Map of Brittany000a
East Côtes d’Armor
To the East, the Côtes-d'Armor stretches between Mont-Saint-Michel in the Departement Ille et Vilaine and Saint-Brieuc on the Emerald Coast. Here imposing rocky outcrops alternate with beautiful bays with their hidden, fine, pale sandy beaches. You can reach holiday resorts such as Saint-Cast, les Sables d’Or, Erquy and Le Val-André or also one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries in Brittany at Cape Fréhel via the coastal road. One of the most typical Breton towns, Dinan, lies high above the banks of the Rance and hidden away at the estuary mouth are many attractive manors dating from a time when pirates were still bringing their booty to Saint-Malo.
West Côtes d'Armor
In earlier times, the legendary rocky splendour of the "Pink Granite Coast" exerted a great power of attraction over the cunning smugglers. It is from this time that the toll path - now an idyllic hiking path - originates. Starting at the endearing little harbour town of Paimpol in Trégor, it meanders through Trebeurden, a meeting place for water sportsmen near Lannion, past sheltered bathing beaches to the sophisticated bathing resorts of Perros-Guirec and Trégastel. The forrested inland region between the Channel and the Atlantic Coast offers further prospects: Farm holidays, water sports on the lake at Guerlédan or boat trips on the "Nantes-Brest-Canal" or exploring historical towns such as Josselin and Pontivy with their imposing castles.
The most imposing and primal area is Finistère - the end of the World - surrounding Brest in the far west of Brittany. The coast is characterised by deep, fjord-like clefts - known as Aber - and hundreds of offshore islands. The hinterland is rich in diverse countryside panoramas such as the nature park of Armorique and the forest of Huelgoat at the foot of the stark heights of Mont-d'Arrée. One sign of the devoutness and pride of the Bretons can be seen in the parish Calvaries present in almost every village.
France's wild west is rich in contrast and the stormy "Pointe du Raz" undoubtedly constitutes one of the highlights of Finistère. Further south near Quimper nature is gentler. The fine, sandy beaches of Benodet, Fouesnant and Concarneau are a paradise for bathing holiday makers. In his time, Paul Gauguin was inspired by the fascinating countryside and founded an artist's colony in the small harbour town of Pont-Aven.
In the southernmost part of Brittany, in Morbihan, the coastline is, in contrast to other areas, flatter. Long, stretching sand dunes border the mainland at the Atlantic coast and form kilometer long, fine sandy beaches. This departement also has many sights to offer: within the triangle of Erdeven-Quiberon-Carnac can be found the largest collection of prehistoric megaliths, south of Vannes the Gulf of Morbihan forms a fascinating inland sea with 365 islands and a mild micro-climate.