Please sign in to post.

Brittany five nights

We are in the MSM area for three nights (MSM, Dinan, St. Malo, Saint Suliac, Cancale) and then are driving to Carnac area for two nights (have reservations in Auray). My question is on our trip from MSM to Auray do you have any places that you believe are must see? We working on different routes trying to decide: Pink Granite Coast, Locronan, Parish Close area, Justine... basically through the inland or coastal route. We plan on a long day in the car. We are from Puget Sound so we love water but we also see it everyday.

Posted by
7078 posts

The coastal route through Brittany is gorgeous, but since you'll be seeing quite a bit of coastal area while in MSM, and because you see beautiful coastline in your home area, I would probably be more inclined to take an inland route. If you like castles, you could probably start by going to Fougeres from MSM and then down through Rennes (good place to stop for lunch) and then see Josselin (is that what you meant by Justine? I couldn't find a Justine, France) and then to Auray. The other route you mention that would take in the Pink Granite Coast and then maybe a parish close, then down to Auray would probably be much more driving, but also very worthwhile. I did both when I was in Brittany, but I was there for 12 days so could really take my time exploring those routes. With just one day, you'll have to decide which calls to you more.

Posted by
622 posts

When are you going to be there? I'm putting together similar plans myself and stumbled upon this gem:

I will be going. I've got 4 nights in Dinan and 2 in Auray. I'm planning to drive directly to Carnac, see the stones, then spend the rest of my 2 days on the Gulf (Gavrinis is the focal point on the 2nd day).


Posted by
10369 posts

Since you come from a coast, definitely go inland. Right now you are traveling in the east of Brittany (called Pays Gallo part of Brittany), but this will take you deep into the heart, visiting Locronan and the Parish Close villages. You will be able to see and feel the difference. Check your dates in case you are getting to Locronan the Sunday of the Pardon.

Posted by
151 posts

It is much longer to drive from MSM to Auray through the Pink Granite Coast and a parish close in north Finistere (a day is not enough in my opinion, or you will only have a too short overview along the pink granite coast).
Instead I would advise to follow more or less the "direct" road, and stop in the Broceliande forest (especially if you are interested in Arthurian legends), Josselin, Rochefort en Terre...

Posted by
12197 posts

There is no comparison between the coast around MSM and Brittany. Here are a few of my favorites:

Cancale, there are lots of small inlets where you can eat oysters and watch the tide rise and fall. It's interesting to see the boats go from being beached to floating, or vice versa, during your meal. Traditional Bretton boats are nearly as common in these inlets as more modern sailing and fishing boats. The oysters really are good. I thought they lived up to their billing but I hate to oversell them because high expectations lead to disappointment.

Dinan, there are two nice parts of town. The very old center and the port area. I'm not sure which is nicer. I liked the self-guided walk through the center (and market day) but I prefered hanging out at the cafes along the port.

I really liked Ft. La Latte. It's an old castle that's been repurposed many times but still has lots of original charm and you can literally climb up to the flag on the roof. There's a light house with a small museum near there that is just okay but the cliffs around it are spectacular - I think somewhat of a mecca for seabird watchers.

For Parish closes, I went to three of the majors and a couple others. St. Thegonnec, Guimiliau and Lampaul Guimiliau. I enjoyed them but they are small towns and pretty sleepy. If you can find a schedule of community "Pardons" (community religious festivals) and time your visit with one of those, it would be ideal. They are all over the peninsula from May through September - mostly summer though.

Locronan was really nice. I wouldn't miss it.

Auray was really nice too, I really enjoyed the port area. I liked Vannes very large old center and port area a lot too, it's worth visiting. I prefered Vannes slightly to Auray.

My favorite on the south side was Cairn de Gavrinis. You have to take a ferry to reach it, but it's all in French and not too big with non-French speaking tourists. The ferry in the bay is nice on its own. They show you a partially submerged hinge. The Cairn itself is similar to Newgrange in Ireland. They only allow small groups but that all comes with the ferry ticket you get at Lamor Baden - it can sell out. I bought my ticket late morning for a 14:00 ferry.

Posted by
299 posts

Yes, Locronan, is really cool, and I would consider it for your "must see" list. We also enjoyed Pont-Aven for the beauty.

Posted by
151 posts

Of course, if you can allow for more time in Brittany, it is really worth entering Finistere and discovering Locronan, Parish closes, Crozon, Roscoff, Pointe du Raz, etc. But with the schedule the original OP posted, it is very short to include such places. Going from Dinan to Auray, reaching Finistere is more than a detour. With only 5 nights in Brittany, it is necessary to select some places (2-3 weeks would be necessary to get a real overview of Bretagne).