Do you love winter sports? In Brittany, get ready to schuss… on the sea! Slalom through the waves, slide across the sand… Physical exercise and a gulp of fresh air guaranteed. You could even go for a little swim. What? Did you say “freezing”? No, it’s not that cold!
Ready to jump into 8°C water? Put your coat on over your swimsuit and meet in Plouha (Côtes d’Armor) for a session of ice swimming. What is it? Swimming in the open sea, without a wetsuit of course! Icelanders, Russians and Finns all love it. On Bréhec beach, Marc-Henri and Paul coach you throughout an experience that requires good preparation. First, a warm drink to get to know each other, then your blood pressure is taken, followed by a warm-up, a few relaxation exercises, and you’re ready for a 15-minute swim, no more, no less. It’s a shock at first, but breathe in, breathe out… the key is to focus on your breathing. You’ll leave with a clear mind, boosted for winter!
Put on a warm hat and gloves, and explore the Abers coastline in a kayak. You’ll gently glide through Breton’s mini fjords. Follow your guide to discover Aber Wrac’h. Slalom between the little islands to Ile Vierge and its lighthouse, Lanaon, which is the tallest in the world made of cut stone, towards Ile Cezon which shelters ancient remains, and Ile Wrac’h, an artists’ hideaway. In Landéda, head to Aber Benoît, more delicate and melancholic, and snake through fields and tree-lined banks. If you’re discreet, you might see Eurasian curlew, common redshank, common shelduck and other birds that winter here. It’s also the ideal season for enjoying its famous oysters.
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3. Mermaiding, a cross between sport and imagination
In Quiberon Bay, you can try a new discipline which combines swimming with a mermaid tail monofin, synchronised swimming and free diving in the open sea. It’s a practice for both adults and children, based on enjoyment, the beauty of the movements, well-being, awareness of protecting the ocean, and sport. It first appeared on the other side of the Atlantic, and the magic and pleasure of this new kind of swimming can now be enjoyed in an idyllic environment between the Quiberon peninsula and the Gulf of Morbihan. Swim With Me, which proposes these activities, has even opened the first mermaid swimming school in Brittany.
4. Walk in the water on the most beautiful Breton beaches
The entire Breton coast
Put on a wetsuit, neoprene shoes to keep your feet warm, and gloves; take a paddle if you wish, and now you’re ready for an invigorating sea walk. With your body submerged up to the waist, let the water massage you, procuring anti-stress, detoxifying and energising effects. You can practise water walking on your own or with certified instructors, all along the Breton coast. Our favourite spots include: Rochebonne beach with view of Saint-Malo bay and Saint-Lunaire bay, Toulhars beach opposite Ile de Groix, Carnac beach, the long, gently sloping beach of Cap-Coz on the Breton Riviera in Fouesnant, or Perros-Guirec, on Trestraou beach that looks over the Sept-Iles archipelago. Fill up on vitality!
It’s windy, make the most of it! If it’s coming from the North, in other words from the sea, it’s even better for getting started with sand yachting with Avel, on the large Hirel beach, in Mont-Saint-Michel bay (15 minutes from Saint-Malo). The smooth surface of the beach makes it easier to move your vehicle! First, your instructor will tell you about the wind direction and strength, and the topography of the land. Then, hop into your car for a fun gliding session, in the dry, with just the noise of the waves in the background. Now it’s time to jibe: watch out for the little acceleration, and the adrenaline rush. To turn around, face into the wind. Thrills and fresh air guaranteed!