Synonymous with legends, Merlin the Wizard and the Fairy Viviane, Brittany is an ideal haven for daydreaming among valleys and forests
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Named Bretagne, the French for Britain, when Britons settled here after fleeing the Angles and the Saxons, Brittany retains its strong Celtic identity. Located in the northwest of France, the region is steeped in myths and legends, including the Arthurian tales of Merlin, Viviane and Morgane.
Brittany’s shoreline boasts charming seaside towns in the north, rugged coastline on the east and sheltered sandy beaches in the south. Inland, it is known for its scenic villages and towns, which are surrounded by picturesque landscapes.
Visit the charming village of La Gacilly, where Yves Rocher founded his cosmetics empire or the fortified village of La Roche-Bernard, where you can dine at the water’s edge.
Explore the vibrant capital city, Rennes, with its Palais du Parlement de Bretagne, or the walled town of Vannes. Stroll along the lively quays of the naval port of Brest, one of France’s most beautiful natural harbours.
Brittany’s rich history is echoed in its numerous monuments. Ancient standing stones and burial mounds remain at Carnac, Locmariaquer and Camaret, while the Château de Josselin, reflected in the waters of the Nantes-Brest canal, is a blend of the medieval and the Renaissance.
Seafood lovers will enjoy Brittany’s Fruits de Mer and Moules Marinières, but Brittany is probably best known for its crêperies, offering sweet crêpes or savoury galettes. Accompany your crêpes with a glass or two of Breton cider or pair your seafood with the delicious, dry white Muscadet.
The Gulf Stream warms Brittany, and with long hours of sunshine, the climate is very mild.
Cruise the river Vilaine, which flows through the Breton countryside to Rennes, or the delightful, well-preserved River Erdre. The Canal d’Ille et Rance descends a remarkable staircase of locks to reach the port of Dinan while the almost entirely natural Nantes-Brest canal drifts its way across Brittany and through the “Ile aux Pies”, a magnificent gorge surrounded by granite cliffs.
The waterways in Brittany are dedicated entirely to pleasure cruising and are particularly popular among families wishing to avoid the crowds. You can cruise on the Canal du Blavet, the Canal de Nantes à Brest, the Canal d'Ile et Rance and the River Vilaine.