Things to do in Brittany

Brittany, or Bretagne in French, is a beautiful region which has played a very important part in the history of the 20th century. For more than a millennium, Brittany’s history had something to do with a struggle for independence. Even today, Bretons are a fiercely independent bunch, who take pride in every little bit of their cultural heritage, customs and traditions. All around France, Breton art and culture is appreciated, but of course, the best place to enjoy it is in Brittany. But there are more things to do in Brittany than sightseeing – the region itself is very beautiful, and there are lots of activities to be done.

Walking

Out of all the regions of France, Brittany is possibly the best if you are in search of beautiful walks. Not only are there countless walking trails, but the landscape is very varied and you can enjoy a bit of everything – beaches and hilly terrain. The coastal paths are the most well known, but if you wander inland, you’ll also find a great variety of pleasant walks. Visit some of the amazing megaliths, chateaus and manors in Brittany this way. The countryside is wild and exciting, and there are plenty of picturesque towns where you can stop for a rest.

Cycling

If you want to get to know the Breton countryside with a minimal amount of effort, cycling is the best option, because there are not many very steep slopes. Besides, the infrastructure is very good and you can see lots of sights this way. There are lots of organized biking tours that you can go on, but it’s fairly simple to rent a bike and tour the region on your own if you have a map.

Beaches

photo by Jean-Marie Hullot

It’s the beaches of Brittany that made it famous outside France, especially its inlets, coves and long white expanses of sand. There are lots of very pleasant beach towns in Brittany where you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, water sports as well as nightlife and great cuisine. The port town of Audierne is a great destination, as are the beaches at La Baule and Benodet, Carmac, Dinard and Perros Guirec.

Cuisine

One of the best things to do in Brittany is to taste its cuisine, which has a unique world of flavors and textures, and some of the dishes are very different from what you might expect from French cuisine in general. Breton specialties are mouth watering – try the kouign amann, a delicious layered butter cake with a glaze of caramel on top, the coquilles Saint-Jacques or the Kig ha farz, a tasty dish of various meats stewed in a buckwheat flour broth.

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