Wednesday 16 October 2019

Brittany in 7 days – How to plan the perfect holiday in the west of France

Image credit: Yannick Le Gal
Image credit: Yannick Le Gal

Rachael Taylor Fawsitt

Just because the summer months are over, that doesn’t mean the fun has to come to an end. A trip to Brittany is the perfect getaway for those looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy some autumn sunshine.

With so much of the beautiful French coast and countryside to explore, why not pack up the car and set sail for the adventure of a lifetime? With two overnight sailings each week from Ireland with Brittany Ferries, you can wake up in a stunning French harbour and start your holiday straightaway.

From sandy beaches to cobbled streets, walled cities to a dramatic coastal landscape, you won’t be short of things to enjoy during a seven-day trip to the west of France.

Day 1: Travel day and Roscoff

Roscoff 1.jpg
Image credit: Yannick Le Gal

Arriving into the picturesque fishing village of Roscoff by ferry gives you a glimpse of what to expect from your time in Brittany. With stonework homes dotted all over the village and lining the docks, a striking Gothic church and the surrounding countryside bursting with cauliflowers, onions and artichokes – this is a great place to start your week. Take a day here to find your feet, enjoy some fresh local cuisine and get ready for what the week has in store.

Where to stay: Hotel Aux Tamaris, Roscoff

Where to eat: Try Le Brise Lames for delicious seafood

Day 2 and 3: Town of Morlaix and Bay of Morlaix

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Image credit: Alexandre La Moureux

Head inland for the town of Morlaix, which is a great place to base yourself for a couple of days. The town is full of museums, galleries and many other things to keep you busy during your time there including a giant bridge that will leave you standing in awe when you first see it towering over the harbour town. However, the real gem of the area is the Bay of Morlaix.

The Bay is a huge inlet that is made up of lots of tiny islands, such as Callot Island. Take a day trip around the bay on a mini cruise and enjoy the unspoilled nature that is on offer. Popular attractions of the bay include bird sanctuaries and the "Château du Taureau", which is a 16th century sea fortress.

Where to stay: The Originals de la Baie de Morlaix, Carantec

Where to eat: Creperie Ty Bihan for soft French creps

Day 4: Monts d’Arrée

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Image credit: Yannick Derennes

Set off nice and early today and head south to the ancient mountain range of Monts d’Arrée, which is situated in Parc naturel régional d'Armorique. Home to the highest points in Brittany and standing at 385 metres above sea level, these rugged mountains are the perfect place for hikers and walkers to spend some time. Wander the rocky ridges and barren crests, or explore the hedged fields, bogs and lakes. With trails to suit all fitness levels, there is a path for everyone here.

Take the trail along Finistère’s spine and enjoy views from both the north and south of the Finistère department. Or, climb to the peak of Mont Saint-Michel de Brasparts, where a quaint stone chapel has perched since the 17 century. As well as being home to the chapel, the summit also offers supreme views of the neighbouring peat bogs and Lake Brennilis.

Where to stay:  Les Roulottes des Korrigans

 Where to eat: Crêperie La Fregate

Day 5 & 6: Gulf of Morbihan

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Image credit: Alexandre La Moureux

Two hours south of Mont d’Arree, is the natural harbour known as the Gulf of Morbihan. Allow yourself a generous two days here and enjoy some glorious peace and quiet. This inland sea covers around 40 square kilometres of stunning natural scenery and is known for its idyllic islands, hiking trails, beaches and even a prehistoric tomb!

Enjoy some fresh oysters of the bay or hop in a local’s boat and explore one of the many islands. Some of the most popular among visitors are the Île-d'Arz, which is a set of nine picturesque islands.

Another place to add to your must-visit list in the Gulf of Morbihan is Gavrinis. This island contains the Gavrinis tomb, a megalithic shrine famous for its wealth of megalithic art.

Where to stay: Hotel Escale Oceania

Where to eat: La Belle d'Ilur for local oysters

Day 7: Travel

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Image credit: Donatienne Guillaudeau

The journey from the Gulf of Morbihan back to Roscoff takes roughly three hours, so if you are catching your ferry home today, make sure you set off with lots of time to spare. You may even consider heading back the evening before and enjoying one last evening in the fishing village where you started your trip.

The good news is, that the drive itself is worthy of a mention as you take in lots of the beautiful French countryside en route. Be sure to explore your route options in advance, although you may be tempted to avoid the scenic route, it can get you there just as quickly while also giving you a lovely view along the way.

Enjoy Brittany by setting sail from Cork to Roscoff. With up to 2 sailings a week it’s now possible to enjoy a short break in the region and Brittany Ferries do all the planning for you with a range of self-drive holidays. Four night breaks start from just €219 per person based on 2 nights' bed and breakfast and overnight return crossings from Cork to Roscoff. Find out more here.

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