Notices

Transportation in Brittany

Reply

Dec 4th, 2017, 03:13 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 128
Transportation in Brittany

Hi everyone,
My daughter and I will be taking the train from Nice to Rennes in June as part of our second trip to Europe. We will be staying in St. Malo for 4 days. However we want to see Dinan and Rennes and maybe Quimper as day trips with St. Malo as our base. We are very confused how to get around; some say to take buses to these places, some say train and some say to rent a car. Can anyone advise on the best way to see these places on day trips without too much hassle and, if renting a car, is it very expensive and what are the rules in Europe regarding car rentals? Can one be rented at the train station in Rennes? And if I do rent a car, where can I find driving maps? Would really appreciate help! Thank you.
ledhead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 03:30 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,571
For trains - check schedules at www.bahn.de/en - German railways pan-European schedule site for all European trains and easiest I've seen to use (or try French Railways www.voyages-sncf.com) -but use the latter for trains to and from Rennes - deep discounts available if booking way early - check www.seat61.com for sage advice on booking those tickets or full-fare ducats yourself online; for general info on trains check www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Yes there are several car rentals around Rennes train station and really having a car would be much nicer as what's in between those places is cool too. Like stopping at Carnac to see the famous megaliths: (highlight of Brittany for me!)

https://www.google.com/search?q=carn...w=1536&bih=759

Driving in that area should present no real problems - do research rules of road, etc. but I've done it by car and bike and no real problem. Car again lets you see small villages you can stop by the local cafe, etc - trains and buses do not easily allow that.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 03:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,956
A car is best for seeing those sites.

St Malo & Quimper are quite far apart:
- 3 1/4 hrs by car each way

- Train - depart St Malo 10:25 & arrive Quimper 1:15 (1 train change). Just in time for their lunch closings.
Depart Quimper at 4:00 & arrive St Malo 7:30 - 1 train change.

We've spent 6 weeks vacationing in Brittany, and are returning for 4 more this June/July. IMO, the villages are interesting - but we go there for the beautiful coastline, and countryside (especially northern Brittany) - which you can best get to by car.

Stu Dudley

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 03:35 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,956
>>Rennes train station and really having a car would be much nicer as what's in between those places is cool too. Like stopping at Carnac to see the famous megaliths: <<

Carnac is not between Rennes & St Malo or St Malo & Quimper. It is a 2 3/4 hr drive from St Malo - each way.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 04:45 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,571
Oops - was long ago and got my Brittany coasts mixed up - thinking St-Malo near southern coast but it's on north coast. So scratch Carnac.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 04:53 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,571
Carnac is closer than Quimper though and I would consider it instead or do an all-day with stops loop?
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:02 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,699
For road maps: http://www.thesavvytraveller.com/ins...ional_maps.htm
Michael is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:05 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,042
Rent a car. Pick it up in Rennes. Michelin maps are excellent for navigating. Rules for driving in France are easily googled. Before I moved to France and had my own car I always rented from AutoEurope or it sister company Kemwel. Once you've done your research you can decide what's expensive or not.
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:36 PM
  #9
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,119
For information on your public transportation options, you might check rome2rio.com – just be sure to follow the links it provides, as the main site is not sensitive to seasonal variation.

IMO, whether to rent a car, take public transportion, or rely on an occasional tour is a very personal choice, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them. I know that a lot of Fodorites think that renting a car is always the best option; I’m happy to rent a car when it suits my needs, but generally prefer public transportation, and (depending on my overall itinerary and interests) I would even consider skipping some locations if they can’t be reached by public options. To each his/her own! If you want more information about pros and cons, I’ll be happy to elaborate. In the meantime, you can get some great information about renting a car in Europe on gemut.com.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 07:43 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,521
The Brittany public transport website is www.breizhgo.com. All info about any public transport journey in Brittany can be found there. Rennes and Dinan are easy enough to get to by public transport but forget about Quimper. Have a look at the next link to see a map of the train network in Brittany, keeping in mind the light blue lines represent the major bus routes:

https://cdn.ter.sncf.com/medias/PDF/...cm55-23123.pdf

And a map of the bus network in the Ille-et-Vilaine département:

http://www.illenoo-services.fr/sites...llenoo2017.pdf

And the bus network in the Côtes d'Armor département:

http://www.tibus.fr/plan/popup.asp

The above are the major bus lines but there are local bus services in towns and villages not shown.


However, I have to agree with the advice about renting a car. Much more convenient and will allow you to see so much more. You will not get to see the countryside or explore the small out of the way villages relying on public transport and IMO the countryside and out of the way places are the best parts of France. For proof you can have a look at a photo report I wrote about exploring the area near Dinan and saint-Malo for five days with a car. You wouldn't even be able to do 1/4 of this in 5 days without a car:

http://tinyurl.com/86s4v8f
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 01:23 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 128
Thank you so much everyone! I am definitely going to rent a car in Brittany. I was a little nervous about it but not anymore! However while in Nice I think we will rely on public transportation as Nice is probably a nightmare to drive around in and may be easier as KJA points out. Also thank you for all the great websites for maps and car rentals. Am so excited about renting a car for the first time in Europe and skirting the Beautiful Brittany coast and maybe Dinan too. May leave Quimper out this trip though. Thanks again! Will report back after trip.
ledhead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 01:43 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,699
I usually rent my cars through autoeurope.com or kemwel.com. This year I twice had to have them help me get a refund on unwarranted charges and they provided the necessary support. If you choose the "basic" rate it means that your credit card is carrying the potential damage to your car (all rentals agreement include liability), but you have to pay for the damages and then have your credit card reimburse you. It happened to me in Portugal, and it took a couple of months to finalize the refund.

Check your credit card for the coverage it offers and if you choose that route, remember that all transactions for the rental must be done with that credit card.
Michael is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 01:59 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,278
All info about any public transport journey in Brittany can be found there. Rennes and Dinan are easy enough to get to by public transport but forget about Quimper.>>

no, please don't forget about Quimper. One of my favourite Brittany towns. It is quintessentially french - sitting on a river, with a cathedral, a market, nice shops and restaurants, a museum showing the most extravagant ladies' lace caps you'll ever see, and much more.
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 02:39 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,956
But Quimper is 3 1/4 hrs away. They seem to want to base in one place - St Malo. Seven hours in a car on one day is too long for most people.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 03:21 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,956
ledhead

Which train schedule are you taking to get from Nice to Rennes??

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2017, 06:16 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,278
But Quimper is 3 1/4 hrs away. They seem to want to base in one place - St Malo. Seven hours in a car on one day is too long for most people.>>

you're right Stu, somehow I missed that they were staying in St Malo or thought that they had changed their plans.
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2017, 08:10 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,571
It's a long train ride via Paris Nice to Rennes - consider flying Nice to Rennes or place nearby or break up journey in Paris. Otherwise probably 8-10 hours all told.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2017, 12:06 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,956
You can take the 7:23 TGV to Lyon, change trains & be in Rennes at 5:17. 1 1/2 hrs allotted to change trains in Lyon. Note that it means you'll need to get to the Nice Ville station around 6:45am, and your transit time to Rennes is 10 hours. Don't attempt to train to Paris and do the required station change there in anything less than 1 1/2 hrs unless you speak French pretty fluently and are familiar with the Gare de Lyon in Paris and especially the Montparnasse station (I think it may be multiple stations in the complex).

Personally, I would do what PalenQ recommended and take the 10:00am from Nice that arrives in Paris at 3:41, or the 11:57 that arrives at 5:41. Then check into a hotel next to the Gare de Lyon. We stayed at the Nov0tel this year instead of our "usual" Terminus Hotel, and enjoyed the Novotel much more than the Terminus (5 previous stays at the Termins). Then visit the Viaduct des Arts, and have dinner at the "eye popping" Train Bleu http://www.le-train-bleu.com/uk/index.php . Early next morning (or anytime you like) take a taxi to the Montparnasse station & 1 hr 20 mins later you'll be in Rennes. Lots of daily departures from Paris to Rennes. Stow your bags in the car in Rennes (guarded in the rental car park) or at the rental office & explore Rennes that first day in Brittany.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2017, 12:15 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,571
Lyon could be a nice place to spend a half day and night.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2017, 01:56 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,571
There is also an overnight train Nice-Paris but it only has couchettes no private compartments so many would not like that but is an option on that long haul - again I'm all for trains but flying here makes sense if you cannot break your journey. Probably as cheap or cheaper than trains.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:48 AM.