Let’s discover a secret side of Brittany! Private, discreet, yet willingly open to anyone who comes to visit. Follow us into the green heart of Brittany: these five gems, with nature and heritage, are waiting just for you.
40 km from Lorient, some architectural wonders are nestled amidst the lush landscape. The first surprising thing about Le Faouët is its 16th-century indoor market. Just 1 km from there, enter the flamboyant Saint-Fiacre chapel, home to the most beautiful and oldest rood screen in Brittany. Be careful not to miss another well-hidden gem: Sainte-Barbe chapel. It gradually comes into view, as if rising up out of nowhere, and has dominated the Ellé valley for six centuries. Take the majestic staircase to the fountain and wander through the paths, soaking up the tranquillity and mystery.
The enchanted Huelgoat forest in Finistère teems with life and legends, and has nothing to envy its mythical twin, Brocéliande! You might meet Gargantua and King Arthur there. Underneath Devil’s Cave and Fairy Pool, invisible streams whisper and there’s even a Silver River – an echo of the old silver mines. Be enchanted by the “Fontainebleau of Brittany” with its rocky formations polished by time. With a nudge, you can even move the 137-tonne Shaking Rock. The village on the edge of the forest also hides treasures: a cosy café-bookshop and the former Girls’ School, now a summer venue for art and culture. Everything here will make you feel at one with nature, fill you with inner energy and prepare you for some astonishing discoveries!
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3. A tranquil adventure in a large natural site
Ile-aux-Pies in Bains-sur-Oust (Ille-et-Vilaine)
Ile aux Pies, 10 km from La Gacilly, is a mosaic of marshes and islands named after birds, with a touch of exoticism. Bathed in light, this realm of wild birds offers a wonderful view of the cliffs plunging into the River Oust. This exceptional pearl on the Nantes-Brest canal is a large natural and protected site. It’s also a hot spot for rock-climbing and kayak outings and the perfect playground for groups. With cycling, canoeing, treetop adventures and via ferrata, topped off with a beach, relaxation and, why not, a little crêpe, you can make your own tailor-made adventure.
Another sumptuous chapel built in a quarry? Yes. But not only! Ploërdut, which means “granite flower” in Breton, is just 16 km from Faouët in Central Brittany; its historical heritage is equally as remarkable. But for something really exceptional, go to Locuon. It’s a little-known village far from the main roads, built on a granite site exploited since Antiquity – the only quarry of its kind in Western Europe. Surrounded by nature, a breathtaking architectural sight awaits you, culminating in the little Notre-Dame de la Fosse chapel, which you access via a majestic staircase. You’ll leave this “Breton Angkor Wat” feeling different. Appeased.
Everybody knows the standing stones in Carnac. But did you know that Brittany’s second megalithic site is 50 km south of Rennes? The sacred space of Saint-Just, in the heart of Landes de Cojoux, was used by Neolithic man for thousands of years. Around one hundred metres from the church, take a leap through time, to 5000 BCE! It’s a unique site in Europe. A visit to the Maison Mégalithes et Landes is a must if you want to find your way around and immerse yourself gently. The discovery circuit takes you on a 7-km journey through colours and materials, from the yellow of the gorse to the violet of the heather, from the purple schist to ancient ruins. The site is also exceptional in terms of its fauna and flora. It is a rare dry moorland landscape where the biodiversity is protected. It really has to be seen!