logoBrittany, France

A short guide to Brittany 

Brittany travel guide and tourist attractions

About-France.com - the connoisseur's guide to France

Brittany - France's Celtic fringe

Saint Malo Saint Malo - walled city   

Short guide  Interactive map Main tourist sites More info

Stay in Brittany

Gites in Brittany

 Map of BrittanyThe name "Brittany" derives from the Britons who, back in the dark ages, came south across the English Channel to seek refuge from the Anglo Saxon invaders who were pushing them out of a large part of the island of Great Britain.
    In this historic past, other Britons fled  to the west and south west of their own island, to Wales and Cornwall; and so it is that today, Brittany shares a historic culture with the other Celtic regions of northwest Europe.
   Today, the French administrative region of Brittany covers four "departments", the Côtes d'Armor (22) in the north, Finistère (29) in the far west, Morbihan (56) in the south, and Ille et Vilaine (35) in the east, bordering on Normandy and the Loire valley area. Another department used to belong to the historic province of Brittany, and this was the Loire Atlantique (44), the area round the city of Nantes which used once to be the Breton capital, but is today no longer in the region.
     The capital city of the modern Brittany region is Rennes, located in the central eastern part of the region; most of the major lines of communication between Brittany and Paris pass through Rennes, which is a large industrial and university city. Other important cities in the region are Brest, one of the two most important French naval ports, St Malo, an imposing walled city on the north coast, and Vannes, the capital of the Morbihan, with an atractive old town centre. Quimper, the capital of the Finistère, and St. Brieuc, the capital of the Côtes d'Armor, are less important. Lorient, in the Morbihan, was once a major shipping port trading with - as its name suggests - the Orient; but its shipping and ship-building industries have largely declined, and like other ports on the south coast of Brittany, is better known today for its yachting and yacht-building industry. It is also the venue for Brittany's annual Interceltiques music and culture festival.
Carnac - dolmen
Prehistoric megaliths at Carnac 
  Despite its limited size, Brittany is quite a diverse region; the north and west coasts, open to the force of the North Atlantic, are rugged and rocky, with beautiful sandy coves and beaches. The south coast, facing onto the Bay of Biscay, is flatter, much milder, and graced by a number of large sandy beaches. There are also a lot of inlets on the south coast, such as La Trinité sur Mer, which in the past have been ports and commercial harbours, but today are more popular with yachtsmen and a dwindling fishing industry. The sea here is warmer in summer. The backbone of Brittany is a granite ridge stretching from east to west, peaking in the Monts d'Arrée. But most of inland Brittany is gentle farming country, a region famous for its milk and butter and its early crops.     As a holiday region, it is of course Brittany's coasts that attract the greatest number of visitors; the inland regions are on the whole quite tranquil and for this reason have attracted a lot of second-home owners from other parts of France, and from Britain.
      In cultural terms, Brittany is very distinctive, with its own language and Celtic cultural tradition that set it apart from the rest of France. The Breton language, though not much used in everyday life, and not understood by most of the modern population, has made a comeback in recent years, and is taught in a lot of schools. Celtic traditions are alive or recalled today in Breton folk music, its Celtic festivals, and its many prehistoric monuments.

Reaching Brittany:

Train : by TGV from Paris Gare Montparnasse, train from many cities,
Car: Motorway from Paris, Lille, or Calais, via Rouen and / or Rennes
Plane: Regional airports:  Rennes, Brest, St. Brieuc, Nantes.
Gites and holiday cottages in Brittany
Map of selected hotels on the Brittany coast

Main tourist attractions in Brittany

35 Ille et Vilaine

22 Côtes d'Armor

Beach in Brittany

29 Finistère

56 Morbihan

44 Loire Atlantique

(which includes part of the historic province of Brittany)
Gites and cottages  in Cotes d'Armor and in Finistere Gites and cottages in Morbihan and Ille & Vilaine
B & in Brittany
Small hotels in Brittany Small campsites in Brittany
Top of page     Guide to the regions of France   About-France.com home

About-France.com   Home page -  Site search  -  Regions  -  Maps of France  

Site search
What are you looking for ? Where do you want to go?
Brittany, lying in the northwest corner of France, is one of the great historic provinces of France. The most Atlantic of France's regions, Brittany is proud of its Celtic heritage, that sets it apart from the rest of France. It it enjoys a mild climate somewhat warmer though not necessarily drier than the climate of the southwest of England.
breton coast
The west Brittany coast

Map of France

Rocky coast of Brittany

The rocky coast of Brittany

An independent website, About-France.com is an affiliate partner of selected external websites, and may receive a small commission on sales generated after users click through to a partner site.

Photo top of page by Stbucher

Click here for
low-cost car hire in France

About-France.com is an independent website that does not track users and does not show any personalised advertising, Affiliate links to selected relevant external partner websites  may lead to paymet of a small commission on sales or bookings generated on these sites.

Text and photos Copyright © About-France.com 2008 - 2024 unless otherwise indicated

About-France.com respects your privacy and does not collect data from users. Cookies are used solely to log anonymous audience statistics and to enable certain essential page functions. To remove this message, click   or otherwise learn more about setting cookie preferences