Family Holidays in Brittany: 8 reasons to visit
Family holidays to Brittany
For a wonderful family break, look no further than a holiday in Brittany. With a similar landscape to the UK’s West Country, Brittany has long been a favourite destination with British visitors.
Located in the north-west of France and easy to reach by ferry, Brittany is a popular holiday choice with first-time visitors to France. Many fall so deeply in love with its fabulous coastline and pretty countryside that they come back year after year.
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Brittany has four regions, each with it’s own distinct identity: the Côtes D’Armor to the north with red rocky beaches and attractive medieval towns; Finistère on the west coast, heavily influenced by its maritime roots; Morbihan in the south has a huge number of megaliths, and Ille et Vilaine in the east where the beautiful emerald coastline stretches from Le Mont St.-Michel to St Briac.
Read on for our top reasons to take your family holidays in Brittany, and follow the links below to read our reviews of popular attractions.
1. Best Brittany Beaches
There’s a great new view at every twist and turn of Brittany’s dramatic shoreline, from the rocky headlands and sheltered coves of the north, to the sandy bays and tranquil estuaries of the south. So whatever kind of coastal experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it here, with water sports facilities, walking trails and friendly resorts for all.
Family holidays in the north of Brittany mean some spectacular seascape views; climb amongst the extraordinary rock formations of the Pink Granite Coast near Perros-Guirec; it’s a beautiful area with red sand beaches and beautiful coves, perfect for children to play and explore.
Our favourites tend to be located on the south coast of Brittany, with some beautiful beaches to be found on the stretch between Concarneau and Lorient. Try heading to Port Manech near Pont Aven, plus make time to stop at Trevignon and Raguenes. All these are lovely sandy beaches, with some coves and rock formations, perfect for crab-catching, swimming and even snorkling.
2. Brittany Maritime attractions
Brittany offers a wealth of maritime attractions for families who love being by the sea. Visit the interpretation centre at Pointe du Raz and walk out to the headland to see the currents swirl around the offshore lighthouse. Spend a day at sea without leaving land by visiting the Cité de la Voile sailing museum in Lorient. And learn about boats from across the world at the Maritime Museum in Douarnenez, which includes four boats open to visitors. Or simply stand on a quayside at one of the many fishing harbours to watch the day’s catch unloaded, ready for sale at the local fish market.
3. Land of myths and legends
Brittany is rich in Celtic links, not just with Cornwall, but with Ireland, Scotland and Wales. You’ll hear the Celtic influence in the Breton language, in the music, and also in the rich store of myths and legends. If your family are fans of the BBC series Merlin, don’t miss the legendary Broceliande forest – now part of the Forest of Paimpont – to follow in the footsteps of Merlin and Arthur. There’s a different kind of magic on the moorland around the Monts d’Arrée where mischievous pixies called korrigans roam, and in the small town of Huëlgoat where the woodland of The Chaos is littered with huge boulders supposedly thrown by an angry giant.
4. Visit an island
Like pebbles scattered offshore by some giant hand, the islands around Brittany range from small bird-covered rocks to substantial communities such as Belle-Ile off the south coast near Vannes; the Ile de Batz, opposite Roscoff; and the Ile de Bréhat, close to Paimpol, all just a short hop by ferry. Hire a bike for a few hours, explore on foot, or simply chill out on a beach with an offshore view of the mainland. Or take a boat to the smaller islands of Houat and Hoedic, east of Belle-Ile, for a day out with a difference.
5. Specially for children
Brittany is packed with attractions that are perfect for younger visitors. The tourist board’s English-language website includes a special section detailing a huge range of attractions from animal parks, nature trails and treasure hunts, to castles, gardens and museums that offer activity sheets, audio-guides and other special facilities for junior visitors. And of course many outdoor holiday experiences are absolutely free. Never been rock-pooling? Well, now’s your chance!
6. Quality time in the countryside
Many aspects of Breton life offer an idyllic, laidback lifestyle for British families, especially in the countryside where many people still live in small communities and work the land. Book a gîte on a farm to experience traditional agriculture and livestock. Even the towns look different – see the granite houses of Roscoff, the half-timbered facades of Morlaix and Vannes, and the elegant architecture of Rennes. Don’t miss the chance to let children try out their classroom French on at the local market and remember that every Tourist Office can advise on local walking trails and cycle routes, as well as market days and festivals where visitors are always welcome.
7. Brittany Music Festivals
Reflecting its Celtic roots Brittany hosts many music festivals, often accompanied by attractive displays of regional costume. They are great for entertainment value! Try one of the following:
- Redon “Les Nocturiales” – held at the end of July and the beginning of August around the church of St Sauveur.
- Lorient “Festival Interceltique” – first two weeks of August.
- St Brieuc – held in September.
Brittany’s weather is heavily influenced by the Atlantic so that even in the height of summer the weather doesn’t get too hot, ideal for family holidays in Brittany whilst in the winter it is usually much milder than the rest of France. You can see the typical climate throughout the year in the graph on the left hand side. For today’s weather looks at the panel on the right, or click to go to an external website for a 5 day forecast.
For further ideas, visit: www.brittanytourism.com
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to Brittany:
- Water Parks
- Kids Favourites