of our trip. Maybe we'd (by that time) seen to many most beautiful tiny villages, or maybe because 1 of the 2 restaurants gave us food poisoning.

However, our stay at nearby Chateau de Talhouet -- with it's overly friendly Irish Wolfhound, was superb.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 02:22 AM
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Thanks aprillilacs! (hahaha...dont like eating beets..that gave me a chuckle!)

Those pictures are from the Pink Granite Coast...very cool...highly recommend a day driving there!
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Feb 6th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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We enjoyed Rocheforte quite a bit - and we've seen hundreds & hundreds of tiny villages. Like some wines - a lot depends on "what's going on" at the time.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 6th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Stu, that could be it. There was nothing going on the evening we were there. We were the only car in the parking lot.

However, I did really enjoy Lochranen (sp) and took tons of pictures there.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Locronan can be just like Rochefort-en-terre...not too many people, wonderful; large crowds, can be hard to enjoy. It just depends on the time of year. Britanny is one of the French people's preferred vacation playlands.
klondike is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Locronan is a tourist magnet. Even off-season it can be somewhat crowded. But it is mainly a day-trip destination, and it might be virtually dead in the evening.

I prefer places that are a little bit bigger and busier -- enough to give me a choice of restaurants without worrying about driving after consuming my half of the bottle of wine. Quimper is a nice city, and satisfies that criterion.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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We did a lot of Brittany touring several years ago - see our phototravelogue at http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-24d4pe

Our Nevez B&B suited us very well, and is close to beautiful coastal walks.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 10:24 PM
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From my Trip Report: France, summer 2009

The following night we stayed with Suzanne Tanguy, Kerino, 56950 Crach, tel: 02 97 55 06 10, e-mail: [email protected] (120€ for two nights). While we got a room the day we called, I would recommend reservations. The Tanguys converted their cow barn when they retired, creating 4 one room apartments, each with a deck, out of the barn. The downstairs contained the living area with kitchen and bath, and upstairs had a room with a double bed. The deck had a table and chair. The rooms were either rented out over night or could be rented as gites.
Michael is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 11:11 PM
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SemiMike: Thanks for the great pix of La Bretagne - you have captured her essence!
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