There’s nothing quite like that feeling just before you see the sea again. You smell it first, the salt in the air and then you hear it, the waves crashing on the rocks below… here’s a quick guide to a weekend in Brittany (Morbihan region)…
Population: 4.5 million+
Regions: Brittany is divided into four regions: Morbihan is in the south (this is where we stayed), Finistere is to the West (and is the western most point of France), Cotes d’Armor is in the North (this region borders the English channel and is popular with English tourists) and Ille-et-Vilaine is to the East (this is the part of Brittany that borders the rest of France)
Known for: Incredible coastline, regional cuisine (such as butter and cakes made from butter), King Arthurian legends (one of the neolithic rocks in the region is said to mark the final resting place of Merlin), the dolmens at Carnac (one of the largest neolithic sites in the World).
Language: French, Breton
Climate: Moderate temperatures throughout the year, particularly rainy in the Autumn.
With a 6:30 AM start, and a mug of coffee each, we began our journey to Brittany on a surprisingly warm morning for the time of year. We visited Morbihan, the least touristic (I was the only native English speaker I encountered during an entire weekend away) and
arguably the most beautiful region of Brittany.
It had been almost six months since I’d last seen the sea (the last time being a day trip to Bigbury-on-Sea). The region is about a five-hour drive away from the outskirts of Paris… and oh my goodness! it’s worth every minute of the drive!
Here’s how to spend a weekend in Brittany:
Day 1: Quiberon
The quaint town of Quiberon sits at the very end of Presqu’ile de Quiberon (literally ‘almost island‘- so named because the strip connecting the almost-island to the mainland is barely more than a couple of hundred meters wide). The area is beautiful and you could easily spend a weekend just on Presqu’Île de Quiberon!
With a beach, a port, a cinema, food stands and an ice cream parlour boasting over a hundred flavours, it’s the perfect day to spend a rainy afternoon. And if you’re looking for a fantastic place to stay, then you need to look no further than booking a stay at La Petite Sirène.
Day 2: Cote Sauvage & Presqu’Ile de Quiberon
A protected stretch of coast that extends almost 5km in length, the Cote Sauvage (literally ‘savage coastline‘) is a haven for wildlife such as rare birds and rabbits (dusk is the best time to spot rabbits!) During WWII, the coastline was a strategic point and so the area is filled in old WWII bunkers.
The sunsets are jaw-dropping and the coastal walks, unparalleled… Other highlights of wandering along the Cote Sauvage include plenty of sandy beaches where you can swim, paddle, and even partake in watersports depending on the weather conditions!
Day 3: Carnac (Karnag in Breton)
Not only is Carnac home to fairytale beaches and a port filled with history, but it’s also home to one of the largest neolithic sites in the entire world, making the Carnac stones pretty cool place to visit. Full of acres of fields filled with menhirs (standing ceremonial stones) that were placed in situ contemporary with the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge, there were originally over 3000 menhirs (although no one knows exactly why they were placed there).
Today, one of the many stones still standing is said to mark the final resting place of the great magician Merlin from Arthurian legends. For more information on the stones, you should visit the Maison des Mégalithes, a museum that details the discovery of the stones and theories regarding their origins.
Following a visit to the Karnag Stones, a visit to the town of Carnac is a must! Head to the tourism office first for a town map and a quick rundown of what’s on in the area. Afterwards, explore at your leisure, making sure not to miss out on town highlights such as the beach and many traditional French brasseries!
Sunset, Food, Land and Sea
If there’s one thing that you make a point of doing during your weekend in Brittany, make it watching the sunset over the sea. There’s nothing quite like seeing the last glimpses of sunlight, falling over the horizon and glistening on the sea.
Also, be sure to try one of the many famed local delicacies; crepes, galettes (salty and made with buckwheat) and ciders all hail from the region. For more inspiration on visiting Brittany, check out this bucket list for the best things to do in Brittany!