A sunny birthday weekend in Brittany (PHOTOS)

Written by Diane on. Posted in France

A sunny birthday weekend brittany france

Is there a place you enjoy visiting that keeps pulling you back? The region of Brittany is that place for me and never gets old no matter how many times we visit. The rugged landscapes, quaint towns, overall chill vibe and seaside air is paradise for me — especially in the winter. Tom, Dagny, my in-laws and I just got back from a long weekend in the Morbihan (birthday gift to me) and yes, Brittany still has that special sparkle. Here’s a glimpse into what it was like.

Read on!

A sunny birthday weekend in Brittany

le bono brittany france

Discovering new places is just as important as revisiting old ones and this weekend marked our 4rd annual winter trip to nearby Brittany. It’s my go-to winter beach place and our trip has become a tradition that I look forward to all year. The winter sea air is refreshing and calming and just being there energizes me and makes me feel right at home.

quiberon cote sauvage

If you’re unfamiliar with the area, here’s some background. The region of Brittany — or la Bretagne in French — was created in 1941 and encompasses 4 departments in northwest France: Morbihan, Côtes-d’Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine. The regional capital is Rennes, and you can take a look at a map here. It’s easily accessible from the UK and an easy drive from Paris. The best part is there are no autoroutes in Brittany so you don’t have to worry about hefty tolls. The region covers 10,505 square miles and about 3.3 million people call Brittany home.

Just a 2-hr drive away, we headed to the region of Morbihan and shockingly, we had sunny skies pretty much the entire time we were there. No rain in sight! Hopefully that means 2017 will be full of sunny skies and smooth sailing! sailboats port trinite sur mer france

Our home away from home is a beautiful rental property just outside of Vannes on the coast. It’s a short drive from Île-aux-Moines, Quiberon and all the coastal sights. There are incredible hiking paths right along the coast as well as brocantes, artisans, family-run restaurants, cider and dairy producers and more. When you think of “quaint,” Brittany villages embody the word in every way and rank right up there at the top for me.

Whether you’re an outdoorsy type or not, there’s plenty to see and do. Part of the fun is just getting in the car without a plan and seeing what you discover. A secluded beach? A hiking path? A fun little shop? Lively village? Cider farm? Yes to all of that!

quiberon coast france brittany

So, what did we see and do?


dagny on quiberon france beach

It was our first time to Quiberon, a presqu’île (it’s not entirely surrounded by water) that’s a summer vacation hotspot and known for its sardine production. We spent Friday walking along the côte sauvage on the west coast of the island. It covers about 8 kilometers from the Château Turpault until the Pointe du Percho and is pure, rugged coast. This time of year, we had the beach to ourselves aside from a few surfers. Dagny was in her glory trying to find what smelled so good. The Pointe de Kervihan was especially beautiful on the day we visited. The water is crystal clear.

pointe de kervihan brittany france

quiberon coast brittany france

quiberon waterfront restaurants

We stopped for lunch in the town of Quiberon and everyone got mussels, which are served in a mussel pot with your choice of sauce. You eat the mussel and then put the empty shells in the lid of the pot. Everyone just places them in the bowl haphazardly — except my father-in-law. This is what his bowl of empty shells looked like. I had to take a pic:

mussels neatly arranged

There’s also a Quiberon-based shop that’s known for its artisan confiture called La Cour des Orgères. It was started by Margareth and Pierre-Jan Indekeu, Maître Confiturier de France, back in the ’70s and passed on to their daughters, Marie-Charlotte et Vérène. The family business is now booming and I couldn’t stop in without picking up a few jars to sample myself. I went with the peach and blueberry jam, and yes, they’re excellent!

la cour dorgeres quiberon


ile aux moines beach cabanas

On Saturday, we took a quick ferry ride to the Île-aux-Moines. It’s 5 euros/person for the round-trip ticket (dogs ride free) and boats run all day, even in January. Home to just 600 people, this quiet, cross-shaped island makes a beautiful hiking spot and is also the largest island in the Gulf of Morbihan, covering just 1.24 square miles. Many of the homes are shuttered this time of year, but a few shops and cafes are still open for business. If you’re a nature lover and enjoy walking, this is the place for you.

ile aux moines france beach

ile aux moines sunset france

What did we do on our last day? We spent the afternoon in “France’s favorite village.” More to come on that soon!


Have you visited the Brittany region of France?


A sunny birthday weekend in brittany france

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Comments (12)

  • Peter Horrocks


    Enjoyed your article on Brittany.

    I haven’t been there for ages and over Christmas we decided we wanted to go this year and enjoy some proper fresh langoustines. So we have reserved a place in the Morbihan for a week in June, right on the sea front by the beach for us and family along with the small grand children. You’ve really got me in the mood now…

    You were lucky with the weather, bravo!

    I didn’t know about the ile aux moines, sounds very interesting, so I think we’ll give that a try if the weathers kind.


    Peter H


    • Diane


      Thank you! June is a great time to visit — before the crowds and usually decent weather. Should be fun! The Ile aux Moines is small so you can visit for an afternoon and not feel like you missed out. It’s just a 5-min ferry ride from the mainland so easily doable.


  • Taste of France


    Marvelous photos! I haven’t been to Bretagne in ages. I went at Easter and it was cold and windy and rainy. You got some fantastic weather! Off-season can be so charming.
    Taste of France recently posted…Boiled in OilMy Profile


    • Diane


      Thanks very much! The winter really is the best if you can luck out w/the weather. And if not, a sturdy umbrella and boots go a long way, as does a nice fireplace.


    • Diane


      Thanks very much! It was a wonderful weekend.


  • fiona


    No I don’t think I have been to Brittany although I have driven through it a few times now….you’re right about the toll-free roads! What spectacular photos and splendid weather, looking forward to hearing more.


    • Diane


      Thanks and make it a point to stop next time even if it’s just an hour or two!


    • Diane


      Thank you! Yes, definitely see the appeal of heading south!


  • Jess


    Wow! I have never been to Bretagne, which is just a shame since it seems like such a perfect place to go. I was always a little intimidated to leave Paris. I very much regret that now! I can see why that region is your happy place! Simply gorgeous. I love that you went in the winter, because you can enjoy it more without the crowds. Dagny looks like she thoroughly enjoyed herself as well!

    So glad you had a great birthday getaway!
    Jess recently posted…Bébé Francophile Starter KitMy Profile


    • Diane


      Yes, it’ll charm you! Paris is way more intimidating than most of the other places I’ve visited around France, so next time you’re here if you have an extra day or two, head west! And yes, Dagny goes nuts on the beach. Loves it!


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