Beautiful bays, great beaches, many little villages, great trails along the coastline, mussels, oysters, surfing, and many historical sites. This is Brittany. We focused on the coastline and were rewarded with an unforgettable trip.
> 840 km the coastline of Brittany
> 407 km Saint-Pierre-Quiberon – Amboise/Loire
> 1,350 km Amboise/Loire – Berlin
Here are the main spots that we marked on our map and that we are writing about:
• Cote d’Emeraude: St Malo – St Lunaier – St Jacut de la Mer – Cap Fréhel
• Baie de Saint-Brieuc: St-Quay-Portrieux – Paimpol – Abbaye de Beauport
• Port Blanc – Bréhat – Perros-Guirec – Trégastel – Plougasnou – Pointe de Primel
• Roscoff – Kerfissien – Plouguerneau – Aber-Wrac’h – Lampaul-Plouarzel
• Pointe du Van – Pointe de la Torche – St Guénole
• Pointe de Penmarch – Névez
• Le Fort Bloque – Lorient – Saint-Pierre-Quiberon
• Auray – Amboise/Loire
We mentioned in our other tour diaries on Normandy to forget all the apps and guides for camping sites. There are many beautiful and well-located campgrounds and there should be no worries finding a place to rest for the night. Some are located right of the beach or on a plateau with great views. Normandy and Brittany are so very well and perfectly organized for camping cars and RVs. A long the road and or when entering a town you will see signs with directions for campgrounds, parking areas for camping cars, or areas for getting fresh water or taking care of your waste disposal.
NOTE: Most of the bigger campgrounds, that are fully equipped, close at the end of September to April. But there are many other campsites or parking areas that will be open.
There was no campground or RV parking area where dogs wouldn’t be allowed. How great and easy is that? Some beaches, like in any other beach areas don’t allow dogs in the summer months or show signs that your dog must be on the leash. But in September and October the beaches are open for dogs as well and there was never a problem.
OUR ROAD TRIP BRITTANY BEGINS
Our tour in Brittany starts with Saint-Malo and Saint-Lunaier. The way down the western coast of Normandy and the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel was a long but impressive drive. We went through Saint-Malo, Dinard and ended “day 7” and our road trip NORMANDY in Saint-Lunaier in Brittany.
SAINT MALO – LONGCHAMP
Saint-Malo is a very historical city and worthwhile to spend a couple hours to walk through. The surrounding towns like Dinard are not to be misse. Nice shopping, great restaurants and art galleries. A popular sight to visit in Saint-Malo is the walled city (La Ville Intra-Muros).
RAIN and misty weather
We stayed for the night in Saint-Lunaier with its popular beach Longchamp. The rainy and foggy weather made us stroll along the beach into the town for a cup of tea and a crépe. The many villas on the various hills overlooking the bays will give a great impression of the beauty of this region.
Places to see in Saint-Malo:
- The walled city (La Ville Intra-Muros): It’s located on top of the cliffs and gives a great view on the town. The castle museum holds a great exhibition on fine art and carvings.
- Château of Saint-Malo: Part of it is a museum.
- The Solidor Tower in Saint-Servan: built in the 14th century, which holds a collection of history of voyages around Cap Horn.
♦ Campsite: Camping Longchamp is a fully equipped campsite with, electricity access, waste disposal, great sanitary facilities, laundry machines and dryers, a pool area, one restaurant and little shop, and very friendly personal at the reception like many other campgrounds we visited in France.
St Malo – St Lunaier – St Jacut de la Mer – Cap Fréhel – Baie de Saint-Brieuc – Paimpol – Abbaye de Beauport
> 77 km
Our day starts early again. It is DAY 8. Croissants, a cup of coffee, check the oil; take a last look at the campground that we didn’t forget anything. The map was in front of us with various marks and notes of places to see during the day. We had beautiful blue sky. It was the perfect weather for for wandering at our next destination – Cap Fréhel.
WANDERING AT CAP FRÉHEL
Cap Fréhel is a peninsula in Cote-d’Armor in northern Brittany. It extends off the Cote d’Emeraude into the Golf de Saint-Malo. No towns are situated at the peninsula but two lighthouses from the 17th century and 1950 are located at the tip. It’s an amazing peninsula surrounded by cliffs.
This was the place to slip on our hiking shoes and go for a long extensive walk on trails on top of the cliffs with amazing views. If you want you could walk all the way over to “Fort la Latte” on the other side of the peninsula.
It was early afternoon so we continued our tour and drove up the Baie de Saint-Brieuc. Again, we passed through many little towns with beautiful stone buildings and gardens full of hydrangeas.
THE ABBEY DE BEAUPORT and PAIMPOL
It was time to rest for a couple of days after more than 1,300 km driving along the coastline of Normandy and up on the Brittany coast to Paimpol. THE ABBEY de Beauport was marked on our map for a walk. It was built in the 12th/13th century. The ruins of this old abbey make a good picture with a nice view on the bay in the back.
Paimpol was a good place and a very nice and charming town for the next two days. A nice little fishing port in the centre, surrounded by quality seafood restaurant invite you for a good lunch with moules. Many little shops with products from the region will attract you when strolling through the old streets.
♦ Campsite: Camping Cruckin is a fully equipped campsite with, electricity access, waste disposal, great sanitary facilities, laundry machines and dryers. The campsite is in the back of a little beach with a beautiful walk to the Abbey, which is located on the back site. The centre town of Paimpol is only about 2 km away, which makes a nice walk or bike ride.
Arcouest – Bréhat – Port Blanc – Perros-Guirec – Trégastel – Plougasnou – Pointe de Primel
> 140 km
STAY ON THE SMALL ROADS
The morning took us to Arcouest with a great view over the bay to the Ile of Bréhat. A very nice car park for camping cars is located right down at the bottom of the bay. It’s a very nice location for a night or just park the car and take the ferry over to Bréhat.
The astonishing coast of Port Blanc with its beautiful towns Pénvenan, Perros-Guirec and Trégastel was next. “Stay on the little roads”. The coastline is amazing. The views will make you stop in all the bays.
A NICE HIKE AT POINTE DE PRIMEL
Plougasnou and Pointe de Primel were marked on our map to go through but when entering the town and seeing the campsite we quickly decided spending an afternoon there and stay for the night. The campsite was empty. The view from our camper down on both sides of the bays was unforgettable.
We have put on our hiking shoes and first made our way down to the beaches. Tiger, our Labrador dog loves the water. At the end of the beach we entered the trail that took us up on Pointe De Primel. It’s a very nice walk and a good rest on the top with great views. We brought a backpack with sandwiches, fruits and tea. It was the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. A historic stone cabin is the only building up there and shelters you from the winds. To the other side you will see a high standing stone. Take a picture. But the panoramic view to both sides of the bay, over to Diben, the Ile de Batz and lighthouse, Roscoff, and Lannion Bay is amazing.
A video on Pointe de Primel from YouTube: https://youtu.be/piCS5teVYtE
THE MARKET IN PLOUGASNOU
The weekly market in Plougasnou goes all the way back to 1586. It’s a picturesque place and a friendly lively event with a great Breton atmosphere. But also good to get your healthy vegetables, fruits, artichokes, and other harvests from the sea like mussels, fish or oysters from the region to fill up your basket for the coming days. You will be rewarded with fresh items and after eating at so many seafood restaurants it was motivating to prepare our own meals, again.
♦ Campsite: GO GREEN when camping. This campsite should be mentioned not only in terms of a perfect location BUT very eco friendly. Visitors are reminded when arriving at the campground to separate garbage, and signs at the reception and sanitary area show on what to do.
- Plougasnou – Pointe de Primel: Camping-plougasnou.fr
Roscoff – Kerfissien – Plouguerneau – Aber-Wrac’h – Lampaul-Plouarzel
> 80 km
When visiting Brittany you can’t get enough of beautiful coastlines, bays and amazing beaches. Kerfissien is a must see!
THE BEAUTY OF BEACHES OF KERFISSIEN
Unbelievable beautiful. Take your picnic basket and spend a couple hours at this amazing beach, especially during low tide.
Beach of Kerfissien
The afternoon was again driving through beautiful small villages, bays and beaches with very picturesque sceneries. We sure stayed on the little roads. It pays off. The coastline changes now and it’s getting a little rougher.Beach of Kerfissien
♦ Campsite: we fond a nice campsite in Lampoul-Plouarzel. Right of the beach and a peninsula. No electricity but we had enough from our solar panels. The sanitary facility was just offering toilets.
Pointe du Van – Pointe de la Torche – St Guénole
> 226 km
This day was reserved for nature and surfing.
NATURE PURE AND WANDERING AT POINTE DU VAN
It’s quite a long drive all the way out to Pointe Du Van. But it’s again a great place to stop and walking the trails with astonishing views. It pulls you off the driver seat and gives you time to breath. There is a little chapel to take nice pictures towards the light tower of Point du Raz.
Pointe de la Torche is THE place to go surfing or at least watch the many surfers from a plateau of the beach. Great waves attracts surfers to even stop by in the late afternoon towards the sun goes down. It’s a great hang out.
♦ Campsite: there is car park for camping cars right off the street. It’s an ok spot. We just wanted to stay at this place to watch the surfers.
Pointe de Penmarch – Névez
> 75 km
Great weather, a beautiful sunny morning took us through Saint-Guénole and Pointe de Penmarch down the coast through bays and charming little towns to Névez. We did a lot of driving during the previous days. So the days to come were planned with shorter distances and rather spend the afternoon relaxing on great white beaches.
♦ Campsite: we found this campsite, which was actually closed but they let us stay for a night. The owners are incredibly nice and their little dachshund – Boris loved our Tiger. The location offers a pool area, direct access to the beach, restaurant and bar, and a sanitary facility with laundry machines and dryer. Time to get our laundry done.
Le Fort Bloque – Lorient
> 55 km
THE BEACHES OF GUIDEL and FORT BLOQUÉ
Our morning duty like almost every day was finding a good bakery to get our croissants. Sure we did find one. We are ready to see the long white beaches of Guidel and Kerham with Fort Bloque located right on the beaches. A great beach area and good for long extensive walks to watch surfers. There is a nice golf course located right on the back of the beach. Put it on your activity list to get you away from driving all day.
Places to see:
- Fort du Bloqué: it is now a private residence but it’s nice to take a trip around the 18th century fort when it’s low tide.
> 73 km
Saint-Pierre-Quiberon was our last stop along the coast of Brittany and we stayed four days on this peninsula. This peninsula is a must see with its beautiful drive on little roads along the breathtaking wild coast Cote Sauvage, the sandy beaches and coves. The peninsula stretches for 14 km long. The town of Quiberon is very charming with great restaurants, marinas, shops and galleries.
♦ Campsite: there are several campsites on the peninsula with great views on the wild coast Cote Sauvage. So don’t worry. We stayed at CAMPING MUNIPAL DU ROHU. It is located in Morbihan, right of the beach with direct access and full of character of spectacular coastal landscapes.
Auray – Amboise/Loire
> 407 km
We packed our tend and camper; checked the oil again, which is a must with this 25 year old RV, and took a last view on this beautiful bay and the beaches before we took off to Auray and the Loire River.
AURAY AND A LIVELY MARKET
The market in Auray was on for lunch. Located right in the centre of the town with all these many market stands, offering fresh vegetables and seafood. It makes a great atmosphere. It was very inviting for a lunch and sure we did have some good sandwiches.
The Loch, a small coastal river, crosses the city. It flows into the Gulf of Morbihan. A nice walk after the local market took us through the old town and down a beautiful little road to the port of Saint-Goustan. The scenery is very picturesque and a must.
We are ready for Amboise and the Loire River. Quite a long drive with roughly 400 km lies in front of us but we need to make distance to get back towards Berlin. Amboise would be a good destination to stay for the evening and to see some of the impressive chateaus at the Loire River Valley.
AMBOISE and THE CHATEAU ROYAL
Amboise lies on the banks of the Loire River, 27 kilometres east of Tours. Nice restaurants and a centred marked place below the chateau makes it very charming. It is known for the Chateau d’Amboise, a 15th century chateau of King Charles VIII. It is worth visiting the Chateau, featuring the beautiful gardens, royal chambers, the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci, and underground passageways. We recommend also visiting Chateau du Clos Lucé, which was the former home of Leonardo da Vinci before he died in 1519. It hosts a small museum displaying work models of his designs.
♦ Campsite: we found a fully equipped campsite across the river on the L’ille d’Or with good sanitary facilities. It is walking distance over the historic bridge to Amboise. The view on the Chateau Royal from this side of the river is stunning.
Château Chambord – Château de Cheverny – Beaugency
> 80 km
THE CHATEAUS OF THE LOIRE
After a good night sleep and a strong cup of coffee we took the map of the Chateaux de la Loire, that we bought in Amboise and marked the roads we wanted to take and to visit the chateaus along the river on our way towards Orléans.
Fog covered the river valley with the sun constantly trying to get through. The autumn atmosphere was beautiful and made a wonderful impression when driving along the Loire. Chaumont-sur-Loire can now be spotted, situated on side of the river and overlooking the Loire. We now headed off the road along the river on smaller roads into the backcountry side through very nice little towns, passing the chateaus Troussay and Beauregard towards Château de Cheverny and the great Château Chambord. These chateaus are amazing and a must see!
When we went trough the park of Chambord and suddenly the scenery opened up with this enormous Chateau de Chambord in the back we had to stop for a while to capture this outstanding view. It was like a fantasy.
It was a beautiful morning and we really made a good decision to take this detour on the Loire River before a long drive back to Berlin. We must come back here and with plans for an entire road trip along the Loire River to visit more of these outstanding and amazing chateaus.
The following video that we found on YouTube will give you a very good overview on all the chateaus in the Loire River Valley.
THE END OF OUR ROAD TRIP BRITTANY
We hope you enjoyed reading and got some good advise for your next trip. Please, also see our report along the coastline of Normandy.
Links and sites to visit in the region
- Official site for Brittany tourism: http://www.brittanytourism.com
- A great site for the Loire River Valley and its major highlights: http://www.valdeloire-france.co.uk