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5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

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5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

We will be driving in from Paris for 5 nights and would like some suggestions for an itinerary We have already done Normand Mt St Michel and D Day Beaches. We are interested in coastal scenery and chamring villages, marketss and would like to base ourselves in one or two nice b & b's. We will either drive back to Paris or possibly fly back from Dinard. Any suggestions of ust see or do in that area will be greatly appreciated.

Paris, France
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1. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

I've written two trip reports about two different vacations I had in Brittany and they have lots of photos and descriptions of the places I visited. Both vacations were in coastal areas. You can have a look at them if you'd like and they'll detail what I did in each area and give you ideas for itineraries.

This first report covers the area near Dinan and Saint-Malo. At the end of the report are links to every major tourist office website in Brittany. The tourist office websites are one of the best resources of info for planning a vacation in France:

http://tinyurl.com/86s4v8f

The highlight towns in this area are Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo but other smaller places to visit would be (towns/villages/château) Léhon, Lamballe, Jugon-les-Lacs, Quintin, Château de la Hunaudaye, Château de Bienassis, Combourg, Moncontour, Bécherel, Saint-Alban, Saint-Suliac, Saint-Méloir-des-Bois, Saint-Juviat, Tréfumel, Guenroc, Saint-Christophe de Valains, Bazouges-la-Pérouges, Coglès and Dol-de-Bretagne.

My second report covers the Gulf of Morbihan (near Carnac and Vannes):

http://tinyurl.com/2555vaf

Some highlights in The Gulf are the prehistoric alignments of menhirs (standing stones) at Carnac, the small medieval city of Vannes, Locmariaquer, La-Trinité-sur-Mer, the old town in Auray, Hennebont, Pontivy, Rochefort-en-Terre, Malestroit, Josselin, La Gacilly, Lizio and Redon among many others. If you went south of here you could also explore Guérande, Piriac-sur-Mer, Le Croisic and La Roche Bernard. The small medieval city of Vannes makes a good base here. Smaller places would be Carnac, Locmariaquer, La-Trinité-sur-Mer and the old town of Auray (the eastern portion on the river, not the western part). Certainly there are others.

Other areas in Brittany you can consider for great coastal scenery would be Finistère and the Côte de Granit Rose and/or the Côte du Goëlo. These areas have rocky, rugged and spectacular coastline. Some popular towns in Finistère include Pont-l'Abbé, Benodet, Quimper, Locronan, Concarneau, Camaret-sur-Mer, Châteaulin, Douarnenez, Le Faou, Lopérec, Ploéven, Landévennec, Pont-Aven and the scenic view point at Pointe du Raz. These are the most popular towns but certainly there are many other small less known towns worth visiting.

In the vicinity of the Côte de Granit Rose and the Côte de Goëlo (côte means coast) some nice towns are Paimpol, Tréguier, Ploumanach, Perros-Guirec, Guingamp, Lannion, Morlaix, La Roche-Derrien, Pontrieux, Plouaret, Hengoat, Châtelaudren, Guerlesquin and Plougonven among others.

One of the distinctive attractions in Brittany are the Parish Closes. These are elaborately decorated churches surrounded by a wall. They often feature ornate calvaries, ossuaries, statuary etc. The most famous ones generally lie in the vicinity of the N12 highway between Morlaix and Brest but they are scattered throughout the region.

Just about any of the towns I mentioned in the preceding paragraphs has a tourist office website. You should google them to find out more, including info about what to see and do, where to eat and where to find accommodation. Occasionally the websites have English versions. In doing a google search enter the name of your town followed by the words "site officiel" or "office de tourisme" and this will bring the town to the top of your search. As I mentioned already, at the end of my Dinan report you'll find links to all the major Brittany tourist office websites.

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2. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

As a very rough idea you could see Rennes (I have not been here myself but it is popular and I gather has a very good market) and then head to the coast beyond St-Malo (Cap Frehel area is especially wonderful) before heading back towards Dinan (lovely town with a pretty port area near the river Rance and another good market) and then on to St-Malo before Dinard.

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3. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

Thanks so much ...that sounds like a plan!!

Paris, France
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4. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

And the first link I provided in my post will give you my report which covers all the places Riostar mentioned, except Rennes.

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5. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

Thank you so much for your detailed and informative recommendations..it sounds like I will need a month in that area, but only have 5 days. That is a great report and I appreciate your prompt response..

Paris, France
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6. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

Actually, everything you saw in my report was during a 5 day vacation and it was in December with short daylight hours. There's a lot of things to see in this area that aren't far from each other. Get a map and a GPS too if you aren't good with maps. I use the Michelin maps of the scale 1:150,000 or 1:200,000. Enjoy your vacation. :)

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7. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

Thats amazing..I just ordered the map and thanks again

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8. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

Could these places be visited by public transport. We are planning to visit in this area. How many days are required do you think?

Many thanks

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9. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

I think you have to ask French Mystique

Paris, France
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10. Re: 5 Day Brittany Itinerary Suggestions

A rental car is the best way to get around this area. You can certainly get around by public transport in this area but you won't be able to get to off the beaten path locations and you'll have to plan very carefully around the hours when bus and train service is available for your chosen destinations.

Here is a map of where the trains go in Brittany:

ter-sncf.com/Regions/…Carte_Flash.aspx

Here are the bus websites for the area around Dinan. The first link is for the Côtes d'Armor department:

http://www.tibus.fr/plan/index.asp?rub_code=5

In the above link you can click on the map to enlarge it to see where buses go.

This link is for the Île et Villaine department:

http://www.illenoo-services.fr/

Here is a map of that network and you'll notice that Rennes is the hub of the system with bus lines radiating out from there like spokes on w wheel:

illenoo-services.fr/ftp/FR_INFO5/X-PDEV-0712…

You'll notice both of these websites have English language options but much of these websites still will not translate into English.

Now that you've seen where trains and bus go you'll realize how much of Brittany is off limits if you are relying on public transport. You can still see the major destinations but wandering around the countryside and seeing off the beaten path places won't be possible.

Edited: 21 February 2013, 09:51