This past December I had the amazing opportunity to take a road trip around the north of France for three weeks. I was very fortunate to spend this time with a very special French friend, who was able to give me the ultimate tour, translate and a legit cultural experience. 🙂 During those three weeks, we went to various regions in France, but today I am going to share with you our adventures around the Bretagne (Brittany) region. He is originally from Birttany, which makes him a “Breton” (person from Brittany), therefore my experience could not have been more authentic.
BRITTANY (English) = BRETAGNE (French) = BREIZH (Native language)
Bretagne is situated in North West of France, and it’s the region with the longest coastline (685 miles). What is great about Bretagne is that you can find many different landscapes like: nice beaches, cool cliffs and interesting rocks, and many different islands.
Here are all the places where we stopped during our road trip in Bretagne:
NOTE* For this trip we rented a car and we only spent the night in Carnac and in Belle-Ile-en-Mer, for the other places we spent the night in Rennes and took day trips.
1. Côte de granit rose – (Ploumanac’h)
You will instantly fall in LOVE with this natural, exciting landscape with rocks in unusual colors and shapes. Which makes it perfect for taking fun Instagram material pics! 😉
- This site holds its name due to the pink color of its rocks. Depending on the season / weather / light, the colors on the rocks may vary from grey to pink to yellow…but no matter when you come, the experience is always amazing.
- The shapes of the rocks are caused by the impact of the waves and the wind through time. If you pay attention or have imagination, it’s fun to try to identify shapes/things in these rocks. There are a few famous ones like a whale, bottle, or mushroom…
- The tallest rocks you can find here are 65 ft high
Dining : To experience the local culture, we advise you arrive around noon and stop by Perros Guirec and eat at a crêperie to enjoy galettes and crêpes or at a seafood restaurant and try mussels and fries, fresh oysters or the nice local lobster (dark blue color).
Exploring:: There is a famous walk called “le sentier des douaniers” from Ploumanac’h to Perros Guirrec (3 hours). You can start from either side, but we recommend starting from Ploumanac’h. It is the best way to discover this beautiful site.
Ploumanac’h was voted “Favorite Village/Town of the Year” in 2015 by the Frenchies, so you have to check it out! 😉
In Bretagne, there are 14 major islands, but amongst them all, Belle-Ile-en-Mer is definitely the prettiest and largest in size (10.5 x 5.5 miles) … and the one you MUST visit!
Tip: If you go, take the ferry and rent a car once you get to the island. Stay at least 2 days so you can have enough time to explore all the corners of the island. Any time of the year is beautiful, but it’s better to go in the summer so you can go for a swim!
Dining : As you are in an island in Bretagne, you must try the local food. Either crêpes and galettes at Chez Renée in Banghor, or have an AMAZING three course meal at Roz Avel. (the TripAdvisor reviews were on point!)
FUN FACT: Crêpes are originally from Bretagne. Galettes are the savory kind and crêpes are the sweet kind and you MUST pair them with Cider.
- Beaches (Dotchoa – Donan): People usually go to these main/larger beaches, but if you want to feel like you are in an exclusive place, alone with nature, then visit the small coves along the cost with small beaches where you can stop and go swim almost alone. The colors of the water are amazing, no matter when you come!
- Le Port de Sauzon (Sauzon’s port): Here you will find cute sail boats, lighthouses and colorful houses. You will really feel like you are on an island.
- Le Grand Phare (The Large Lighthouse): It’s about 330 ft high and it’s light can be seen up to 30 miles away, which makes it one of the most “powerful lighthouses” in Europe.
- Le Palais (The Palace): Is the largest town of the island, where we advise you to stay. Here, you can find a lot of small shops where you can buy souvenirs, regional treats and sweets and much more… oh, and this is where the nightlife is at! 😉
FUN FACT : Les Aiguilles de Port Coton, by Claude Monet (1886) was inspired by the rocks found in Belle Ile-en-Mer.
Carnac is located in the beautiful area of the “Golfe du Morbihan”. It is a historical site that has around 4,000 aligned megaliths (stones), which date from 3300 BC. It is still a mystery how and why these rocks were placed there perfectly aligned. Some historians believe it could have been part of religious beliefs/ceremonies, like funeral rituals of the tribes of that time.
Visit the Kermario site, where you can find all of those thousands of stones aligned. Also, don’t forget to check out the “Génant du Manio”, which is the tallest “menhir” (stone) standing at 19.5 ft high and the hidden cave!
It is very nice to walk around this mystical site, you can even find some cute sheep hanging around!
I hope you enjoyed the first 3 towns from Bretagne! In part 2, I will share Mont Saint Michel, Vannes and Saint Malo… stay tuned!
Post collaboration and photos by: Vincent Leblond