Brittany

My husband and I are driving from Paris to Brittany. We will be there for 3 days....I am really interested in checking out the Faience Pottery in Quimper...can you tell me other darling, charming villages would be great to visit? Thanks so much,

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6809 posts

CornouailleLocronanMenez Homand so many others, PM me if you want a longer list.

Posted by Sarah
Leonardtown
31 posts

the area is full of them! Dinan and Fougeres, of course, as listed in Rick's book, but I also really liked Vitre. Vannes is also good, but not as small. If you're into nature, the whole coast is gorgeous- I would reccomend the cote de Granit Rose, for example- the lighthouse at plumonarch is really stunning. The megalyths at Carnac are definately also worth a peek, and the town itself is really nice there- on the beach, but with a residential area that still sports some thatched roofs. Feel free to pm me- I am just finishing up a semester in Rennes, the capital of Brittany.

Posted by Beatrix
Calgary
1974 posts

Like Sarah I spent a year studying at the Universite de Haute Bretagne in Rennes and can only second her suggestions. I'm only surprised that she didn't mention St Malo which is my absolute favourite place.

Rennes is a pretty enough place for being an administrative and university centre but skip it if you only have 3 days for the region.

Never made it to the Faience Pottery in Quimper but products are available everywhere you'd find other tourists.

Posted by Jamie
Evanston, IL
11 posts

Kent, Sarah, Beatrix...

Thank you so much, you have given me more valuable information that my travel agent...I will be sending you a PM...soon!

Jamie

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6809 posts

Jamie: 3 day-itinerary in Breton for someone wanting "small village" experience:Day 1:Overall concept is make a big circle out of your home base (Vannes). Drive west along the coast past Lorient. Once past Lorient, the coast road becomes winding and you start seeing small villages but you're headed for Quimper so you probably shouldn't stop too long until you get to the first of the really outstanding coastal views at Pointe de Trevignon. You'll see several more views between there and Quimper. Lots to do in Quimper, read in guidebook. After Quimper, continue along coast road south and then west, if you want coastal views, to Pointe du Raz. If you want to get to more villages and exclude the coastal views, you can head northwest towards Locranon and Menez Hom. The views on the peninsula leading to Pointe du Raz are spectacular. The idea here is to slowly complete the circle as the day gets on and to return to your home base on the interior route that goes east past the Playben & Kernascleden churches. This driving trip is easier to do if you sleep closer, say Quimper.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6809 posts

continued from above:Day 2:Day 2 (but this could be day 1 or day 3 just as easily, your choice): You'll drive from your hotel to the area around Menez Hom, where we kind of left off on the day 1 itinerary, or to wherever you ended up on day 1 when you ran out of daylight. The concept on day 2 is to get to a point where you can start making a big circle that starts at Brest and either goes west to the coast and then follows the coast road north and east for scenery, OR for more villages alternatively go east from Brest toward Enclos Paroissssiaux and other interior villages, again until you run out of daylight.This daytrip, like Day 1, would be easier if you were sleeping somewhere closer than Vannes, such as Quimper or farther north.For really understanding these day trips, you should get familiar with the road trip planning features of www.viamichelin.com, if you haven't already done so.

Posted by Trotro
Olympia, WA, USA
251 posts

Hey! I also studied at Rennes II, isn't Ville Jean lovely NOT!

I just got back from Brittany a few months ago, and one thing that I forgot was how much driving was involved (and the price of their gas is going up too. From village to village. The driving is pretty though.

I would suggest you pick one region of Brittany to concentrate on (my vote is the Southwest Finistere not only because my husband is from there but because it is the most "authentci", Breton pride, area, not to mention the COAST!

Also decide if you want spend the whole time travelling (a pretty thing to do in the SW region) or want to chill for a day or two. I can HIGHLY recommend swimming in the ocean, if thats your thing and if you are going in summer. All the villages above I agree with, I never recommend St. Malo. The city was re-built to look authentic, but inside is VERY toursity, and bad food.

Your best option for Fiance would be Quimper, the factory is there, more options, nicer pieces, and factory seconds. Expect to spend a many pennies. A mere butter dish (w/o lid was 37 Euros!

Quimper is also great for Fest Nozs and my favorite creperies is there (alas I don't know the name it is in the Place au Beurre, red door, on corner)

Are you sure you want to drive to Paris? Seems like a long and exspensive trip, with not that interesting of scenery, there is a TGV from Quimper to Paris or Chartres makes a great stop too. (Just some unsolicited advice.)

I am not good with place names but Brittany is pretty familiar so any other questions....

Posted by Beatrix
Calgary
1974 posts

trotro,

you're right, St Malo IS touristy. But as long as you stay on the ramparts, the beach or walk over to the little island during low tide it doesn't feel that touristy. I think the only time we went into the old town during out last visit was to find a washroom ;-)

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6809 posts

(continued from above)3-day itinerary in Breton:
Day 3:Day 3 road trip covers the area of Breton on the north coast between Corniche Bretonne on the west and St. Malo on the east. You can't see this area if you're home basing in Vannes so you would want to sleep in one of the towns in this region. The directions for this drive are simple: drive the north coast road between Corniche Bretonne and St Malo.

Posted by Janis
Grapevine, TX, USA
872 posts

Just returned from Normandy & Brittany (not exactly sure where the divide is). We liked Cancale & St. Malo, Concarneau, Tregunc, Pont-Aven (really picturesque).

Posted by Jamie
Evanston, IL
11 posts

Janis:

How long of a drive is it from Quimper to first part of Normandy?

Thanks,

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6809 posts

Jamie: 3 hrs driving time not including stops, from Quimper to western edge of Normandy, about 150 miles. St Malo & Mont St Michel are pretty much on the boundary between Brittany and Normandy.