In each region of France you can find delightful attractions. It’s no different in Brittany, where it seems like no one is in a hurry, and the life goes slowly. It’s a region in north-western France, famous for cider, an alcohol made from apples, as well as beautiful sandy beaches, precipices and rocky cliffs. The Celtic past is clearly visible here, as well as how the Roman culture mingled with the Anglo-Saxon. It can be observed even in the place names – they’re given both in French, as well as in Celtic (Breton).
A real specialty of the region are so-called crepes, a big and thin pancakes. Once you’re in Brittany, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit a place called creperie and try them. They’re served with meat, cheese or vegetables, there’re also sweet crepes – served with fruits, caramel or chocolate. It’s a delicious and filling dish, which often goes with a cocktail made with a measure of blackcurrant juice topped up with cider (so-called kir Breton, French’s favorite drink).
Attractions of the region
It would be impossible to mention all the attractions of the region, however there’re few which absolutely cannot be skipped. It includes Saint-Malo, a comely town with intriguing architecture located by the English Channel. A high wall, with a row of logs dug into the sand, protects the old part of the resort from the impact of the waves and flooding. Today Saint-Malo is a resort attracting tourist with its long beaches and sailing competitions, while in the dark past, Saint-Malo was a home for many pirates. While exploring the town it’s worth to see the Fort du Petit Bé, a fortress built in 17th century, to protect the town form Dutch and English invaders.
Tourists, who visit Saint-Malo also go to the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, located approximately 50km away from the town. The Abbey is situated on a rocky island in the Bay of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy. Less than 2km long dike links the island to the land. It’s really worth to see this impressive complex - the majesty of it is breathtaking. On the top of the hill there’s an Archangel Michael Sanctuary, while the lower parts are full of historic buildings which now house luxurious hotels, restaurants and shops. In 1979 the architectural ensemble was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It’s one of the most visited places in Normandy, annually it hosts over 3 millions of tourists. On the low-tide there’re plenty of strollers walking on the sand, who are not afraid of the tide, which is able to flood all parking zones.
The capital of Brittany – Rennes
Speaking of Brittany it’s obligatory to say at least few words about its capital city, Rennes. The city has been entirely classified as the historical object. One of its greatest attractions is Parlement de Bretagne, located in the 18th century building. The palace can be visited after a prior reservation at the tourist information office. Its richly decorated interiors delights visitors, as well as the collection of paintings (eg. 17th century “The Triumph of Justice” from the ceiling of the Court of Appeals), gilt ornaments in Waiting Room, and numerous exhibits, such as the clock from the 18th century, or “Christ on the Cross” by Jean Jouvenet. Another monument well worth our attention is Saint-Sauveur Basilica, located in the very center of the city. It’s a place of worship of the Virgin Mary, as it’s believed that four miracles took place here.
Another tourist attraction is the Basilica Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melanie. Slim and beautiful bell tower absorbs the attention of visitors as well as the majestic arcades from 14th century. After sightseeing you can enjoy the colorful flora of the botanic garden located in Parc Thabor. This place also includes the rose garden, aviary, French garden and orangery. The last point of the trip can be visiting La rue Saint-Michel, along which numerous pubs are located.
Menhirs straight from the tale of Asterix and Obelix
I doubt if there’s anybody who doesn’t know the tale of brave Gauls, who repulsed the roman siege. We remember nice giant Obelix, who was still moving big rocks. The biggest complex of such rocks (which are called menhirs) is located in the town of Carnac. The square on which they’re located is called Alignrments do Menec, and there’re up to 1100 stone blocks, most of which doesn’t exceed 1 meter. Few kilometers away, there’s another cluster – 1029 menhirs arranged in 10 rows. The legend has it that these rocks accumulate some unique energy inside.
But Carnac isn’t only known for the big rocks scattered over the fields. It’s a health resort, which prides itself on having a wide beach, with gold fine sand. Rocks sticking out of the sea are the home to crabs, which are massively picked by the local people. The city’s big attraction is Tumulus Saint Michel. Its peak is crowned with 16th century cross, there’s also church of St. Michael. However the year of 4500b.c. is the estimated time of the mound creation.
Exploring Brittany we find a lot of comely campsites. If you want to locate somewhere near the famous megaliths, choose Kemping Les Menhirs (allée Saint-Michel / BP 167, 56343 Carnac-Plage Cedex). It’s opened from April to September, you can ride a horse, play minigolf and tennis there, while approximate price for the accommodation, depending on the month, is 52-56 Euros/day. It’s a 4-star campsite.
Cheaper, however not really worse is the accommodation on the campsite Le St. Laurent (Kergonvo, D186, 56400 Ploëmel). Here for the double occupancy, adults will pay from 21,40 to 26,40 Euros. The campsite is adapted to disabled people, guests have at their disposal the washer, dryer but also heated swimming pool with retractable roof.
It’s just a small part of places where you can stop, and a small part of attractions which can be seen during the tour around Brittany. Splendid region, nice people and delicious food – here you can really lost the track of time.