Secrets of Brittany Tour

Southern Brittany with Best of France Travels May 29-June 7, 2018

*Double Occupancy $3995 * Single Supplement $450

 * Deluxe room up grade $400 per double room

*Group limited to 14 travelers

 

Secrets of Southern Brittany and the Golfe du Morbihan

Click the photo for a video slideshow of our tour to Brittany

Join our tour to Southern Brittany!

Begin your nine day adventure in Nantes to experience the most beautiful villages and coastal towns in Brittany and sample the regional specialties at the finest restaurants.

Enjoy daily  excursions to explore the most quintessential Breton villages and towns: Quimper  (ceramics!),  Locronan town of granite houses,  Concarneau a walled city by the sea,  Pont Aven where Gaugin, Monet and others were inspired to paint this beautiful region,  Belon sur Mer home of the Belon Oyster and the famous restaurant Chez Jacky. Each town and village is a unique example of this region’s fascinating culture and history.

Daily Program

Day 1  Depart Nantes in the morning to drive to the alignments at Carnac, the largest collection of megalithic standing stones in the world. Our local guide will explain the history and mystery of these ancient standing stones and megaliths which are older than the Pyramids and predate the Celts! We will enjoy a group lunch surrounded by the megaliths: authentic Breton crepes accompanied by local cider. After lunch we will drive to our charming hamlet inn, the Moulins du Duc where we stay for 3 nights. We will dine tonight at the Michelin rated restaurant, Le Raphael where our chef creates culinary delights for you! www.hotel-moulins-du-duc.com

Day 2  This morning we will depart at 9 AM to drive to Locronan.  Locronan was created by Celts and it is the last remaining example in Europe of a “Nemeton” or “temple under the Vault of Heaven”. In the sixteenth century Locronan was famous as a weaving town primarily for the sail cloth that equipped the French and the English Royal Navy as well as the Spanish warships for their Armada and Columbus’ travels. Locronan was the setting for two well-known films: “A Very Long Engagement” with Audrey Tatou and Roman Polanski’s film “Tess”.  You will have time to wander this unique village of black granite buildings and visit the Church of St. Ronan and the many beautiful shops and artisan galleries. After lunch we will drive to visit Concarneau, a medieval walled city on the harbor. Cross the drawbridge from the main town to enter this ancient city, once famous for ship building. It is still one of the most important towns for fishing and for canning sardines – a Breton specialty!  Time on your own to visit the town and visit the fishing museum if you like. Dinner at Raphael tonight with the group.

Day 3  Depart this  morning for Quimper home of the Henriot Quimper ceramics. We will start with a tour of the ceramic manufacture followed by some time to shop in their amazing boutique.  After our visit here we will go to the lovely town center where the streets are lined with colorful half-timbered houses.  Choose from the many cozy cafes and restaurants for your lunch. After lunch the museums and shops are open. Both the Musee des Beaux Arts and the Musee of Breton Culture have wonderful collections and both are located in the center of town near the Cathedral. Late afternoon we return to our inn. Dinner at Raphael.

Day 4  After breakfast at the inn, we will check out and drive to Belon by the seaside to have a tour and tasting of the world famous Oysters of Belon. After the tasting and tour we will have a group lunch. We will then continue to the town of Pont Aven which was the home of the School of Pont Aven painters:  Gaugin, Max Jacob, Serusier, Emile Bernard and more. This museum is filled with paintings depicting life in Brittany, centered around the sea and the Bretons dependence on it for their livelihood. Pont Aven was a mill town and many of the buildings for the shops were once mills or mill houses. Try the butter caramels and purchase some Niniches, the chewy candies on a stick that were invented by a candy maker here after WWII. Of course don’t forget the Breton Butter cookies, the sardines, the algae tapenade. We will leave Pont Aven later afternoon to check in at our new abode for 4 nights: Le Lodge du Kerisper in La Trinité-sur-Mer.

Day 5  This morning we will go to Vannes which is without doubt one of Brittany’s prettiest towns on the Gulf of Morbihan. The fortified walls of the city are built on the foundations of a Roman wall. Later Vannes was the favorite town of the Ducs of Brittany and home to a great maritime trade. Today is market day in Vannes and this market is known as the largest on the Golfe du Morbihan. It is a beautiful market! Lots of seasonal produce and foods, but that is not all There are crafts, clothing, jewelry, flowers, spices, and great people watching. Stroll the narrow streets filled with colorful half-timbered houses before enjoying a harbor-side lunch. Back to Trinite for the late afternoon and evening. Dinner on your own.

Day 6  Free day in La Trinité sur Mer. Enjoy a stroll the beaches, do some “peche a pied” and look for shells, book a spa treatment at our beautiful hotel, relax in the garden, go to the pool, explore the little village, and more. Trinite is a very charming port town that is made for relaxing and breathing the sea air. There are lots of fun portside restaurants with views as well as boutiques for regional food, clothing (if you want an authentic French striped shirt this is the place), home décor with seaside themes. (open on Sunday!)

Day 7  Depart La Trinité at 10h15 for our boat cruise of the Golf of Morbihan. You will discover that there are as many as 365 islands in this gulf. Many are natural reserves while others have homes and little churches. The point of each island has a “calvaire” or monument to the cross made of stone or wood. You will also see more megaliths on some of the islands. We disembark on the largest of the islands, Ile aux Moines. We are here for 3 hours approximately. There will be time to stop for a leisurely lunch on the port and then time to walk through the adorable streets and see the quintessential thatch room cottages with the roses around the blue doors, windows with lace curtains – a story book setting. Late afternoon return to La Trinite sur Mer. Free time and dinner on your own.

Day 8  Depart La Trinité this morning for Nantes. We have a full schedule of events and activities at the Machines de l’Ile de Nantes: Ride the Jules Verne carousel, see the giant elephant walk, and participate in a guided/animated visit to the Gallery of Machines to see (and maybe help!) them operate www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/ After our time at Les Machines we will go to the Oceania Hotel de Nantes to check in. Dinner on your own tonight. There are many restaurants in Nantes that offer all types of cuisine from sushi to crepes to Vietnamese to Italian and of course regional French cuisine.

Day 9  This morning we will visit museum inside the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne. www.chateaunantes.fr Much of the museum’s fascinating collection and information is about the Maritime life of Nantes in the eighteenth century and earlier: Pirates, history and abolition of slave trade, and the life of the extraordinarily wealthy merchant marines. The Chateau itself is the most important monument in Nantes and is most impressive!  After your visit here you will be free until our Bon Voyage dinner.

Day 10 June 7 Thursday Departure day. We will arrange your transportation to the airport at the time you require to continue your journey or return home.

Early Option/Stay Behind in Nantes

The beautiful 4 star Hotel de France is located in the center of town perfect for exploring Nantes. If you would like to book rooms before the tour begins and/or after, please let me know as soon as possible and which category of room you prefer. These prices include a very lovely buffet breakfast complete with eggs, bacon, sausage, pastries, cereals, fruit, juice, hot beverages, and local specialties such as the Breton butter and creamy yogurts. The hotel was once the private home of a rich noble. They have kept the old feel of the hotel while making the rooms modern and efficient. The service here is very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend extra time here if your schedule allows. Nantes has been voted 4 times the most livable city in France. There is the amazing shopping gallery, the Passage Pommeraye, as well as lots of adorable boutiques, restaurants, beautiful architecture, parks and squares, churches, and the Musee des Beaux Arts.

  • Superior room double/twin $185 per night
  • Deluxe room double/twin $210 per night

What is included in your tour of Southern Brittany?

  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 gourmet dinners: 3 at Michelin rated Le Raphael  and 1 at Le Charles H in Nantes
  • 2 lunches: Chez Jacky and Creperie of Carnac
  • All transportation during the tour in luxury coach bus
  • Luggage assistance
  • Airport transfers from Nantes airport to the Hotel de France for arrival and departure
  • All tips included
  • All entry fees to museums and all visits listed in daily program
  • Boat cruise on the Golfe du Morbihan and visit of Ile des Moines
  • Visit with local expert guide of the Stones of Carnac
  • Visit and oyster tasting at oyster farm by the sea in Belon
  • Visit of the Machines de l’Ile in Nantes