Brittany is a far-flung region on the north-western coast of France; a spectacular peninsula jutting out into the wild Atlantic waves, and the soft Channel swells. It is not just geographically a little separated, from the rest of France, but also culturally - the people of Brittany, the Bretons, have a greater affinity with the Celts of Wales and Cornwall, than France. If you are looking for gites in Brittany, however, you will find a warm welcome, in snug self catering accommodation all along Brittany's rugged coast.
Whilst being surrounded to the west by the seas, on the landward side, to the east, there is the northern French region of Normandy; and to the south east the Loire Valley. This region is renowned for its dramatic and rocky coastline and beautiful sheltered beaches. It is also home to many amazing and distinctive megalithic monuments, scattered among the rolling hills, and wind-swept moors.
Many of the activities in this sea-surrounded region revolve around the coast. Some of the best gites in Brittany are to be found in fishing villages perched above clean sandy coves, or rock-strewn cliffs. The cleanest, most charming and probably the least cluttered of beaches in France are here in Brittany. The sea-side town of Roscoff, pretty enough in its own right, has the wide sands of the Laber beach skirting it and in the distance the intriguing Ile-de-Batz, home to the tropical plant collection of the Jardin Exotique.
If you're after amazing scenery, then a walk along the Quiberon Peninsula should be on your itinerary. This jagged promontory lies on the south side of Brittany and has well-earned the moniker of the 'savage coast', or Cote Sauvage. Further inland is the mystical side of Brittany, Carnac, with its ancient arrangement of megalithic monuments, widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
One thing to bear in mind, when booking gites in Brittany, is that many offer discounts on your charged fare, for you ferry journey. So when you book with any gite owner, check for any deals being offered for your accommodation.
Another practical point- when travelling by motorway around Brittany, watch out for the motorway tolls. Make sure you have a variety of small notes and change for these to avoid frustrating and embarrassing delays.
Brittany can be reached readily by both rail and road. If travelling by rail, the most convenient journey from the UK is to book a London to Lille Eurostar ticket, and then switch to the TGV trains for the remainder of the journey to Rennes or Brest.
Air travel, while plausible, is a little indirect and time consuming. A much more direct route is to book yourself, and your car, onto a ferry from Plymouth or Portsmouth. This will get you to Roscoff or St Malo - and you can then travel onto your gites in Brittany without having to worry about car rental hire. But do bear in mind the weather conditions and the state of your sea-legs - the Channel swells have been the undoing of many traveller’s stomach!