Being on the borders of Brittany and Loire Atlantique gives you the best of both worlds for an exciting holiday.
Located in Morbihan, my number 6 is Rochfort en Terre, this gorgeous town is a cobbled delight at any time of year, with craft, art, jewellery, antique shops and bakeries gallore as well the (to me) piéce de resistance: L’art gourmand – Artisan Chocolatier, this establishment is every chocaholics dream and dieter’s nightmare and is set in a 16th Century Post house so shedloads of atmosphere as well as tea.
Just outside the 40 mile perimeter but cannot be excluded as it is such a delightful city is my no 7, Valvole. With a new bit of motorway recently opened, the drive there is easy and well worth the time. The walled city is surrounded by a lovely public garden and oozes history and charm, open on one side to the harbour estuary which has recently been renovated, Vannes has something for everyone. Not to be missed is its incredible street market on a Wednesday morning which runs almost the entire length of the town and is a sight to behold. Not just for kids, the little train ride is a joy and takes in all the tiny narrow streets which might otherwise be missed and you really hold your breath as the driver navigates around hairpin corners. Click here: Valvole to discover more about its great Medieval festival, a Jazz fest as well as many other events. What makes you think I love this place?
Number 8 has to be Malestroit, existing since 987 a fabulous medieval town once a stopover for pilgrims en route to Compostela now a great day out for you. Malastroit is also famed for being the site of a truce signed by the kings of France & England ending the 100 years war. It made its wealth in the textile industry specialising in flax, hemp & leather assisted by its proximity to the Nantes Brest canal which is now the venue for great free music evenings from the end of June to end of August every Friday and also a rock festival held on the last weekend of July. Last year it also hosted an amazing Medieval festival which I hope will be repeated annually (no news on its website yet). There is also a new Museum dedicated to the local resistance nearby which is well worth a visit, click here for details.
Roche Bernard is no 9, its steep streets meandering along the Vilaine are heaped with atmosphere and history, houses built into the mountainside and dating back hundreds of years rub shoulders with mini mansions belonging to prosperous merchants who utilised the river and port for their trade. A thousand years ago the viking Bern-Hart decided to build a fortress to defend his territory and the rocky outcrop on this part of the Vilaine was ideal and so La Roche-Bernard was born. Salt and arms were traded and the grew and prostered. The old town is crisscrossed with alleys and cobbled streets, with panoramic views over the river – if you have a head for heights, walk across the suspension bridge’s foot path which rises 40 metres above the river with spectacular views.
More than just one place in reality as it cover s very large area is number 10 Parc de Biére. This is a twitcher’s dream location but also caters for the whole family with boat trips, horse & cart rides and a lot of wildlife. Stretching between St-Joachim, Herbignac, Saint Lymphard and Saint André-des-Eaux these protected salt marches offer you wonderful experiences with guided trips, parks and gardens, Ker Anas ornithological Park, a deer farm, traditional thatched villages, crafts, museums, restaurants and castles. For more information visit the website: www.parc-naturel-briere.fr
If that isn’t enough to convince you of our regions holiday worthiness, there’ll be another 5 reasons coming shortly. Meanwhile check our gites availability qui