Luxury travel to Brittany
You continue on foot, leaving the car at the lighthouse behind you. You walk along the footpath, out onto the rocky outcrop. The waves break on the rocks below. The wind makes your hair dance and the wild flowers sway. You arrive at the end of the path and see a breathtaking sight, a panorama like no other.
Way to the left, in the distance, the Cap Fréhel. To the right, Granville in Normandy. If you turn even further, you see the Mont-Saint-Michel and its majestic bay.
Rugged, beautiful, wild. This is Brittany.
5 things you don’t know
Brittany has around 2800 kilometers of coastline, almost a third of all the coastline in France. As a result, much of the region’s activities, history and culinary traditions are influenced by the sea. This seafaring nature has given the people a strong cultural identity, considering themselves to be Breton first, French second. Here are a few facts that you might not know about Brittany:
The Atlantic airstream creates a lot of windy weather for Brittany, making it ideal for sailing, kite surf and sand yachting.
One of the oldest golf courses in France is the Golf Club of Dinard, inaugurated in 1887. The greens are breathtaking, extending from heath to cliffs overlooking the sea.
The name “Finistère” comes from the Latin finis terrae, meaning the edge of the earth. Once you go there, you’ll understand why.
A new culinary tradition, 10 of the almost 800 species of seaweed in Brittany have been authorized for sale in food and are now used in pasta, cookies, charcuterie, tea and beer.
Corsairs originated in Saint Malo. To win over the stubbornly independent city, French kings gave the city special privileges, including Lettres de Course, allowing them to raid and pillage on the high seas.
Brittany travel guide
Académie des Arts de Vivre (AAV) has selected the finest luxury hotels and chateau for you in this beautiful region.
Opened in 2015, the Hotel Castelbrac in Dinard has spectacular views of Vicomté Bay, Solidor Tower and the battlements of Saint Malo. The restaurant “Pourquoi Pas” has one Michelin Star and two Gault & Millau toques. The rooms and suites are luxurious, all having a sea view and some offering terraces as well. The Hotel Castelbrac offers excursions in a private boat, allowing you to see the exceptional rugged coastline.
Also in Dinard, the Hotel Barrière Le Grand Hotel has an indoor swimming pool and 300m2 spa dedicated to well-being and beauty. Here, you can enjoy the casino, enjoy the dramatic cuisine served in the emblematic Restaurant George V, go horseback riding, biking, or stroll along the beach. Kids will enjoy the Petit VIP club.
The Chateau Richeux in Cancale is a manor home from the 1920s, facing the Mont-Saint-Michel in a lovely setting of heathland. You can stay in the chateau or try one of the Gîtes Marins, little vacation cottages designed like boats, all beautifully decorated. Guests of the gîtes can gather vegetables and herbs in the vegetable garden overlooking the sea.
The Castel Beau Site in Perros-Guirec is one of the most beautiful places to stay along the Côte de Granite Rose, the celebrated coastline of beautiful pink granite. The restaurant, La table de mon père, is chic but not stuffy and the cuisine traditional yet inventive. A particularly interesting starter is the lasagna of seasonal vegetables with mustard-eggplant cream and carrot ginger sorbet.
In the picturesque Breton village of Locquirec, the Grand Hotel des Bains offers discreet luxury year round. The high end accommodations are decorated in a classic New England style, with views of the garden and sea. There is a marine spa. The gourmet restaurant uses fresh, local produce and the best the sea has to offer, ingredients that celebrate the hotel’s pride in the richness Brittany has to offer.
Accommodations at these luxury hotels include guest rooms and suites – and even villas—with tailor-made options to make your honeymoon, family getaway, and luxury holidays unforgettable.
Best luxury experiences in Brittany
Nothing will prepare you for the spectacular site of the Mont-Saint-Michel, an extraordinary church and monastery built on a rocky island, completely inaccessible during high tide until the new bridge was built in 2014. An AAV guide will make a thousand years of history come alive for you. The Mont-Saint-Michel is a UNESCO world heritage monument. For more on our architecture experiences.
The Emerald Coast
After a stroll through the historic center of Saint Malo and a walk along the battlements, your AAV local guide will drive you along the breathtaking Emerald Coast to the Pointe du Grouin, a rocky spur with a panorama of the Mont Saint Michel Bay. From there, you will go to Cancale, known worldwide for its oysters. A jewel.
The Pink Granite Coast
Stretching from Perros-Guirec to the Bay of Lannion, the Côte de Granite Rose is a beautiful coastal area with imposing masses of pink stone sculpted by the wind and sea. You will visit the fishing village of Ploumanac’h, picturesque lighthouses, lovely sand beaches, historic manor homes and other enchanting villages. A must-see in Brittany.
Pont-Aven is one of the most famous villages in Brittany. Renowned painters Paul Gauguin, Paul Sérusier, Charles Filiger, Emile Bernard or André Even all painted here, using the rural countryside, the rugged coast, and even the innkeepers as inspiration for their paintings. Even today, the painting school attracts artists from around the world. For more on our art experiences.
When is the best time to visit Brittany?
Brittany is beautiful to visit at any time of the year. If you love water and nature, or are looking for historical and cultural experiences, you will enjoy Brittany.
Brittany in winter:
Brittany has a relatively mild climate, especially in the far west where frost and snow are rare. Winter is a good time to hike the coastal paths in Finistère: the Baie des Trépassés, Land’s End, the Pointe du Raz. The blustery weather makes you feel you are going to be swept away.
Brittany in spring:
In spring, before the summer crowds arrive, this coastal region is calm. It’s a great time for art lovers to visit the many galleries and exhibitions. Be sure to visit the FRAC Bretagne, a contemporary art foundation in Rennes. Spring is also a good time to visit regional gardens, especially La Roche Jagu Estate with its many landscapes and breathtaking views.
Brittany in summer:
If you like it hot, go to the Morbihan whose micro-climate makes it the warmest area in Brittany in the summer. If you prefer cooler weather, head for the Finistère. With so much coastline, Brittany is a must for those who love water sports. Hike along the coastal paths or go inland to visit the numerous regional parks.
Brittany in autumn:
Brittany has many forests, which makes autumn here especially breathtaking. See the autumn colors or hunt for mushrooms in the Brocéliande, Fougères, Beffou, Quénécan and Camors forests. Huelgoat forest is also interesting for its huge boulders; some of which are said to be magical. The Carnoët forest, along the Laïta river, is also lovely.
Travel tips about Brittany
The westernmost point of France, like an arm reaching out to the ocean, much of Brittany is coastline, rugged rocky coast battered by Atlantic winds and tides. Perhaps this is what gave such a strong identity to the Breton. Or perhaps it is their long history—the area has been settled for over 6500 years.
Inland, you will find rivers, gentle rolling hillsides and many forests. For a relatively small region, Brittany has a great geographic diversity, making it a wonderful destination for your luxury holiday to France.
Think Stonehenge, but bigger. Carnac has the highest concentration of standing stones in the world. The Carnac Alignments are exceptional; rows and rows of standing stones. Around 4500 B.C., close to 4,000 stones were set upright over 4 kilometers. A fascinating sight.
Where to go after the end of the world?
Once you’ve reached the westernmost point of the Finistère, you might want to keep going. You can. Ouessant Island, with its spectacular landscapes and rich nature, can be reached by ferry from the picturesque port of Le Conquet.
Although Biarritz may be more famous for surfing, Brittany, with its wild and rugged coastline, many beaches and sheltered covers, is a surfer’s paradise. La Torche is considered the place to surf in Brittany. La Plage du Kérou is good for beginners.
If you are travelling with children, consider going to Vannes. They will enjoy visiting the Oceanographic Aquarium with areas dedicated to the cool waters of the Atlantic, tropical lagoons of the Pacific and the freshwater of the Amazon and great African lakes.
King Arthur’s Forest
Brocéliande is Brittany’s largest forest and perhaps the oldest. Several texts, some dating back to the Middle Ages, say that the Valley of No Return of the Arthurian legends is actually located in Brocéliande. Merlin the Wizard and Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, are said to have lived here, as well.
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