Eight tracks to tour Brittany by bike this summer
If you like green with a wild point, the unpolished cliffs and the “sleeping beauty” villages you already have three reasons to start planning your getaway to Brittany. That peninsula of northwestern France that stands out more than any other and seems to stretch to caress the British coast despite the impetuousness of the Atlantic.
If you like green with a wild point, unpolished cliffs and “Sleeping Beauty” villages, you already have three reasons to start planning your getaway to Brittany. That peninsula of northwestern France that stands out more than any other and seems to stretch to caress the British coast despite the impetuousness of the Atlantic. If you also like the breeze to disturb your thoughts while your legs get stronger between landscapes of incredible beauty, you already have the perfect excuse to ask yourself tour this region by bike.
The exercise is healthy, the routes countless, the hospital bretons and the chances of being caught by a very few heat waves. The weather is generous in Brittany, as is gastronomy and history. Arrive by bike to the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel You can easily enter the Top Ten of your favorite experiences. Discover Brittany ... pedal!
Don't resist Saint-Michel © Corbis
1. LIMIT YOUR ACTION AREA
It will depend on the time you have, your physical condition, and especially the amount of places you want to discover. The old town of the capital, Rennes, is a good starting point. Then, the distinction is easy. You can tour the coast or the interior. Or mix a little of everything, something that we strongly recommend if you want to get all the essence of the region.
The rugged and rugged north coast, also known as “The pink granite coast” It has prints as beautiful as the colorful sunsets with the lighthouse of Ploumanach as a sentry To the south, Carmac It offers you the possibility to observe closely one of the oldest megalithic settlements on the continent. In the interior there are postcard villages, jumping rivers and enchanted forests. Consider a route through the delicious canal that unites Nantes and Brest and be sure to visit the magical Brocelianda Forest If you like legends. You will know the tomb of Merlin the Magician and the Fountain of eternal youth.
Lighthouse of Ploumanach © Corbis
2. GET A GOOD WISH LIST
It is important that you have a few favorite scenarios in the head before starting to pedal. In Brittany there is a lot to see and being realistic, you probably don't have time to see everything. We propose some essential places to keep in mind when making your wish list. Saint-Malo. It is the photo you were looking for. The large bay that houses the beautiful walled town of Saint-Malo, and the tremendous image of the Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey emerging between the tides. The 8th century abbey defines the border with Normandy and, in addition to being a world heritage site, it is one of the most emblematic monuments in France.
Dream villages are another essential component. Locronan, with just 800 inhabitants, with its slate roofs and tangled cobblestone streets proposes a delicious journey through time. The same as the wooden houses of Le faou, another of the most beautiful villages in France. Le Faou, in the Bay of Brest, has 23 medieval protected. It is very easy to imagine the Middle Ages between its streets.
Saint-Malo © Corbis
3. CHOOSE STYLING
Riding a bike, even if you take it easy, requires a series of movements that you will do better and more comfortable with the right clothes. Don't start filling your suitcase with heels and skirts unless you want to participate in the already fourth edition of the Retro bike festival from the end of June. Then you can dust off your best vintage of the 30s and browse through second-hand objects - bicycles of course - in their many markets.
Otherwise you should know that Brittany is crossed by numerous Greenways. Large lines equipped for pedaling, old railway lines or tertiary roads, perfect if you like to be in permanent contact with nature. There are also loop itineraries, if you want to do a bike tour much more Light. They are round-trip circuits, of different distances and difficulties, but many affordable for traveling with children or even adults with a certain tendency to laziness.
The Pink Granite Coast © Corbis
4. MAKE HOLLOW FOR A CRÊPE
Breton cuisine is blunt and demanding ... so don't plan a great getaway after a fantastic lunch. The most famous are the crêpes, made with buckwheat, galettes if they are salty and arrive with egg, cheese and ham. We recommend two places to try them: the Crêperie au Blé Noir, in Saint-Malo and the Crêperie Ty Ni, in an old post house, in Châtelaudren.
But since you are, don't stop trying the cider, Celtic tradition obliges, the delicious Cancale oysters, seafood in general and cotriade in particular, a delicious fish stew, which you can taste in Le Fleur de Sel, a Quimper's flirtatious restaurant, with great views over the river. If you arrive in Vannes you must reserve a table at La Table de Jeanne, romantic and famous among local lovers, but more importantly, very close to the fish market.
Cozy restaurant where to regain strength © Fleur de Sel
5. MYSTICAL PAPER
As much as you want. The monasteries, abbeys and cathedrals they are a treasure so deep and present that it will cost you not to think for a while about the meaning of life, especially on the slopes above. The religious center par excellence is Treguier, and the cloister of its Cathedral a jewel. Don't miss the Landévennec Abbey Museum If you want to understand the role of these centers in history.
Among its ruins you will discover the mysterious world of medicinal plants of the High Middle Ages. If you visit Plougastel, in the Bay of Brest, do not forget to taste their exquisite strawberries and do not miss the Daoulas Abbey, an old monastery of the order of San Agustín. There are currently many active monasteries and you should know that according to a recent study, many monks play music to the animals they raise and have discovered that cows that hear Mozart give more milk. As if not to exalt the advantages of the contemplative life!
Under the arches of the Treguier Cathedral © Corbis
6. BOOK A DANCE
Celtic music permeates and gives character to Brittany, where you will not stop listening to the singing chords of the biniou, bagpipes, and you will meet numerous badagou, the bands that play the bagpipes. That said get ready to bring out your most dazzling side, lCeltic music demands interaction, as you will see in the many festivals that dot the Breton summer. If you want to reach the expert level do not miss the Lorien Intercell Festivalt. Every summer since 1971, more than 700,000 people from all corners of the planet meet in this pleasant city to exhibit their musical skills. From Galicia to Scotland You will enjoy the green in all its splendor.
7. REMOVE BRUSHES IN PONT-AVEN
The small town of the Aven river estuary, owes its place on the map to the great artist Gauguin, in charge of choosing it as a place of inspiration and center of studies for a whole generation of painters, since then known as The Pont Aven School. In 1860 the pilgrimage began and between bridges and walkways, with the river and its languid banks as protagonists, the colors were immortalized in numerous canvases that today are part of history. Many of them you can see in the local Museum. As for his legacy, you will find it in the many Pont Aven art galleries. If you want to find inspiration yourself, give yourself an unforgettable walk between the pension Gloanec, where they were stayingto the idyllic Forest of Love, With that name you cannot fail.
Pont-Aven, Gauguin territory © Corbis
8. THINK ABOUT DRAGONS AND MAZMORRAS
And in trenches that are lost between vines, in massive stone walls, in beautiful ladies and handsome knights imprisoned by an evil spell. Think of medieval tales and hallucinate with Breton castles. Start by Combourg, between Rennes and Saint-Malo, a town long besieged by the Vikings. The Castle stands majestically on the horizon line and its solid round turrets still lift sighs. Centuries after its great sieges, it was the home of the French writer Chateaubriand, that thanks to this stay forever united the name of Castle with Romanticism. Josselin's, next to the Oust River, is one of the most emblematic and still owned by one of the most rancid French ancestry families; the Rohan.
And in Rochefort in Terre, one of the most beautiful villages in France, you can enjoy the presence of a 12th century castle, around which the entire conglomerate of parishes, alleys, churches and medieval convents that today complete the visit to this beautiful town, which Like sleeping beauty, it improves over the years alien in his dream as time goes by.
Combourg © Corbis