Beautiful sandy beaches and wonderful tasty food is what keeps people coming back to Brittany year after year for their summer holidays. However, what many people don’t realise (until they have visited) is that this specific region of France has exciting historic roots, history that still plays a huge part in their tourism today.
Looking back, we know that Brittany has a strong Celtic background, which is something that sets it apart from other regions of France. The name ‘Brittany’ derives from the Britons who escaped south across the English Channel from Britain into Brittany, after an attack from the Anglos and Saxons in the 5th century. This gave the place the name ‘Little Britain’. Although it was eventually incorporated back into France in the 1500s, the historic Celtic background is something that the people who live in Brittany pride themselves on.
This is why Brittany is notable for its large variety of historic sites that give people an interesting look back into the rich heritage of the popular holiday destination. Here is just a quick guide into some of the places we think are worth a visit!
This historic old town in Brittany was once the hub for piracy, men who made their money by charging ships that happened to anchor up at their port. Today, however, the ancient city is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit, and is considered one of the most attractive areas of Brittany. Its dozens of medieval streets are bursting with history for tourists to come and discover.
You can walk around the ramparts and the stone walls at the entrance to the town, which have been standing since the 12th century (although a lot has been reconstructed after the invasion of France in 1944!).
The most exciting historical buildings are within the ‘intra muros’ area, in which you can visit places such as the 12th century Saint Vincent Cathedral and the Castle. You can also put together a picnic and go sit in the Parc de la Briantais; a large open park that is a popular spot to sit back and enjoy the sun.
You can even hop on a train that will take you around all the most interesting sights of the town if you feel like having a tourist guide!
Dinan is arguably the prettiest and best preserved of all the towns within Brittany. Start your day with a visit to the towns’ museum, which is housed within a 13th century castle, and therefore is brimming with history and culture. Here, you can get up to date with everything you ever needed to know about Brittany and its beginnings.
Visiting the old town is advised, as the narrow streets and picturesque houses really make it seem like time in the area has stood still. Look out for the street that has been dubbed “Thirsty Street” due to the fact that it has nine (yes nine!) bars along it.
If it’s food that has you interested, then be sure to visit one of the many restaurants along the port. These waterside restaurants are always bursting with tourists wanting to try out and enjoy tasty local cuisine.
Castle of La Latte
No visit to the historic areas of Brittany would be complete without a visit to this ancient castle that was built on a small piece of land back in the 14th century. Make sure to cross the drawbridge and explore all areas of the castle; the dungeons are a must…if you dare! Surrounding the castle is protected moorland, which is perfect for taking a long hike. Remember to look out for all the different wildlife around that area!
A fun fact about this castle is that it has actually been a location for a number of films, including The Vikings in 1958 starring Kirk Douglas.
Wherever you choose to visit in Brittany, there are sure to be some remaining features of the history that makes the region one of the most visited areas of France. Every building tells a story!
So if you are looking for cheap and affordable holidays in Brittany to enjoy what the area has to offer, Jantom Holidays can help you find amazing holiday rentals to suit any budget. For more information, or to speak to a member of our friendly team – please contact us on 07977 458 126.