10 great ideas for enjoying the countryside
With its unspoiled natural surroundings, the Breton countryside offers many ways to get away from the daily grind. Argoat, the inland part of Brittany, is also a land of legends and unexpected encounters.
A nature walk through the Lanvaux moorland
The moorland area known as the "Landes de Lanvaux" is situated inland from the Gulf of Morbihan and offers 30 walking routes through typical Breton landscape. Hiking through broom, heather and gorse you'll come across wooded areas and open views of megaliths, roadside crosses and chapels. This is also a special place for discovering unusual wildlife: black woodpeckers, the Quimper snail or even the Long-eared Owl.
To find out more: www.landes-de-lanvaux.com
The land where megaliths grow
Menhirs, cairns, dolmens and covered arches, huge blocks of stone erected 7,000 years ago are dotted around the Breton countryside. Whether just around the next corner or in one of the major listed sites, the 7,000 megaliths still give rise to legends and there's a wide range of theories about their actual history. The Carnac stones, the cairns of Barnenez and Gavrinis, the menhirs of St-Just and the site of the Roche aux FĂ©es (Rock of the Fairies) will take your imagination back into the mists of time.
To find out more: Prehistory
The land of ancient crafts
Take a trip back to the beginning of the last century at Lizio or Poul Fetan by stepping inside recreated shops and workshops: a grocerâ€™s shop, an ironmongers, a print-shop, a blacksmithâ€™s forge and even a classroom. You'll also find objects from day-to-day life in Brittany, such as box beds, costumes and coifs from our grandparents' days. Old-fashioned good manners also come back to life in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere during the many festivals related to these ancient crafts.
To find out more: Eco-museums
Come into the garden...
As the seasons change, come and spend some time relaxing in the gardens of Brittany. Thanks to the mild local climate you'll find both native and exotic plants here. The soils of these gardens have been subjected to a wide range of influences. As well as the typical hydrangeas, they offer palm groves, Tuscan gardens, English-style flowerbeds and tropical flora.
To find out more: Gardens
In Brittany, granite is sacred!
Its strong religious traditions mean that Brittany can boast nine cathedrals and thousands of churches and chapels, all built from the regionâ€™s symbolic stone. Of course, the particular feature of this outstandingly religious land is still the "parish enclosure" made up of a church, a shrine of the crucifixion and an ossuary, all enclosed within a stone wall. The finest specimens are found at Saint ThĂ©gonnec, Guimillau and Lampaul-Guimiliau.
To find out more: Heritage
Brittanyâ€™s highest hills
Brittanyâ€™s "mountains" are not in the same league as the peaks of the Alps or Auvergne. But although the highest summit is only 384 metres, the beautiful Rocâ€™h TrĂ©vezel in the Monts d'ArrĂ©e offers a panoramic view that stretches from the Bay of Lannion to Brest harbour. The hilltop route will take you to the Montagnes Noires and the Menez-Hom, listed as a natural heritage site since 2004 on account of its flora and fauna.
To find out more: The Monts d'ArrĂ©e
Living in a castle
Fancy being a knight, striding along the parapets and walkways of a castle? Head for the dizzy heights of Fort La Latte, the large princely dwelling of the ChĂ˘teau de Suscinio, the exuberant Neo-Gothic ChĂ˘teau de Keriolet, the "Marches of Brittany" tourist route and the historical route of the Dukes of Brittany. These treasures of our heritage, to be found in all corners of the region, will help you get acquainted with the historic events of Brittanyâ€™s past.
To find out more: History and heritage
Go with the flow from Nantes to Brest
The Nantes-Brest Canal, with its 230 locks, carefully managed banks and towpaths, stretches for 360 kilometres. Once used for transporting goods, today it's perfect for leisure boating and walking along the towpaths. Donâ€™t forget to stop off at Malestroit, Josselin and the Abbaye de Bon-Repos (Abbey of "good rest') to make an enjoyable break in your journey.
To find out more: www.canauxdebretagne.org
Rambles through the forest
The pleasant smell of leaf-mould, the gentle whisper of the wind in the leafy canopy, the rustling of dead leaves under your feet: these are the pleasures to be enjoyed in Brittany's forests. The forests of BrocĂ©liande and Paimpont, with their backdrop of oak and ash trees, have a really magical appeal. There's an area of 7,000 hectares to discover, a land of myth and legend which is symbolised by certain trees in particular â€¦
To find out more: BrocĂ©liande