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Earth : Europe : France : Great West : Brittany
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Bretagne in France.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Rennes
Government French Region
Currency Euro (€)
Area 27,208 km2
Population 3,139,000
Language French(Official), Breton, Gallo, Oïl
Religion n/a
Electricity 220..230V, 50Hz. Outlets: CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin), accepting CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs
Time Zone UTC +1 and UTC +2(DST)
Place de la République in Rennes, Brittany
Boats in the harbour at St Malo, Brittany

Brittany (French: Bretagne, Breton: Breizh; [3]) is a diverse region of northwestern France.


The region is subdivided into four administrative départements:

The historic Britanny includes these four départements and the Loire-Atlantique département with the city of Nantes.


Other destinations[edit]

  • Carnac - the megalithic menhirs - stones erected by the prehistoric peoples of Brittany
  • Lac de Guerledan - artificial lake created by EDF, a scenic highlight of interior Brittany
  • Cote d'Emeraude - verdant rocky coast stretching from St Malo to St Brieuc - bustling resorts, charming fishing villages
  • Pays de Montfort - Natural and hiking destination between Rennes and the forest of Brocéliande

Breton islands:


Brittany received its modern name when it was settled (in around 500 AD) by Britons, whom the Anglo-Saxons had driven from Britain. Breton history is one long struggle for independence — first from the Franks (5th-9th century), then the Counts of Anjou and the Dukes of Normandy (10th-12th century), and finally from England and France.

The Breton people maintain a fierce sense of independence to this day, as displayed by their local customs and traditions.

In the past 5 years or so a resurgence of the regional identity has happened in France. Breton art, music and culture are recognized across the nation.


The people of Brittany all speak French, and many speak English quite well. Only 5% of the population can speak the Breton regional language. While France tried to discourage the use of regional languages, their use is rebounding, bringing a stronger understanding of culture, contributions, and history. Through the local efforts of the Bretons and their Diwan (Breton language schools), children are being taught in the native language while they learn standard curriculum. The Diwan schools are supported by world wide efforts through various groups, including the International Committee for the Defense of the Breton Language.

Get in[edit]

By ferry[edit]

Jersey and Guernsey to St Malo

Cork to Roscoff

Plymouth to Roscoff and Portsmouth to St Malo

Brittany Ferries[4] operates the following regular services:

  • Plymouth-Roscoff (Pont-L'Abbé, Pont-Aven, certain winter sailings operated by Bretagne)
  • Poole-Cherbourg (Barfleur, Coutances, Normandie Vitesse (BF trading name for Condor Vitesse)
  • Portsmouth-St Malo (Bretagne with winter service operated by Pont-Aven)
  • Portsmouth-Ouistreham (Caen) (Mont St Michel, Normandie, Normandie Express, refit cover provided by Bretagne)
  • Roscoff-Cork (Pont-Aven, occasionally Bretagne)

By plane[edit]

The following airports are located in Brittany:

  • Brest Bretagne Airport (IATA: BES) [5]: Domestic flights and flights to/from the UK and other European/North African destinations. A shuttle bus operated by Bibus links the airport with Brest city centre (one-way ticket costs €1.50) [6].
  • Dinard Bretagne Airport (IATA: DNR) [7]: Ryanair flights to/from London Stansted. As of 2017, there isn't public transport to/from the airport. A taxi ride from the airport to the nearby town of Pleurtuit takes around 10 minutes and should cost around €20. From the Pleurtuit town hall (Mairie) you can take bus number 7 operated by Illenoo [8] to Rennes (journey time approx 1.5 hrs; one-way ticket costs €6).
  • Lannion – Côte de Granit Airport (IATA: LAI) [9]: HOP! flights to/from Paris Orly
  • Lorient South Brittany Airport (IATA: LRT) [10]: Air France flights to/from Paris Orly and Ryanair flights to/from Porto
  • Quimper–Cornouaille Airport (IATA: UIP) [11]: served by British Airways flights to/from London City and Air France flights to/from Paris Orly. Bus lines 14, 25 and 37 operated by QUB links the airport with Quimper city centre (one-way ticket €1.30; journey time around 30 minutes) [12].
  • Rennes–Saint-Jacques Airport (IATA: RNS) [13]: served by Aer Lingus flights to/from Ireland and some domestic flights. Bus number 57 operated by Star [14] links the airport with Rennes city centre (one-way ticket €1.50; journey time around 20 minutes).
  • As of 2017, Saint-Brieuc – Armor Airport no longer has any scheduled flights.

In addition, Nantes Atlantique Airport (IATA: NTE) [15] is served by many airlines, including transatlantic flights. Nantes is around 1.5 hrs from Rennes and Vannes by train. There is a shuttle bus between Nantes railway station and Nantes Atlantique Airport [16]; as of 2017, a one-way ticket costs €8.50, the shuttle leaves every 20-30 minutes and the journey time is around 20 minutes.

From Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (IATA: CDG) there are TGV high-speed train services from the railway station which is adjacent to Terminal 2 (station name: Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV or Paris Aéroport Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle when booking online). The direct TGV high-speed train between CDG Airport and Rennes takes around 3 hrs. The low-cost train company OUIGO [17] also operates train services between CDG Airport and Rennes.

From Paris Orly Airport (IATA: ORY), take bus 91.10 from the airport to Massy TGV station. The bus departs from stop 5 at entrance C of the South Terminal and entrance H of the West Terminal; the journey time is around 30 minutes and a one-way ticket costs €2 [18]. From Massy, there are direct TGV high-speed train services to Rennes (journey time around 2 hours), Saint-Nazaire (journey time around 3 hours), Dol de Bretagne (journey time around 2hr 45min), Saint-Malo (journey time around 3 hours) and Quimper (journey time around 5 hours). The low-cost train company OUIGO [19] also operates train services between Massy and Rennes.

By train[edit]

The TGV train runs almost hourly from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes, Brest, Quimper and Saint-Malo.

SNCF website

By car[edit]

The A11, the Océane Route, links Brittany to Paris. A dual carriageway runs from Rennes to Nantes, and there is a motorway from Nantes to Bordeaux.

By bus[edit]

SNCF offers bus services from all major rail stations in Brittany.

By VTC[edit]

In France, the term 'VTC' (voiture de transport avec chauffeur) is the equivalent of a private hire taxi/minicab in English-speaking countries - you can only take a VTC if it has been pre-booked (for more information, see the main France article).

  • Transport Bretagne [20] is a VTC operator based in Lorient

Get around[edit]

In Brittany, all roads are free (no tolls).

See[edit][add listing]

  • Menhirs and Dolmens Brittany has a large number of megaliths, which simply means "big rocks". These menhirs (standing stones) and dolmens (stone tables) were sites for burials and worship. See some magnificent examples at the bay of Morlaix and the gulf of Morbihan. Museums at Vannes and Carnac detail the archaeolgical finds made at these sites.

Cathedrals and chapels[edit]

The conversion of the Bretons to christianity got into full swing around the tenth century. Brittany has the highest concentration of chapels in continental Europe. The predominant local building material granite has allowed them to survive through centuries of war and turmoil. They are particularly interesting because of the way in which deeply rooted local superstitions and beliefs concerning the cycle of life and death were incorporated within them.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Artichaut (ateliers et galerie), Keranheroff, 29690 La Feuillee (Leave La Feuillee on the Berrien road, take the right hand turn by the stone cross), 02 98 99 06 91, [1]. 1000 - 1400, 1200 - 1800, Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Artichaut offers art and craft classes for all ages, from pottery to feltmaking. Suitable for residents and also holidaymakers, for short sessions or all day courses. Artichaut is also a gallery showing small pieces by Tim and Amanda Bates and other artists. Courses from 6euros per 2hr session to 45euros for full day adult class.  edit
  • Walk the GR34, [2]. The Grande Randonnée 34 (also known as Le Sentier des Douaniers) is a 1,700 km walking trail which hugs the coastline of nearly the entire Breton peninsula. The elevation changes are mild, making this trail enjoyable for either a few hours or, for avid hikers, a few days. Many locals around Saint-Brieuc will recommend traversing Cap Erquy and Cap Frehel in the north, and those who heed their advice will be treated to a spectacular coastal scenery.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Kig ha farz - meat and stuffing
  • Coquilles Saint-Jacques
  • Crêpes and galettes (crêpes made from buckwheat flour) are among the regional specialties
  • Tourteaux (large crabs) and spider crabs
  • Far breton - cake made with prunes
  • Kouign amann - butter cake, served lukewarm

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Chouchen - Breton mead, a sweet alcohol made from fermented honey, water and yeast
  • Cider - alcoholic drink made from fermented apples. Very good ciders are also found in Normandy
  • Beer - there is a great variety (some of them are made with sea water)
  • Whisky - There are Breton whiskies. Nevertheless there are better ones in the Gaelic world...
  • Kir Breton - the local adaptation of the kir. You pour Breton cider instead of white wine, preferably from the Rance valley. (Kir, for those uninitiated, is blackcurrent liqueur and white wine,)

Stay safe[edit]

When swimming in the sea, watch out for rips and undercurrents. Be mindful that the tide can come at a very fast pace so watch out or you might be stranded on an outlying island! Check the tides (marées) in your local tourist office. Ask for a table of the tides.

Get out[edit]

  • Mont Saint Michel - in Normandie, but very close to the Brittany border; monastery and town built on a tiny outcrop of rock in the sand, which is cut off from the mainland at high tide. It is one of France's major tourist destinations, and as such gets very busy in high season. Check the times of the tides before you visit!
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