Planning Your Time

If you have just a few days here, choose your coast: Channel or Atlantic. Cliffs and beaches, culture and history—both shorelines offer all these and more. St-Malo makes a good base if you're Channel bound. Dinard, the elegant Belle Époque resort once favored by British aristocrats, is nearby; and the lively, student-filled city of Rennes offers an urban respite.

Pretty Vannes is a good base for exploring the Atlantic coast. Highlights hereabouts include lively Quimper, with its fine cathedral and coveted pottery; the painters' village of Pont-Aven, made famous by Gauguin; the prehistoric menhirs of Carnac; the rugged island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer; and the picturesque Bay of Morbihan. The third side of the Brittany triangle is its verdant, unhurried hinterland—charming, but forget it unless you're here for a month.

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