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What are the best parts of Brittany??

I asked because I've been planning a bit of cycle touring in the area. Most of the routes I plan for riding in Europe are pretty straightforward - in the Loire Valley, for instance, you ride down the river, near Bordeaux you ride up the coast, etc.

But when it comes to Brittany, the cycleways explode into a network that crisscrosses all over all parts of the region. From a look at Strava heat maps, it appears that there's a lot of equal use of these routes, and there is not really a dominant pathway.

Probably this is good - I can choose where I want to go and there will be a reasonable bicycling route to it and from it.

But that means that my Brittany tour will be guided not by where a primary cycle path goes, but rather where I want to go. And I don't know where I want to go! I've done a little reading and video viewing but I'm not sure.

So! Is there a part or area or particular city in Brittany that is more worth seeing than others? Like is the south or north side of the peninsula preferable? Or the end of the peninsula? Should one traverse the interior or try to trace one of the rocky shores?

I will gaze upon Saint-Michel, but outside of that I'm open. Where are the best places to visit in? Brittany?

Thank you!

Posted by
5271 posts

Well, the good news/bad news is that Brittany is very nice! We drove along the stunning Coasts. We especially liked Locranon and Douarnenez, near Quimper. Also, no one seems to talk much about it, but we really like Dinard across the bay from Saint-Malo. It has a retro beach resort vibe.

Posted by
1528 posts

Thank you Jules!

Also, I'm surprised none of you wiseacres has yet replied "Spears or Murphy?" :)

Posted by
19 posts

Hi The coast of Britanny is very indented, and there are plenty of tide rivers, so there are not many roads giving the possiblility to ride really along the coast. On the south coast there is a tide river every 5 km, that is to say a long estuary with no bridge, except in the inland, at 10 or 20 km from the sea. And for your question about which part is preferable, it will depend of you tastes. The west (Finistère), is the wildest part, (The cape named (Cap Sizun), and the Crozon peninsula. The south coast is more sandy than the west coast or the north coast, and the tides are less important in the south than in the north. (10 m in St Malo, 5 m on the south coast). The sea is also warmer on the south coast, and it's the same for the climate. The inland is also more cloudy and rainy than the coast. 2000 h sunshine per year on the south coast, 1500 in the "Monts d'Arrée", in Finistère. An exemple of differences : temperatures two days ago :

For fishing harbours, the best area is the "pays Bigouden", south west of Finistère. The more crowded parts are St Malo and the south coast. For bicycle, as I said, it's not easy to find long cycling pathes along the coast, but there are some quiet normal roads. Search in google "voies vertes Finistère" or "voies vertes Morbihan", or Côtes d'Armor, Ile et Vilaine, or Loire Atlantique, you will find some possibilities. It's also possible to take normal roads, for ex between Douarnenez and "La Pointe du Van" via the departemental road D 7. Britanny is generally hilly, but there are some less slopy areas : the south west of Finistère, the D 7 I have mentionned in "cape Sizun", the presqu'ile de Rhuys in Morbihan, the coast in "Loire Atlantique" (around st Nazaire).
That said, it's very difficult to sum up all the possibilities. Britanny has 2500 km of coasts, the Finistère 1500, and in the inland, the are many canals, for ex between Nantes and Brest !

Posted by
5 posts

Hello Hank,

I can highly recommend the Côte de Granit Rose near Lannion with Perros-Guirec, Ploumanac'h und Trégastel. I'm not sure how suitable this region is for cycling, but it's definitely worth seeing.

Have a great time in Brittany!

Posted by
1528 posts

thank you for all the advice! Much to think about. The towns suggested are so beautiful! Brittany looks like a very special place :)

I'll keep researching and then report back.