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Reasons to visit Brittany

Brittany is probably the area of France which most British people can relate to most easily. The link is there in even the name; testament to the long Celtic association, especially with Cornwall and Wales. We even have a St Michael's Mount each. 

Brittany is loved particularly for its coastal parts. There is much to it, as it spreads southwards from the English Channel towards the Bay of Biscay. Brittany's departments are: Côtes-d'Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, Finistère and Morbihan.

Côtes-d'Armor in the north has lots of rugged coastline, with many cliffs making for many a pleasant walk. The Côte de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coast) is a highlight: besides the obvious rocky areas, there are fine sandy beaches. This area is one of only three locations worldwide with such a pink granite exposed on the coastline (the others being in Corsica and China). Boat trips can be taken from Perros Guirec, to get to the Sept Iles archipelago, which has a sea-bird and seal sanctuary; you can even see such birds as puffins here at migration time. Cap d'Erquy is a wondrous, seemingly untouched coastline. The department also has a shore with black sand: la Grève Noire.

Ille-et-Vilaine includes the ferry port at Saint-Malo. There is a good aquarium here. Pleugueneuc has a zoo, as does La Bourbansais. Just under 20 miles from Rennes, you find Paimpont Forest, the setting for legends such as those of Arthur and Merlin. Rennes itself is the regional capital, whose annual highlight is regarded as the ‘Tombées de la Nuit' festival held in early summer, with light shows, fire-eating, juggling and music.

In Finistère, the Regional Parc d´Armorique offers lots of scenery worthy of walks. The Cairn de Barnenez in Plouezoc'h is a prehistoric monument, which is supposed to be one of the first European buildings to use durable material in its construction. At around 6500 years old, it has 11 dolmens, and is one of the 85 designated French National Monuments.

In Morbihan, Carnac is noted for its vast array of prehistoric monuments. There are probably over 3000 standing stones, with all sorts of menhirs and dolmens. The Gulf of Morbihan itself is a huge shallow bay; a watersports paradise.

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