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Themed break

On the inland routes of Brittany

Forget your everyday issues and hop on the saddle to the green heart of Brittany! Between water, dales and forests, come and take a large breath of fresh air: revival guaranteed!

Suggestion for break in
5 days
Level: intermediate
220 km

At a glance

From Saint-Brieuc to Morlaix, ride across the countryside to discover the inland face of Brittany. A green and wooded Brittany, with large lakes and beautiful forests. From villages to castles via the canals, enjoy the simple pleasures of a natural escapade in Argoat.

A detour via Moncontour

Day 1 – Saint-Brieuc > Lac de Bosméléac (45 km + 20 km if including Moncontour)

Put your binoculars in your backpack and set off early following the nature reserve of Saint-Brieuc bay. The site is a hotspot for bird watching in Brittany. Then, continue to the village of Quessoy or Hénon to buy provisions for lunch. A marked detour (20 km round trip) will take you to Moncontour. Encircled with striking 13th-century ramparts, criss-crossed with cobbled streets, the medieval city perched on the top of a rock is one of the most charming villages in Brittany.
Back on the main route, you’ll get to Bosméléac Lake after a lovely stage in the hilly countryside. The 4 km stretch of water is a very popular fishing and water sports spot. Enjoy the calm of the site to recover your strength at the camp site.

  • In Quessoy, the Air Nature Ballon association organises hot air balloon rides in the park of Bogard castle.
  • Every two years in August, Moncontour gets dressed up for medieval festivals.

In the land of canvas

Day 2 – Lac de Bosméléac > Lac de Guerlédan (47 km)

Get back on the saddle and follow the Hilvern gully, which will take you through woods and pastures to the villages of Quillio and Saint-Thélo. Under the reign of the Sun king, the region was the trading centre for linen canvas factories known all over the world for their quality and finesse. Take time to wander through the pretty little streets to admire the architecture of the wealthy residences before continuing along the gully. Converted into a green route, the hydraulic structure used to feed the Nantes-Brest canal with water in the 19th century. Lined with large beech trees and chestnut trees, the peaceful route meanders on the hillside above the Oust.
After your lunch break, continue to the banks of Guerlédan Lake. This magnificent lake, formed by the construction of a hydro-electric dam, is nestled in the vast Quénécan forest.

  • The Maison des toiles in Saint-Thélo brings the golden age of linen in Brittany back to life with exhibitions, animations, games, etc.
  • A paradise for fans of green tourism. Enjoy the beaches and water sports centres to explore the lake by kayak, sailing boat, pedalo or water skis.

On the Nantes-Brest canal

Day 3 – Lac de Guerlédan > Carhaix (57 km)

Before reaching the Nantes-Brest canal, make a stop at Bon-Repos abbey. On the banks of the Blavet, the Cistercian abbey stands proudly in an idyllic forest setting. Two kilometres on, the village of Forges des Salles, developed thanks to the steel industry rekindles the industrial heritage and daily life of this 19th-century period. Take a lunch break in Gouarec, a pretty village with shale houses.
Still on the towpath, allow yourself a break at the double lock of Coat Natous to admire Notre-Dame-de-la-Pitié chapel. Then discover the “large trench” of Glomel, dug by convicts, and then the 15 locks that punctuate a surprising 4 km-route between Saint-Péran and La Pie. Carhaix is not far.

  • Exhibitions highlight heritage and contemporary plastic creation in Bon-Repos abbey.
  • In Glomel, the Lan Bern nature reserve and the Magoar-Penvern marshes are home to numerous plant and animal species, including the otter.

The gateway to chaos

Day 4 – Carhaix > Huelgoat (23 km)

Take a walk through Carhaix before continuing on the route. Known for its Vieilles Charrues festival, the town also has a Gallo-Roman aqueduct and an archaeological interpretation centre of the ancient town, Vorgium. After this virtual reality experience, continue to Huelgoat. Situated on the edge of a large lake, the town is surrounded by a legendary forest. Lose yourself for a few hours in this magical place, populated by korrigans and giants who give life to a surprising rocky chaos with mysterious names: “Gouffre du diable” (devil’s chasm), “Mare aux fées” (fairy pond), “Roche tremblante” (shaking rock), etc.

  • Every summer, the Huelgoat Girls’ School organises literary, artistic and scientific meetings.
  • In July, the Vieilles Charrues festival hosts 280,000 festival-goers over four days.

Along the former railway track

Day 5 – Huelgoat > Morlaix (48 km)

Before leaving Huelgoat, prepare your picnic for your journey to Morlaix as there are no refreshment points along the way. Ride at your own pace in the middle of nature to Saint-Thégonnec cloister, 3 km from the green route. Go into the Musée du Loup, the only museum of its kind in France, dedicated to the wolf. Then head towards the sea. Morlaix will be your terminus. This town of Art and History is home to a museum and pretty corbelled houses, including Pondalez House. Criss-crossed with little alleyways, Morlaix is also known for its railway viaduct with nine arches that connects Brest to Paris. And also Saint-Brieuc by TER train to return to your starting point!

  • An exceptional stroll in Morlaix: 4 km of alleyways to discover the wonders of the historical centre.
  • Go via Plougonven and discover one of the finest examples of a local specificity: the churchyard. It’s an architectural treasure…

We like

  • The diversity of the atmospheres and the landscapes, between medieval cities, granite chaos and legendary forests.
  • The presence of water in every form – lakes, rivers, canal, etc.

Download the travel memo

All the information from the site and more in a pdf file.

Official website of tourism in Brittany