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Brittany

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Brittany is a French region composed of four very different departments, but united by this common belonging: the Côtes-d'Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan. A holiday destination par excellence, Brittany has fishing ports and agricultural land, tourist sites and mysterious places, woods and forests, stories and legends, museums and leisure parks. It is a land of contrasts that offers a real patchwork of places to discover. You can come here to practice water sports, participate in the many music festivals, such as the Interceltic Festival or the Vieilles Charrues. Brittany will present its chapels, but also its menhirs and dolmens... It will also let you discover its islands: Belle-Île-en-Mer,Bréhat,Ouessant, Molène, Groix, Les Glénans... Brittany can also be covered on foot over thousands of kilometres of hiking trails, such as the GR 34, which runs along the coast for nearly 2,000 km! From Cap Fréhel to the tip of the Torch, from the pink granite coast to the Finisterian "abers", from Océanopolis to Brest, to the Pont-Scorff zoo, from the medieval city ofDinan, in northern Brittany, to the Gulf of Morbihan, in southern Brittany, via the Brocéliande forest and the Armorican massif, not to mention the bay of Mont Saint-Michel and the Bigouden region. A tourist guide on Brittany will make you discover all kinds of natural sites, but also restaurants where you can taste delicious pancakes, kouign-amann, oysters and other seafood products...

What to see, what to do Brittany?

When to go Brittany ?

Brittany can be visited all year round, but depending on your desires, it may be interesting to target one period rather than another. Here are some tips on when to go to Brittany.

High tourist season: in July-August, this corresponds to the summer holidays for all French people. It is at this time that the Breton coast is the busiest. Almost everywhere, in the Côtes-d'Armor as in Finistère and Morbihan, people practice sailing, surfing, swimming or simply relaxing. Hikers are legion on the GR34 and the Breton islands are filled with summer visitors. Of course, hotel rates increase during this period and travel is more complicated

Medium tourist season: April-June and September are often pleasant and less crowded. It is therefore the best time to travel to Brittany. Of course, those who wish to swim will aim for the beginning of September, when the water is still a little warm. Walkers and sailors will take advantage of these calmer months to enjoy the Breton countryside.

Low tourist season: October to March. It is generally quite bad during this period, even if the temperatures remain mild. December and January are often rainy months. But in Brittany, nothing prevents you from going for a walk, a good raincoat, boots, and you are ready!

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La Bretagne se prête à tous types de voyages, des courtes escapades aux longues vacances, en itinérance ou en étoiles. Si vous voulez rayonner sur toute la région, choisissez un ancrage central : depuis Lorient, Saint-Brieuc ou le centre-Bretagne, beaucoup de points d'intérêt sont accessibles en 1h à 1h30. Destination nature, la Bretagne offre diverses activités extérieures : pêche à pied, virées en bateau, sports nautiques, randonnées au long cours à pied ou à vélo... C'est aussi une destination familiale, où les enfants apprécieront les légendes, les châteaux et les aventures au grand air. De multiples courts séjours sont possibles, d'autant que la région est bien desservie par le train et que tous les TER bretons acceptent les vélos à bord : citybreak à Rennes ou à Brest, virée à Vannes et dans le golfe du Morbihan ou encore week-end détente à Saint-Malo, entre thalasso, plage et balades sur la côte d'Emeraude.

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Pictures and images Brittany

Le port de l'île aux Moines Irène Alastruey - Author's Image
Le fort du Guesclin à Saint-Coulomb. JEAN-PAUL LABOURDETTE
Le Port-Blanc de Lamor-Baden. Irène Alastruey - Author's Image
Vieux grément. Cédric VILLEGIER - Fotolia

The 12 keywords Brittany

1. Bzh

It's a contraction of Breizh, the Breton name for Brittany. This acronym, which appeared in the 1960s on stickers on the back of cars, is a way of marking its attachment to the region: it can be found on souvenirs, on social networks with the hashtag #bzh or as a domain extension for websites (.bzh).

2. Crachin

It's true: sometimes, from time to time, it does rain in Brittany. Rarely a heavy downpour. Rather a small, fine, tight, penetrating and persistent rain: the famous drizzle. Characteristic of oceanic shores, these light rains do not prevent walks: they make them invigorating and nebulous, magical.

3. Fest-noz

Resurrected in the 1950s, now classified as an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO, the fest-noz ("night party" in Breton) is a kind of ball, where Breton dances are performed in groups, to live music of traditional inspiration. Very popular, intergenerational and convivial events. Invigorating!

4. Glaz

This Breton word, which is also spelled "glas", has no equivalent in French. It designates a palette of colours, between blue, green and grey. A nuance inspired by the Breton sea, with ever-changing hues, depending on the clouds, the sun, the season... An adjective full of poetry and fascination for this chameleon sea.

5. Granite

Pink, blond, grey or bluish, granite is omnipresent in the region. This very hard rock forms a large part of its base and its coasts. Granite has been used to build many houses, castles, menhirs... It is also found, polished by erosion, in the enchanting chaos of the Pink Granite Coast or the forest of Huelgoat.

6. Gwenn ha du

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This is the name of the Breton flag, literally "black and white". Created in 1923 by an autonomist, it consists of black and white stripes with ermines in the left corner. It has lost its political connotation to become a popular emblem and today it flies in many festivals and gatherings, like proud little winks.

7. Korrigans

They are the protagonists of Breton tales and legends. At night, these mischievous dwarves can play very bad tricks on humans, especially if they are disrespectful or reckless. But they also know how to be kind to those who deserve it. Rich and strong, they hide in caves, dolmens, moors or woods.

8. Menhir

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Brittany is the region which concentrates the greatest number of these standing stones, lined up as in Carnac or isolated in the countryside. Moreover, the word itself is taken from Breton: men (stone), hir (long). Erected from the5th century BC, these megaliths had a symbolic function, which remains mysterious even today.

9. Browsers

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A land of fishermen and sailors, Brittany has given birth to many great sailors: the discoverer of Canada Jacques Cartier, the Malouin corsairs Duguay-Trouin and Surcouf, the explorer of the sub-Antarctic islands Kerguelen... Nowadays, the heroes of the seas are those of ocean racing, such as Olivier de Kersauson and Armel Le Cléac'h.

10. Lighthouse

A third of the lighthouses in France are in Brittany. It is even the region of the world that concentrates the most of them! Emblems of the coastal landscape, planted in the open sea or on rocky points, these stone sentinels fascinate and remind us of the reefs of the waves. Each lighthouse has its own history, architecture and light signal.

11. Buckwheat

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This plant, which is not a cereal despite its nickname of buckwheat, has long been the basis of the diet of the Bretons: boiled, kig ha farz ... Without forgetting the galette, always popular! Growing on poor soils, once a symbol of the misery of the countryside, buckwheat is enjoying a comeback, cooked by the best chefs.

12. Yec'hed mat

The local tchin-tchin! Two words known to everyone in the region, even those who do not speak Breton. Yec'hed means health, mate means good, good. But be careful with the pronunciation: the c'h, a specific letter of the Breton alphabet, is pronounced like the Spanish jota. And the end of the word is often abbreviated, which means: yermat!

You are from here, if...

You don't run for shelter at the first drops that fall and you are against those who say that it rains all the time in Brittany: you like the saying that "it's sunny several times a day".

You don't mind bathing in a sea of 18 degrees. Your mantra: "Once in it, it's good! ».

You know how to deal with tide schedules and don't get trapped.

The waxed yellow-boots blue combo doesn't have to be part of your wardrobe. But you may have a sailor's mackerel, a pea jacket or some such fisherman's outfit.

You know a gull from a seagull: the first one is bigger, has a red spot on its beak, and squints on your sandwich.

You don't eat mussels in winter or scallops in summer: it's not the season!

You swear by salted butter. Sweet? A sacrilege!

You gladly fly your Gwenn ha du flag at festivals and stadiums.

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