07 February 2013 by Jessica Boston
Top 10 Recommendations for a Fabulous Holiday in Brittany!
If you are looking for a fabulous family holiday in Brittany, then take a look at our Top 10 Recommendations for great days out below! There is so much to see and do in this lovely region of France you’re sure to find something to please all the family; gorgeous beaches, fun festivals, historic sites and plenty of adventures await!
1. Go to the beach!
Brittany has you spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches! Try Plage du Sillon at St Malo with it’s sea swimming pool complete with diving boards or enjoy the safe sandy beaches at Perros-Guirrec, Dinard, Damgan, Carantec and Vannes, all well served with a full range of tourist facilities.
For a more secluded experience go off the beaten track to discover hidden coves and quiet bays like Ile Vierge at Morgat or Plage de la Comtesse at Saint-Quay-Portrieux. And if you’re interested in surfing you can catch a wave at Baie des Trepasses or Plage du Goulien on the Crozon Peninsular.
With wonderful seafood restaurants, majestic cliff top walks, exciting boat trips to offshore islands, water and beach sports and of course plenty of relaxing in the sun, Brittany beach life is not to be missed.
2. Visit historic castles
There are lots of charming historic towns and cities to discover in Brittany – take your pick and spend a day exploring castles, cathedrals, parks and pretty streets. Shop at the markets and enjoy coffee and pastries at pavement cafes as you watch the world go by. Some of our favourite Brittany towns are St Malo with its stunning sea views as you walk the city ramparts, Rennes and Vannes with their gorgeous medieval architecture, Josselin with its riverside Chateaux and Quimper with its exceptional bakeries and stunning cathedral.
3. Sail away
See the Brittany coast from the other side by embracing the seafaring heritage of the region with a boat trip. Whether you choose a modern ferry or glass bottomed boat trip, a canoe, kayak or simple pedalo, there is fun to be had for all the family.
Try your hand at sailing with a beginner’s course, climb aboard a traditional Breton sailing ship or join a fishing expedition for the day – the possibilities are endless.
For a totally different experience you can even visit the Flore, a submarine on exhibition and open to visitors at the former German submarine pens in Lorient.
4. Take part in festival fun
Time your trip to coincide with local festivals and celebrations to see a whole new side of French life – celebrate music, food, history and art at exciting events across Brittany every summer.
The biggest annual music festivals include Vieilles Charrues at Carhaix, the Land’s End music festival on the Crozon Peninsula, and Route du Rock in St Malo. Cultural festivals include the Lorient Interceltic Festival, Paimpol Sea Shanty Festival and Les Filets Bleus at Concarneau, and arts celebrations include the fascinating Tombees de la Nuits in Rennes.
There are many smaller festivals taking place in towns and villages across Brittany in the summer months so check with your property owners or the tourist office for events during your holiday to enjoy local celebrations of traditional food, music and entertainment.
5. Have adventures in food
Holidays are great for exploring new foods – children will love to eat traditional Breton crepes (pancakes) spread with delicious sweet or savoury toppings and made to order at cafes and street vendors in every resort.
Local seafood is often a hit with children too. Try moules mariniere with chips, the impressive pile of shells is ideal food for little fingers. Or what about ordering a fruits de mer platter? Children will love getting to grips with the ultimate rock pool of shellfish and crustaceans using the exciting array of tools to extract the sweet meat from the shells. This is one time that playing with your food should be encouraged! Cancale renowned for its fantastic selection of oysters – buy them fresh and sit on the quay to eat them, tossing your empty shells back into the sea.
6. Discover great aquariums
Oceanopolis at Brest is the one of the most impressive aquariums in France featuring thousands of fish ranging from delicate living coral to fearsome sharks. There are species from all over the world on display and even a penguin colony!
Other aquariums include the Grand Aquarium de Saint-Malo that has over 6,000 species and includes the incredible ‘ring of sharks’. You can even arrange to spend a night amongst these amazing creatures!
L’Aquashow at Audierne has 160 marine species including sharks, octopus and eels and also features birds of prey in an impressive display.
L’Aquarium de Vannes also has an exciting range of sea life from seahorses, piranhas and electric eels to turtles and crocodiles.
7. See sensational stones!
There are two incredible sites of stones to see in Brittany – the amazing standing stones at Carnac and the magical stone formations at Huelgoat.
Carnac is an incredible collection of more than 3,000 megalithic standing stones spread over a wide area with stones carefully placed according to size in lines across the landscape. The best way to see them is by taking the tourist train around the site. The ride is complete with headphones commentary in a language of your choice so you can find out more and there is also a museum and visitor centre to explore.
Huelgoat stones are a natural phenomenon every bit as impressive as the manmade scenes at Carnac. The enormous boulders were placed by glacial movement thousands of years ago and the sheer size of the rocks along with a magical forest setting, hidden underground river and a plethora of myths and legends make this a lovely family day out – take a picnic, and a camera!
8. Explore rivers and canals
It’s not only the coast of Brittany that offers possibilities for fun in and on the water. The inland rivers and canals are ideal for a day of paddling, exploring and picnicking. You could hire a motor boat for a stylish cruise down the river or hike or cycle down the miles of picturesque tow paths that form the ‘voies vertes’ network.
Adventurous types can get out on the water in kayaks or canoes with the canals providing good calm conditions for beginners and family groups. The white-water centre at Inzinzac-Lochrist is a challenge for more confident paddlers with a circuit course that lets you navigate slalom rapids before being hoisted up by a conveyor for another run.
9. Be enchanted by Merlin’s forest
The mythical Broceliande forest is a great day out for families. Tread the woodland trails where King Arthur and his knights rode and bring the ancient stories to life as you explore the turreted fairytale castle Chateau de Comper, home of a museum displaying scenes from the Arthurian legends.
The lake beside the castle is said to conceal an underwater crystal palace built by Merlin as home to the fairy Viviane. Legend tells that Viviane later imprisoned Merlin; follow the trail to see the enchanted stone that held him captive.
Use the map to find the mysterious Fontaine de Barenton that is said to have the power to conjure up rain when splashed with water. If you’re lucky you may even discover the fountain of eternal youth concealed nearby.
The Val Sans Retour (the valley of no return) is the domain of the Sorceress Morgan le Fay. The brave among you can visit the Rocher des Faux Amour (rock of false lovers) where she enticed her unfortunate prisoners to their doom.
10. Theme park adventures!
No family holiday is complete without a trip to a theme park to enjoy the slides, splashes and rides and let the children go wild. Brittany has plenty of fun parks to choose from with enough on offer to provide a really exciting day out for children of any age.
La Recre des 3 Cures is near Brest and has plenty to offer with theme park rides, a splash park, waterslides and 6D cinema experience. The main attraction is a 25m high big wheel that lights up after dark and gives riders a fantastic view of the park.
Enigmaparc at Janze is a theme park with a difference – pit your wits against a series of challenges to solve mysteries, beat mazes and discover hidden treasure. A fascinating day out for all the family (and all indoors so perfect if you get a rainy day!).
Kingoland in Morbihan is a small, friendly theme park ideal for under 10s – there are some water slides so make sure you bring swimming costumes and towels.
Vivrons Perches is a more natural take on a theme park, it’s set in a forest offering aerial assault courses through the treetops, parcour and adventure trails – great fun for all ages.
Brittany is the perfect destination for your family holiday – sail right into the Brittany ports of Roscoff or St Malo and start enjoying your French break straight away! Book accommodation with us to get 20% discount on your Brittany Ferries crossings.