Booking a camping holiday in Brittany is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Not only will you be spoilt for choice with the range of camping and caravanning sites on offer, but the region itself will beguile you with every type of experience you could wish to have. Our post provides only a small sample of the numerous delights of Brittany, but they give a great taste of what you’ll find in the region.
Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside!
So will you when you find out just how spectacular Brittany’s coastline is. Brittany is the biggest of the French peninsulas and juts into the Atlantic Ocean. However, that’s not the only body of water that surrounds this part of north-western France. The English Channel borders the north of the region and to the south you’ll find the poetically named Bay of Biscay. And the Iroise Sea shares its waves with the western part of the coast. As you can imagine, the sea has a massive influence on the area.
This is great news for holidaymakers, families and couples alike. Brittany is abundant with secluded coves, quiet estuaries, islands, glorious beaches and small fishing villages. If you’re a surfer, you’ll want to head to Finistère, in the extreme west of the region. This picturesque location is home to one of the best surf schools in the whole of Europe. Serious surfers find the waves they want to catch at Finistère but it’s possible to find a spot for nearly every surf level. Spot de La Palue on the Corzon Peninsula and Spot de La Torche (Plomeur) are two well-known surf spots in this stretch, both with dream conditions.
For young children and people who prefer more gentle paddling and sea swimming, Brittany delivers in spades. There are many safe beaches to enjoy; perfect for suntanning in the constant warm weather you can expect. A particular favourite is the long, sandy beach that comes into view after a short stroll through the Marais de Fouesnant. This is a protected marsh and pine forest, and you can walk or ride a bike on the many demarcated bike trails through it.
Things to do
Brittany is a superb holiday destination for land activities too. One of the most important archaeological sites in the whole of Europe is to be found in here.
Head to Carnac to view the megalithic stone sentinels which date from 4,500 BC. Myths abound about these stones. Between October and April, you can walk amongst them and discover the alignments, dolmens, tumuli and menhirs for yourself. The visitor centre provides a little information about the stones but there is an excellent prehistory museum in the town for budding geologists.
La Pointe du Raz is not to be missed if you’re looking for breathtaking views. This protected area is a site of stunning natural beauty - and turbulent waters. Depending on the tide, you may be lucky enough to catch huge waves breaking over the rocks in the peninsula. Be ready to take photos of nature showing off!
Children will love watching history take place in front of their eyes at Village de Poul-Fetan. The previously abandoned village has been restored to show real Breton life acted out by costumed performers. The village is populated with stone houses and has arable farmland. Visitors are encouraged to enter the houses and help with the farming. Classes are run in Breton and children often pick up a word or two of the language quickly. Culturally, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Brittany too
Things to eat and drink
You’ll most likely return from your holiday a few pounds heavier.
Brittany’s village markets are the stuff of dreams. Artisan produce piled high on wooden tables, beckoning you to take a bite.
The region is most well-known for its cider, and you can pick up bottles or casks of it for a few euro. Children will enjoy some of the most delicious apple juice they have ever tasted.
Keep space for the beautiful breads, cheeses and charcuterie you’ll find in the markets. Each town’s markets will reflect something unique about its location and you’ll find yourself becoming a foodie in next to no time. (Especially if you like pastries.)
In Ireland, Brittany Ferries travel from Cork to Roscoff and Pont Aven.
From April to early November every year there are overnight crossings. Call 021-427 7801 or go online at www.brittanyferries.ie for more details on cost. Traveling midweek instead of weekends can significantly reduce cost.
Aer Lingus flies to Rennes, the capital city of Brittany and all the major car hire firms are represented if you need to pick up a vehicle.
In the UK, Brittany Ferries sails from Portsmouth to St. Malo and from Plymouth to Roscoff. Crossings happen daily during peak season, and some days have two crossings for the Plymouth to Roscoff route.
Flybe flies to Brest from Southampton (4 x a week) and Birmingham (1 x a week). You can reach Rennes from London City Airport six times a week at the height of summer, from Southend daily in summer, and from Southampton twice a week during the peak season.
RyanAir flies daily from London Stansted to Dinard.
Cost for all types of transportation can vary greatly depending on when you book and how far in advance.
When to go
Summer of course! But Spring and Autumn are also brilliant seasons to stay in Brittany.
You could have a few rainy days, but they will be in the minority. The sightseeing available to you and your family will keep you busy until the sun returns.
Don’t forget sunscreen. Summer temperatures can get up to 30C and higher easily. You’ll experience a cozy 20C to 25C during Spring and early Autumn.