Maritime heritage

Shoals of fishing fleets… and yachts

Such was the beauty of Brittany’s numerous traditional fishing ports that once the tourists began to arrive, many doubled as resorts. Next, a number of totally new resorts arose in prime beach locations and then along came a spate of marinas offering berths in one of the most famous sailing destinations in the world, producing many of the planet’s greatest sailors.

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A fishing business 

Today, technology has eased the Breton fisherman’s hard lot. At Haliotika in Le Guilvinec, learn about how the industry now works, in this, one of the Finistère’s exceptional collection of fishing ports, going from Roscoff round to Concarneau via Douarnenez – the last two with a brace of the best Breton fishing museums. While fleets have dwindled, you can still find working ports all around the Breton shores; some specialise in shellfish, like Cancale, those of the Bay of St-Brieuc or in the Golfe du Morbihan. At Quiberon, visit the traditional canneries.

Blooming resorts  

After the end of 19th-century warring, gorgeous villas sprouted up in some of Brittany’s prettiest coastal spots; Dinard perhaps offers the finest examples of Belle Epoque buildings. Resorts like Carantec, Locquirec and Perros-Guirec developed on glorious peninsulas on the north coast, while others like Le Val-André and Sables d’Or-les-Pins exploited tremendous bays. Many Breton resorts have an irresistible old-world charm to them, like Bénodet or Carnac.

Maritime gatherings and trips 

Douarnenez and Brest host staggering gatherings of old boats. Gasp at racing yachts at Lorient and La TrinitĂ©-sur-Mer, the former with a great new sailing tourist sight, the CitĂ© de la Voile, the latter renowned for regattas. Saint-Malo too serves as point of departure for big sailing races. You can enjoy boat trips from most of Brittany’s ports and resorts, with fishermen, in historic boats, or on a mini-cruise to an island. Find out more about the unforgettable Brittany Experiences.

The Route du Rhum

Join the unique atmosphere of the Route du Rhum’s celebrations in Saint-Malo from the 25th October to the 2nd November 2014 ! The Route du Rhum is one of the most popular sportive and maritime events in France. Since its first edition, the magic of this transatlantic sailing race operates from its departure point in Saint-Malo. Every four years, the marine fantasy enters into the streets of the old walled city. Visitors are invited to share the dream of absolute of those single-handed sailors dressed to face an ocean of rare intensity.

Did you know ? 

Brittany has produced many of the world’s yacht-racing legends, from Tabarly and de Kersauzon to Francis Joyon.

With TripAdvisor’s reviews from travellers

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