Natural Sites in Brittany

  • Paimpont Forest, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

    Paimpont Forest, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

  • Arche du Port Blanc Quiberon, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

    Arche du Port Blanc Quiberon, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

  • Granites Huelgoat Forest, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

    Granites Huelgoat Forest, Brittany, France

    © shutterstock

Natural Sites in Brittany brittany fr

Forests

Much of central Brittany used to be heavily forested – today just patches remain. The existing forest of Paimpont near Rennes is all that remains of the original vast forest that covered ancient inland Brittany, as known as Argoat. Legend has it that the 25 square miles of woodland is also the location of mythical Brocéliande, the forest of King Arthur. And in the Huelgoat forest, you can descend to the ‘Devil's Cave’, clamber to the heights of the ‘Great Trembling Rock’, pass by the ‘Chaos Mill’ and numerous rushing streams.

Natural Parks

Brittany’s three natural parks all have close connections with water. The Parc d’Armorique extends across the heart of Brittany, from the Monts d’Arrée, via the Aulne estuary and Crozon Peninsula, to the Molène archipelago. Here, the Parc Marin d’Iroise was the first marine park created off French shores. As for the Parc de Brière down towards the Loire: it’s the second largest marshland area in France.

Waterways

Twisting rivers break up Brittany’s agricultural landscapes inland. The Odet, locals claim, is the prettiest river in France. It certainly echoes the typical boulder-strewn Breton waterway, with enchanting wooded banks and the grounds of fine houses sloping elegantly down to the water’s edge. A couple of major canals were created for commerce in the 19th century; they’re now exploited for tourism. Lakes are also dotted around the region.

Coastline

You’ll be struck by how very contorted the coastline is around Brittany; there’s virtually not a single straight line along the region’s edges. The mix of peninsulas sticking their heads out to sea and of deep gashes in the coast, both in the form of bays and wide estuaries (the latter sometimes known as abers or avens) helps make Brittany’s shores so exceptionally enticing.

 

For a true Breton experience:
Uncover the magic of the Brocéliande forest with storyteller DamEnora 

Go on a walk with songs and stories through the Île aux Pies (Magpie Island) with guide Emmanuel

Discover Breton legends in the Traouiero Valley wilderness with Yann

 

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