© Alexandre Lamoureux
10 top tips to travel responsibly

10 top tips to travel responsibly

The quote is from Nicolas Bouvier, the famous travel writer: “A strip starts with the first step”. Have you planned to set foot in Brittany soon? A dream opportunity to experience a different way of travelling. Light, with no heavy schedule or carbon footprint because it is possible to balance pleasure and respect of the environment when you are on holiday as well. We can prove it to you with our 10 top tips!

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1. Activate  the “Brittany Formula”

Discover the joys of alternative routes! Pleasure can also be found when you step aside or go off on a tangent on holiday to allow yourself to savour the moment ? Must-see locations such as Concarneau, Pont-Aven or Rochefort-en-terre are popular destinations: why not visit them early in the morning and have them all to yourself. Crowded at the Pointe du Raz? Escape, Brittany-style, to the neighbouring Pointe du Van. Go off the beaten track. Stroll along the canals to the heart of the regional natural reserve where precious nuggets await you. Only two requirements: wandering and enjoying!


2. Travel off peak

It is good to go off the beaten track! Even better if you can travel off peak, away from the civilised world, and are able to enjoy vistas coloured by the Indian summer hues all by yourself! Don’t tell anybody but it is during the Spring and the Autumn seasons, when the colour palette expands, that the pink granite coast (Côte de Granit rose) truly shines. Arriving on the Ponant Island (île du Ponant) as early as February and walking along, wind in your sail, bathed in magical lighting; you truly feel that you are among a privileged few! Whether you travel off-season or mid-season, focus your stay, if you can, on authenticity and tranquillity. It will make it even more precious.


3. Sample local specialities

Sample the specialities which are available at every corner. Let your tongue be hit by fresh seasonal flavours and enjoy. From then on, your holiday will have a unique flavour; one that you will recount with greedy pleasures on your home return. Top tip: the website mangeons-local.bzh provides a list of all the Breton producers who sell directly to the public; and here it is, a little boost to the local economy! Want to choose fish from a sustainable source? With the PlanetOcean app it is easy to consume seafood responsibly. Advice, recipes, a better understanding of which species are threatened or sustainably managed. Smart planet!

Find below a list of Brittany’s environmentally-responsible restaurants

What about a farm stay?

Have you ever thought about staying on a farm? You will certainly be greeted with conviviality. Why not champion a short food supply chain by staying with farmers who belong to the Accueil Paysan or Bienvenue à la Ferme networks! Meals are shared around large convivial tables. The peaceful nights end with a cracking breakfast where you will sample home-made produce such as squash, jam, apple juice as well as garden vegetables etc. In addition, don’t forget the educational benefit of the experience for your children and adults alike! Acquiring knowledge and getting close to animals are two pre-requisites for a responsible stay.

Accueil paysan    Bienvenue à la Ferme


4. Choose responsible accommodation

Among all the accommodation available in Brittany, some are committed to working in a more environmentally-friendly way: by reducing their water and energy consumption, by avoiding the use of pesticides in gardens, by reducing wastage and by recycling them as well of course. We have selected some of these offers for you. 

Know your labels

Good to know

Are you familiar with booking platforms such as FairTrip – a collaborative guide which lists authentic and ethically-minded establishments – or even Vaovert – a booking platform for environmentally-friendly accommodation? On those, you will find Breton professionals committed to sustainability. Think also about using local travel agencies, such as Kaouann Bretagne, which are involved in responsible tourism. 


5. Focus on human encounter

Isn’t it true that the essence of travelling is to get to know others? Going out, meeting those who live in Brittany, coming out of yourself. Opening yourself up to the surrounding nature, to the unexpected, with Bretons passionate about their craft and truthful in their commitment and their passion for sharing it. In little groups, adopt their daily lifestyle and share a recipe, a dance, a folk tale, a day on the water and you will find yourself changed by the experience. Little by little, you will become a Breton yourself; an adopted Breton so to speak. To fully experience Brittany, your can delve through Expériences bretonnes (Brittany Experiences). You can also trust acteurs de l’éducation à l’environnement en Bretagne to impart, in children and adults alike, the commitment to respect nature.

Expériences bretonnes à vivre

Acteurs de l’éducation à l’environnement en Bretagne


6. Keep an eye out!

Remember the old adage which says that the only trace we should be leaving behind are our footprints? A paraphrase for “Do not leave anything behind you!”. Put a stop to picking vegetation, be mindful not to disturb animals, stay on sign-posted footpaths. Adopt those simple civic gestures to  appreciate your surroundings without disturbing.  In Latin, “to respect” means “to look behind” so keep an eye out!

Ramblers’ Code of Conduct from FFRandonnée


7. Leave your car behind

Why not leave your car in the garage and use public transport such as train, bus or even car pooling to come to Brittany? Alternative choice: come to Brittany by car but leave it behind once you are there. To prove to you that it is possible, here are 25 ideas of “car-free” weekends all over Brittany – you can also choose a turnkey stay. And then, do not worry about anything, just enjoy! What is on offer in the region should you choose to take up the challenge! A long-distance coastal footpath popular with French hikers. A top network for ramblers and bikers, cycling paths and Brittany’s green paths at the helm which enable you to travel across the breadth and width of Brittany to discover all the beauties available inland.

Good to know

The local public transport network is here to simplify your life! All what you need to know about travelling in Brittany either by bus, coach or boats can be found on the BreizhGo app. The best way to travel, is still ours…

Travelling in Brittany


8. Keep the good habits

On holiday, no time off from sorting out packaging. Do as you would at home – that is the only routine we invite you to keep! Look for recycling facilities and use the composting bins in your camping. When you go out, use a bag and sort out your rubbish on your return. Or better even, why not produce any rubbish at all! To reduce packaging to an absolute minimum, why not utilise reusable flasks, air-tight containers to organise a zero waste picnic (your host will be delighted by your request!) or use a tote bag for your market purchases. This will not prevent you from enjoying your holidays. To the contrary, it will enhance them.

Environmentally-friendly gestures on holiday

In your guesthouse, your rented accommodation or even in your hotel, you can also make simple gestures to protect the environment by: being mindful of not wasting or polluting water, by not forgetting to switch off electrical appliances and lights in empty rooms, by avoiding to switch the air-conditioning or simply by drying your clothes outdoors.

 


9. Bring back souvenirs which are (truly) manufactured locally

Don’t you think that China is a bit far for your mug or your little magnet to reach you? Why not, this time, choose a souvenir with a closer provenance, from thedu pays bigouden for example; an item which actually tells a beautiful story? Something linked with an encounter, a happy moment, created locally. Something with a more meaningful link to a special moment, that you lived here. The outlets of local artisans and producers are brimming with good gift ideas, whether it be a food gift or a decorative object adapted to your means. You might start a snowball effect!

Let’s make some suggestions: What to bring from Brittany?


10. Offset your carbon emissions

You applied yourself all year, holidays are here and here we go; the carbon emission generated by your transport alone make you feel that all your efforts have been in vain. No need to panic! Do you know that, to reduce the negative effects on the environment, you can finance projects which offset your carbon emissions? The GoodPlanet Fondation also provides you with an online Co2 calculator and the opportunity to immediately offset it online.  Take the test!
In certain accommodation, you can even offset your carbon footprint by planting a tree on the spot.
Every little helps!

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Official website of tourism in Brittany
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