Bretagne or Brittany is a fantastic place as many English people already know this for being just a few hours ferry ride away from Dover and Portsmouth. We decided to take a last minute August holiday as the weather can be quite unpredictable here. As they say: pack a pair of shorts and a raincoat. And this was true for most of our holiday. We had some rainy days, but mostly sunny – we even made it to the beach! We’re already planning our next France holiday – this time maybe a ski holiday as we found some inspiration here already: Ski Holidays France 2019 As there was a lot of driving involved – not too bad really, but with small children you want to keep the time spent in the car to the minimum, we decided to spend the night after crossing the channel very near Cherbourg where our ferry arrived to.
So after an early morning start and a ferry ride we headed to Mont-Saint-Michel. We parked at the dedicated parking area for visitors only, which involved a fee but we got as close to the island as possible. From there, free little shuttle buses (or horse carriages for a fee) take the people the the island. We didn’t know that climbing all the steps will be almost impossible with a buggy – we shouldn’t have taken it. All the steps are very challenging for small toddlers for sure, but in the end we managed and we enjoyed the beautiful view and treated ourself with some ice cream afterwards. The place is absolutely stunning, if you’re around, don’t miss a visit. Avoid the very tatty little shops and restaurants – but definitely one of the most stunning place I’ve ever seen. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site – so you can imagine how busy it can get.
We spent our first night in Saint Malo (and had a few rounds with the prettiest merry-go-around I have ever seen) and the next day too, generally just pottering around marvelling the architecture of this beautiful old town and the children had a great time down at the seaside. Opposite the old town there are two little islands that can be reached at low tide via a little walking path. From the islands there’s a fantastic view to enjoy. And it’s a great place for finding and collecting shells! Spot the seawater swimming pool on Plage de Bon Secours? It was built back in the 1930’s and one of the oldest and coolest in Europe’s seawater swimming pools. It was a chilly day when we visited, but we spotted some locals jumping off the nearly hundred years old trampoline!
After visiting Saint Malo we drove our destination and we spent the next day in the charming village of Rochefort-en-Terre. Near Vannes in south west Brittany we can find this absolute gem, a quintessentially French village, so beautiful like in fairy tales. This is no exaggeration – the charming little place has a centuries old town, with cute little art shops, antique dealers, fine dining restaurants and chocolate manufactures. It even has a small chateau on the top of the hill surrounded by gardens. We also bumped into what possibly the cutest book shop on Earth with a small cafe and bought a large bag of yummy nougat in the chocolate manufacture.
This little fishing village has a great harbour used even by the US Navy back in the First World War and a beautiful old town. We wanted to visit the Ocenarium here – I have mixed feeling about zoos and aquariums, but this one also does some conservational work on Sri Lanka and South Africa – because the children love everything what’s related to animals especially penguins, their latest favourite! The Ocenarium has some cool features like enormous tanks for sharks and rays. And a fun hologram feature where you can play with penguins and watch sharks. Then we also spent a little time at the nearest playground and went for a walk along the seaside. Stopped at Maison Georges Larnicol to try the local delicacy: Kouignette. After all the cake and ice cream again we finished our day having a quick browse at the – quite large – Sunday flea market in the middle of the old town.