10 spring destinations
It’s time to pull on your walking boots, set off for a ramble and watch nature coming back to life in this season of flowers and fresh scents.
All aboard for a trip to the Glénan isles when the narcissi are in flower
The Glénan Narcissus is a species found nowhere else in the world, and can be seen in flower from April onwards. Against the lovely backdrop of the Glénan archipelago, this pretty pale-yellow flower, blossoming for only three short weeks, mingles with the violet of the wild hyacinths and provides a striking rural picture. Board one of the Vedettes de l’Odet (Odet Launches) to go and see this specimen plant in the nature reserve of the Île Saint Nicolas.
To find out more: Vedettes de l'Odet boat trip
The Bécherel "Book Fair"
Bécherel, a small and picturesque town, is only 30 km from Brittany’s capital. Its special feature is that it is basically devoted to books. You'll find a range of new and second-hand bookshops. Some of them are also tea-shops, so you can get a bit of refreshment with your culture. Over the Easter weekend, this "Cité du livre®" (City of Books) is host to the "Fête du livre" or book fair, where many exhibitors and authors come to meet the public through lectures and shows.
To find out more: Bécherel
Moorland and coast in flower
With the first sunrays of springtime, the mild Breton climate encourages visitors to discover the colours and perfumes of the moorland, the low-growing but flourishing vegetation that is typical of the coastline and the Monts d'Arrée. The yellow of the broom and the soft coconut smell of the gorse mingle with wafts of sea air promising lovely, energising walks - the kind of thing to wake up all your senses.
To find out more: Discover Brittany nature
April is the time for the scallop festival
This tasty shellfish, the symbol of the pilgrim, is celebrated at the end of the fishing season in the Côtes d'Armor department, the largest producer in Europe. The Coquille Saint-Jacques Festival happens every year in one of three fishing ports: Erquy, Saint Quay Portrieux and Loguivy de la Mer. In 2011 it will take place in Erquy on 9-10 April. Be there to taste the famous noix (the ‘meat’ of the scallop), enjoy boat-trips out to sea and meet the fishermen in a friendly, festive atmosphere.
To find out more: Erquy
Art Rock, the musical event of the spring
Every Whitsun weekend in Saint-Brieuc, the Art Rock festival stages famous performers and budding talents, for three solid days of concerts, theatre, dance, circus arts, plastic and digital arts. The aim is to bring together a wide range of artistic disciplines in a single programme. It’s a Saint-Brieuc recipe that's often imitated but never equalled: get stuck in and enjoy it!
To find out more: Art Rock
Markets blossom on the pavement
Whatever the day or the place, you’re never far away from a street market in Brittany. Large or small, they provide those special moments when you can get to know local producers and lose yourself in the crowd. Stroll along, filling your basket with home-made charcuterie, organic fruits and vegetables, regional pastries, and don’t forget your galette-saucisse - it’s not to be missed!
To find out more: www.marchedefrance.org
Cycling along the greenways
Fancy pedalling your way gently into springtime? Then head for the "voies vertes" - the greenways that criss-cross Brittany. There are eight of these long-distance tracks, totalling 800 km of prepared routes along towpaths or former railway tracks. Follow one of these routes with your family, in total safety, to discover some of the most beautiful sites on the peninsula. Make the most of it! There’s no better time than this season when nature is waking up and beckoning you out.
To find out more: www.cycling-brittanytourism.com
The Festival of Brittany
On the feast-day of Saint-Yves, Brittany draws on all its talents to pay tribute to Celtic culture. It’s a time for Bretons and those who love the "Gwenn Ha Du", the Fête de la Bretagne or Festival of Brittany, to get together for a week in the merry month of May. It's celebrated from Brest to Fougères and from Montparnasse to Tokyo, a popular, friendly event with concerts, exhibitions, "fest-noz" and street performances.
To find out more: Festival of Brittany
Bucolic strolls through Brittany’s gardens
Gardens with mazes, botanical gardens, forested parkland, arboretums or vegetable gardens... In this season, Brittany’s gardens offer lovely walks against a backdrop of rich colours and heady perfumes. In springtime, lots of plant festivals are organised in these relaxing gardens, not forgetting the national "Rendez-vous au jardin" scheme ("See you in the Garden"), which starts in early June and allows you to visit more than a hundred exceptional parks and gardens in Brittany.
To find out more: Brittany Parks and Gardens
La Gacilly, an open-air gallery
From June onwards, La Gacilly hosts the "Peuples et Nature" ("Peoples and Nature") photography festival, a huge exhibition of photos in the open air. The show, which is completely free of charge, consists of a series of 200 large-format photos displayed on the walls of buildings, in the streets and gardens of this "town of arts and crafts". These photos, taken by internationally renowned photographers, show a range of faces and landscapes that pose questions about important contemporary issues.
To find out more: www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.com