Brittany: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Brittany, France
Brittany has an exceptional coastline with many beaches, fishing villages and islands, a remarkable historical heritage to be seen in the towns and villages and some of the finest prehistoric landmarks in the world - just a few of the reasons why so many people visit Brittany year after year!
Brittany is situated in north-west France with the English channel to the north, the Bay of Biscay to the south, and Rennes as region capital.
With 2000 kilometres of coast, numerous islands and beaches, ports and historical towns there is a great deal to discover - much more than you can expect to visit in a fortnight! For the most popular coastal destinations in the region see Brittany beaches and resorts
Below we introduce each of the four departments in Brittany, and offer suggestions and highlights for each to help you decide which is right for you - we also have detailed reviews of each the departments and many of the highlights and a separate feature about the highlights around the Brittany coast...
Ille-et-Vilaine - eastern Brittany
With less coast and more countryside than the other regions of Brittany, the Ille-et-Vilaine is an easily accessible and popular department around Rennes in eastern Brittany and along the coast to the west of Mont-Saint-Michel, here known as the Emerald Coast.
As well as the beaches and coastal attractions, the town of Dol-de-Bretagne is a few kilometres inland, with other highlights including Rennes and the medieval town of Vitré - all three have interesting historical town centres. Near to Dol-de-Bretagne the pretty village of Mont-Dol is worth a visit and book lovers will enjoy a visit to the village of Becherel to the north-east of Rennes. It is known as the 'village of books'.
See the Ille-et-Vilaine travel guide for highlights and detailed tourist information
Cotes d'Armor - northern Brittany and popular beach resorts
The Cotes d'Armor includes most of the northern coastline of Brittany, and is best known for the many scenic highlights along the coast - but like all regions in Brittany there is also much to discover when you venture inland...
Most visits will include a trip along the famous coast of pink granite around Perros-Guirec, and trips to see Cap-Fréhel and Cap Erquy (a scenic natural highlight) and also nearby Fort la Latte and Tregastel.
Other notable sights along the coast include the picturesque port of Dinan, also Paimpol and the cathedral town of Treguier, the riverside port town of Pontrieux to the south and you can visit the large port / town of Lannion to the north-west.
See the Cotes d'Armor travel guide for tourist information
Finistere - western Brittany
Finistere is the department that occupies the western, most isolated part of Brittany. The coast is quite rugged and exposed in places - and very beautiful - and the region also includes the Armorique Regional Park and the large port town of Brest.
In northern Finistere you should visit Morlaix, nearby Saint-Pol-de-Leon, and also the busy town of Landerneau while further west you can see one of the 'most beautiful villages in France' at Le Faou and also the village of Le Conquet.
You can visit the boat 'museum' in the harbour at Douarnenez, and also nearby Pont-Croix, explore Audierne and then perhaps head to Plouezoch to see the Chateau de Taureau and the Cairn de Barnenez, then to the south of Finistere the highlights include the large historical town of Quimper, the popular resort of Benodet, the port at Concarneau and the town of Quimperlé.
See the Finistere travel guide for tourist information
Morbihan - prehistory and medieval towns in southern Brittany
In south-west Brittany, most visits to Morbihan are based around the Gulf of Morbihan and the numerous prehistoric sites and monuments.
See also the lovely town and port at Auray and the medieval centre of Vannes, two of the most attractive towns in the region, then inland in Morbihan don't miss Josselin Castle and, to the south of Josselin, the river port town of Rochefort-en-Terre.
See the Morbihan travel guide for tourist information
Six unmissable highlights of a visit to Brittany
The historical centre of Rochefort-en-Terre is one of our favourite villages in France
Carnac has more prehistoric monuments and standing stones than anywhere else in Europe.
In the heart of the Granite Coast, Perros-Guirec has easy access to some very lovely coastal walks
One of our favourite towns in Brittany, Dinard is well known for its belle-epoque villas
The Morbihan Gulf is well placed for exploring the islands off the southern coast of Brittany.
An extensive historical centre and lively atmosphere make Vannes an unmissable highlight of your visit
Map of Brittany and places nearby
For beaches, resorts, islands and coastal highlights in Brittany see Brittany beaches and coast.
French version: Brittany (Francais)