Brittany France - French Holidays
Brittany is one of France's most popular holiday destinations for both French and foreigners alike: 3 million French and 700,000 foreigners flock there every summer. It is easy to see why so many Brits go there because it is well connected with the UK via ports at Roscoff and St-Malo in Brittany, and Cherbourg, Caen or Le Havre in the neighbouring region of Normandy.
Airports at Brest, Rennes, Nantes and Dinard link Brittany to Paris and London, and trains from Paris take between two and four hours to reach the main towns in Brittany.
There are four départements in Brittany: Morbihan (56) ; Côtes-d'Armor (22); Finistère (29); and Ille-et-Vilaine (35).
The town of Rennes, with its well-established university, is capital of Brittany and also its largest city, with Brest coming a close second. St-Malo has ancient city walls and is a popular destination on the north coast, next to the picturesque seaside towns of Dinan and Dinard. Quimper on the south coast is also greatly admired.
1,875 miles of Atlantic coastline is found in Brittany, that's 25 per cent of France's total coastline. The north coast comprises chocolate box harbours and secret coves; the south coast has stretches of sandy beach and wide estuaries; and the west coast is all rocks and striking cliffs. Finistère, on the west coast, has a large number of lighthouses and Brittany as a whole has a third of all French lighthouses. The inland areas of Brittany are made up of lakes, moors, woodland and fields.
Some of these fields are put to use by Brittany's strong agricultural community which, even though the industry is fading somewhat, still produces a large proportion of France's milk, fish, beef, pork and poultry. Fruit and vegetables have made the region famous and cider, made from the apples grown there, is the region's favourite drink. The average Breton will imbibe around 300 litres of cider every year! When in Brittany it is essential to try the crêpes and galettes, and delicious seafood.
Brittany was created when Cornish people fled there to escape invasions by the Anglo Saxons. It has been a part of France only since 1532, and retains many of its Celtic origins, including the Breton language. West Brittany is the most traditional area and it is here that you can best see how the Irish and Cornish folklore and legend traditions have been passed down through the generations.