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Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Hawaii
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Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

My daughter I and will be taking the TGV from Paris for a 2-3 day trip to the Brittany Coast (in June). We don't want the train travel to take more than 4-5 hrs and we will not be renting a car. Ideally we are looking for a self contained/compact beautiful village on the coast that will allow us to walk, bike, and or hike a bit. And of course sample some unique aspects of that village's history. So far, I am looking at Roscoff (incl the island of lle de Batz) and Paimpol (incl. the island of Brehat). Just want to make sure I'm not missing a much better option for a coastal town/village with my requirements (including that it is a good base for public transportation incl. walking from place to place). Any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated as I am booking the trip this week ;-)

Paris, France
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1. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Choose Paimpol:

http://www.paimpol-goelo.com/en

Hawaii
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2. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Thank you for your quick reply! Any reasons in particular you would recommend Paimpol? And, Paimpol over Roscoff?

Paris, France
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3. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Paimpol is prettier than Roscoff and the coastline near Paimpol is much more dramatic. There are dozens and dozens of coastal towns in France that are a 4-5 hour train ride from Paris that would fit the description of what you are looking for. If you've settled on these two places as your finalists I think Paimpol is the better of the two. Plenty of hiking in the area and great for biking too. If you just want to relax and hike and bike I think Paimpol is a nice spot.

Montreal
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4. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

I agree with F_M, I prefer the area around Paimpol over Roscoff.

Tréguier, the pointe de l'Arcouest just before getting to the île de Bréhat is also worth seeing. Biking on the island is also quite nice to do.

If you had a car you could have driven up to Ploumanach and all of the côte de Granit Rose. This entire area is really gorgeous.

Edited: 13 March 2013, 14:42
Paris, France
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5. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

If you want to go anywhere by public transport here's a map that shows where the local rail lines run:

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

And here are websites you can search local bus routes:

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

http://www.breizhgo.com/bretagne_en

In the summer there is a steam engine tourist train that runs between Paimpol and Pontrieux that might be kind of fun.

vapeurdutrieux.com/pages/fr/83/carte-interac…

ville-pontrieux22.fr/pageLibre00010430.asp

I wrote a trip report about exploring that area that might give you some ideas. Much of the report covers the area near Dinan but I also covered some places near Paimpol such as Tréguier, Pontrieux and La Roche-Derrien.

http://tinyurl.com/86s4v8f

Pontrieux is a pretty little town and taking the train there might make a nice day.

Here's some info about biking and hiking in that area:

http://www.paimpol-goelo.com/en/node/277

http://www.randonnee.paimpol-goelo.com/

http://www.randonnee-bretagne.com/

And boat transport to Île de Bréhat:

http://www.vedettesdebrehat.com/welcome.htm

United Kingdom
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for Barnstaple, Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby
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6. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Absolutely agree with F_M: go for Paimpol. We had a lovely holiday there, and it is a pretty harbour town with nice beaches nearby, a good market weekly and streets to wander and enjoy.

Edited: 13 March 2013, 19:25
Hawaii
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7. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Wow, Thanks F_M, plannerHaolic & Riotstar...seems like Paimpol is the place. Being on the quest for the perfect coastal town that fits my criteria was made less daunting of a task with your input. I wish I had weeks to explore other areas--"next time!" F_M the info you provided re: hiking and transportation, etc. were really appreciated as this is not only my first time to France, but also to Europe. Love the invaluable info found thru tripadvisor folks like yourself.

Paris, France
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8. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Well I'm happy to help and congrats on your first and hopefully not last trip to Europe. :) Just a tip, when you're looking for info the tourist office websites are one of your best resources. Any touristy town in France will have one. At the end of my report are links to most of the major tourist office websites in Brittany. Visit the tourist office when you arrive in Paimpol and they'll have loads of brochures, maps, etc. Some of them will be free and the more detailed stuff will cost a few euros.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

One last tip. It will be cheapest to buy your train ticket from Paris to Paimpol 3 months in advance. Use the TGV website to buy/reserve your tickets and to see schedules and prices. Don't forget to uncheck the box marked "Direct Trains" to see all possible options. If the TGV site redirects you to the RailEurope website then try again and enter Great Britain or Antarctic as your ticket collection country. Other countries may also work but just try to find a country that doesn't get you redirected to RailEurope. The RailEurope website often doesn't show all the trains and generally has higher prices but you can check just to compare. For trains that require reservations you can buy tickets up to 3 months or more in advance and the earlier you buy them the cheaper they will be. The discounted tickets are known as PREM tickets but these are non-refundable and can't be exchanged.

Here is a website that will tell you how to navigate the TGV website:

www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchTrain.htm

Paris, France
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10. Re: Looking for compact/self-contained village on Brittany Coast

Oops, forget to give the TGV web address, www.tgv-europe.com.