Beautiful towns and villages in Brittany

  • Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

    Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

  • Dinan, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

    Dinan, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

  • St-Malo, Brittany, France

    © benkrut - Getty

    St-Malo, Brittany, France

    © benkrut - Getty

Beautiful towns and villages in Brittany brittany fr

Rochefort-en-Terre

High above the River Arz, Rochefort-en-Terre has been voted one of France’s most beautiful villages and as a result is one of Brittany’s most visited sites. Make your way through the narrow streets, admiring the geranium-bedecked houses along the way. In the evenings from April to September the streets are illuminated and, as you’d expect from a ‘little town of character’ with an arty past, they are dotted with artists and craftspeople: a candle-maker, a toy-maker and numerous potters. Don’t leave town without visiting one of the artisan biscuit makers such as Le Rucher Fleuri in Rue du Porche, which is highly regarded throughout the region for its pain d’épices (gingerbread).

Dinan

Set high above the Rance river, Dinan and its 14th-century castle are enclosed by 3km of stone walls. Start at the marina and enjoy a walk along the estuary, before ascending to see the town’s crooked timber-framed houses with pointed gables which are straight out of the Middle Ages. Don’t miss...

  • The old rampart walkway
  • Dinan’s castle, with 14th-century dungeon built into its ramparts and classified as a historical monument
  • The Saint-Malo church (15th-19th centuries), Saint-Sauveur basilica (12th-19th centuries) and Convent des Cordeliers (15th century), all gems of religious art
  • The governor's house (15th century), Hotel de Beaumanoir (16th century) and Mère Pourcel’s house (15th century)
  • Rue du Jerzual, the town’s main street and arguably its most beautiful, awash with artisans.

Vannes

Beautiful Vannes overlooks the Golfe du Morbihan, a network of winding alleys and pretty squares with splendid fortifications and a picture-perfect marina. There’s a plethora of great bars and restaurants here and it’s an excellent base from which to explore Morbihan’s islands too. Don’t miss…

  • A tour of the ramparts
  • La Cohue (Musée des Beaux Arts)
  • The Musée d’Histoire et d’Archéologie Cathédrale
  • St-Pierre Bilboquet, an old-fashioned toy shop

Locronan

This exquisite village in the Quimper-Cornouaille area occupies a long-sacred spot where, from the late Middle Ages, sail-making brought prosperity and an exceptionally handsome architectural legacy. Locronan’s grandest houses, with their remarkable dormer windows, date mainly from the 18th century. There are numerous tempting boutiques here – but for a moment of calm, walk up the nearby summit for dramatic views towards the Bay of Douarnenez.

Saint-Malo

The jewel of Brittany’s Emerald Coast, Saint-Malo is an enthralling port town with an ever-changing landscape and one of the world’s greatest tidal ranges. It’s a place of history and legend with well-preserved ramparts, cobbled streets and old stone buildings – as well as the birthplace of several illustrious historical characters – and offers visitors an authentic glimpse into the region’s important seafaring past. It’s also the gateway to the Channel Islands. Don’t miss… 

  • A tour of the ramparts
  • Saint-Vincent cathedral
  • The Grand Aquarium, home to 600 species of fish from cold and hot waters across the globe
  • Musée de la Ville Le Manoir de Limoëlou, housing a museum to Breton explorer Jacques Cartier, who discovered Canada
  • The tidal islands of Grand Bé and Petit Bé

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