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Backpacking: the five essential hiking routes in Brittany

A change of scenery throughout the seasons and the Breton coast

Woods, moors, lakes, and of course the sea, “that sea forever starting and re-starting”, as the poet said. Brittany is a sublime invitation for walking. It is a land that has it all, to cross step by step, for an hour, a day, or several days. For those of you who want to experience the joys of backpacking, we have selected the best: circuits that overlook the most beautiful maritime landscapes. Stock up on light, emotions and tales. Travel light with a backpack to discover these paths that are waiting for you!

In the blink of an eye

The 5 must-haves

1. Tour of the Crozon Peninsula

Distance: 116.5 km
Duration: 6 days

On this piece of land between the bay of Brest and the bay of Douarnenez to the south, forming a vast cross that plunges the Monts d’Arrée into the Atlantic, set off to discover a New World! In the middle of the Armorica Regional Natural Park and its moors, an exceptional diversity of rocks and colours awaits you – dazzling gorse flowers, turquoise or emerald waters, etc. The southern coast even looks like southern France with its calanques and lagoons, as crystal clear as the original ones! The track that climbs and descends is scattered with remarkable and impressive sites: the points of Dinan and Pen-Hir, Cap de la Chèvre, and more. To appreciate the wealth and variety of this sumptuous peninsula, all you need to do is pack your bag!

Tour of the Crozon Peninsula

2. Pointe du Raz – Cap Sizun

Distance: 114.5 km
Duration: 6 days

This is where the continent and Pays Bigouden ends and Cap Sizun begins! From Audierne Bay to Douarnenez Bay, set off for a succession of secret coves, cliffs and outcrops battered by the wind. It takes six days of walking to tour this piece of land and immerse yourself in all of its facets. See the craggy rocks alongside carpets of flowers and expanses of delicate and colourful moors… In this grandiose and windy natural site, the windmills are in activity. When you arrive at the bow of the Cap, the Pointe du Van and the emblematic Pointe du Raz await you, with their breath-taking views of the Iroise Sea. You are at the end of the end. Europe and Asia behind you give you wings… Anything is possible!

Pointe du Raz – Cap Sizun

3. The Goëlo Coast 

Distance: 72.4 km
Duration: 4 days

Le Goëlo with a backpack? Tempted? You are on the western part of Saint-Brieuc Bay, a coast that unfolds from Saint-Brieuc to Paimpol. The indented land leads you from little ports to coves, alternating wild landscapes and the sandy expanses of Binic or Saint-Quay Portrieux. Until you arrive in Paimpol port, preceded by the moving Beauport Abbey, the GR follows the cliffs and passes close to the highest point in Brittany, Pointe de Plouha. The view to Cap Fréhel is indescribable. The most difficult thing in all of this, amidst these many temptations to stop to take photos, is to keep moving forwards!


The Goëlo Coast

4. The Pink Granite Coast

Distance: 61.2 km
Duration: 3 to 4 days

Shall we talk about this classic hike in Brittany? Don’t tell anyone: the coastal path with its appealing chaos is at its loveliest in the spring or autumn, when the range of colours dilates and the granite is bathed in golden light. And what’s more, you’ll nearly have it all to yourself! From Lannion, a town of art and history, to Perros-Guirec, soak up the charms of the fine sandy beaches, the port-related heritage, the beautiful seaside villas and Ploumanac’h, of course, “preferred village of the French”. You won’t fail to fall in love with Brittany and to see life through rose-tinted glasses!

The Pink Granite Coast

5. The Emerald Coast

Distance: 54 km
Duration: 3 days

From Dol and its striking cathedral, head to the sea and the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, whose triangular and tapered silhouette can be seen from afar. From Hirel beach, you will stay on the seafront, admiring the bay of Cancale as it gets ever closer… The coastal path runs gently along the sections of beaches and bays. But if you thought you wouldn’t have to climb at all,  then you are wrong! But think instead of the guards who used to stride along here every night to watch out for smuggling boats… All the way to Saint-Malo, views of the Channel extend as far as the eye can see, and the many viewpoints along your route will remind you that you are on one of the most beautiful coastal paths in Brittany.

The Emerald Coast

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Official website of tourism in Brittany