Europe_Shutterstock/27183277/Franck Boston/Brittany is part of France and yet it retains a distinctive, individual character. Celtic roots and a vibrant heritage are revealed in song and dance, colourful festivals and local costumes with their famous lace headdresses. History lovers will find castles, medieval houses, chapels and standing stones at every turn, and the remarkable coastline, with its islands, forts and lighthouses, recalls long conflicts with England as well as the Atlantic Wall of the Second World War.

Brittany is a perfect arena for active holidays, whether you want any form of water sports or walking, cycling and riding. Many long-distance footpaths and former railway tracks criss-cross the immensely varied countryside, with its lakes, forests, wild heaths and the craggy peaks of the Monts d’Arrée. Beautiful rivers, such as the Oust and the Aulne, form part of the Nantes–Brest canal, which runs right across the region. The peace and tranquillity of the sparsely populated countryside can be enjoyed at any pace, with lively cities like Rennes, Quimper and Vannes providing a contrast with plenty to see and do by day and night.

So whether you want an energetic holiday or a cultural one, or simply to lie on a beach and sample as many crêpes and local ciders as possible, Brittany offers relaxation or stimulation to order.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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