Now that the country is officially welcoming tourists during the summer months, lots of us are starting to dream about a trip to la douce France again. From a city trip to mundane Nice to an adventurous trek through the Alps and everything in between: the list of options is almost never-ending. If you fancy a vacation away from the crowds, however, Brittany may just be your best bet.
Let’s be honest for a moment. No, the French coastal region is not the sunniest option out there. So if the weather is what matters most to you, you might have to look elsewhere. Yet if you are a true nature lover and a bit of a lonely soul like, Brittany will offer you all you have ever dreamt of and more. Get ready to fall in love.
1. Legend Has It
Those who are acquainted with the tales of King Arthur will certainly be aware of Brittany’s existence. According to the legend, he and his knights roamed the Forest of Brocéliande which is located in the center of the province. Even nowadays, it is not difficult to imagine that Brittany has been the cradle of many a tale. If you listen close enough, you might even hear the ancient oak forests whispering their mysterious stories. Wandering through them can at times be a little frightening yet first and foremost you will be enchanted by the beauty of it all.
2. Coastal Route
Even though Brittany’s outback alone is worthy of a trip, you certainly cannot go there without paying a visit to the magnificent coastline. I would personally recommend going to the Côte de Granit Rose (or Pink Granite Coast) and making the most of it by walking part of the GR34. This walking path spans over more than 2.000 kilometers and covers the whole of Brittany’s coast. The real adventurers out there could of course challenge themselves to hike the route in its entirety, yet even if you just want to clear your head for a couple of hours, this is the way to go. I would recommend exploring the area around Beg Gracia as a good starting point. When you’re surrounded by the smell, sight and smell of the rough ocean, with not a single other living soul nearby, your daily hasty life seems like a memory of a long forgotten past.
3. Island Life
Of course, a trip to Brittany would not be complete without visiting one of the many islands on offer. Even though Île de Batz is one of the most popular amongst them, you might want to consider visiting anyway. A boat will take you from Roscoff to the town center and after that it is up to you to get lost on this little paradise. As soon as you leave the inhabited world behind, the island shows its true colours. Which is not even a figure of speech as the coastal grasslands are dotted with the most fragile yellow and purple flowers in a landscape only nature could pull off. On the easternmost side of Île de Batz, you will find the Jardin Georges Delaselle. This botanical garden could easily be located in some tropical destination, yet here it is, looking out over the bay. As atypical and surprising as Brittany itself.
A vacation in France would not be complete without a stay in a chambres d’hôtes, the French take on a bed and breakfast. Although there certainly are tons of options to choose from, I would urge you to book a stay at La Grange de Coatélan in Plougonven. Hidden at the end of a cul-de-sac, this truly is one of those gems you would rather keep to yourself. The farm from the sixteenth century has no more than five rooms on offer and is the ideal place to hide away from the crowds. Between the French crêpes in the morning and the mouthwatering homemade dinner in the evening, it certainly is not easy to find a better and more welcoming home-away-from-home.