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 below for a fun-filled holiday to remember!
1. Go to the beach!
Admittedly it would be almost impossible to plan a family holiday to Brittany without intending to spend some time on the coast, but it’s still worth a mention to point out the huge range of seaside opportunities available.
There are plenty of safe, sandy beaches including those at Audierne, La Baule, Carnac and Benodet, 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 Lantecoste, Plouescat and Port Manech. And if you’re interested in surfing you can catch a wave at Baie des Trepasses or La Torche.
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
You’ll be spoilt for choice when you fancy a day out at a historic site in Brittany. The famous stones at Carnac, ancient caves and the many castles and chateaux that pepper the region are all suitable for a family adventure.
Consider visiting Chateau de Fougeres for an enchanting interactive journey through Brittany in the Middle Ages. Chateau de Suscino is also fascinating to see with a reconstruction of a medieval banquet and plenty of activities for children. Or what about Chateau de Kergroadez? This Renaissance treasure offers a unique guided visit for children involving a dramatic rescue of the lady of the house. There are also lots of workshops, storytelling sessions and even donkey rides!
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 a 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.
Place aux Momes is an annual summer festival that includes 130 free events across 18 Breton towns. Check up-to-date listings to find out when and where the puppet shows, circus, dance, theatre and music events are going on – ideal family 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!
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. Try horse riding
Horse riding is popular in Brittany, and whether your family are seasoned riders or complete beginners there are plenty of opportunities to get in the saddle. It’s an exciting way to see some of the wonderful scenery in the region from the beautiful coastal areas to the lush inland forests and countryside.
Research stables in Brittany to find one that offers the appropriate level of support for your ability.
Haras de la Mer Blanche near Benodet has a range of horses, ponies and foals and offers riding experiences for people of all abilities. This stable has the added benefit of allowing even new riders to discover the magic of riding along the beach.
Ecurie du Rohu on the Quiberon peninsula is another stable offering riding experiences for children as young as three. Older riders can take part in organised excursions to see the nearby coast and villages.
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. Splash out at a theme park
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.
Cobac park has a mix of water and land based activities including waterslides, swimming pools, mini golf, mini railway and inflatable bouncers all in a beautiful woodland setting.
Armoripark Gwenezhan is a complex in Cotes d’Armor that includes go karts, mini golf, sledge runs, pedalos, bouncy castles, adventure playground, children’s farm and the Aquacenter Petrogliss which includes six 25m slides. Almost too much to do in just one day!
Parc Odet Loisirs is a 7 hecatare park 15 mins from Quimper. The park has adventure playgrounds, trampolines, tree houses, a maze, water slides and a 175m zip wire out over the lake! There are plenty of picnic spots too.
La Recre des 3 Cures is near Brest and has plenty to offer with theme park rides, a mini farm and giant trampolines. The main attraction is a 25m high big wheel that lights up after dark and gives riders a fantastic view of the park.