Wanting to visit Brittany in your motorhome? We can help you plan your motorhome tour of Brittany.
France is a fantastic place to tour with your motorhome. The country is large, but more importantly, it encourages and welcomes visitors with a motorhome. From campsites and motorhome aires to wild camping, the choice is huge. Brittany has a rugged coast, pretty historic villages and towns, a rich history and authentic French cuisine. If you enjoy medieval castles, pretty ports and unspoilt beaches then Brittany is a good choice for a motorhome tour.
In this article I will try and give you some ideas what to see and where to visit on a motorhome tour of Brittany, France. We have visited several times but in 2022 we toured the coastline of Brittany and it didn’t disappoint. Before planning a motorhome tour of Brittany you need to decide how long you want to spend in Brittany and in which direction you want to travel. As we were driving from the south we wanted to start in the historic town of Vannes and travel clockwise and finish in the walled town of St Malo before catching the ferry back to Portsmouth.
We have visited Vannes several times and it is a great place to start or finish your motorhome tour of Brittany. Vannes is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Vanne and the Vincin, which open into the Gulf of Morbihan, a stunning bay dotted with islands. Vannes has a rich and varied heritage that dates back over 2,000 years.
One of the main highlights of Vannes is its old town, which is surrounded by ramparts and fortified bridges that testify to its medieval past.. You can wander through the cobbled streets and admire the half-timbered houses, some of which date back to the 15th century. You can also visit some of the impressive monuments, such as the Vannes Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that houses a remarkable collection of stained glass windows, or the Église Saint-Patern de Vannes, the oldest church in the town that was built on the site of a Roman temple.
Another attraction of Vannes is its museum complex, which consists of two museums: the Musee des Beaux Arts- La Cohue and the Musee d’Histoire et d’Archeologie2. The former is housed in a former medieval market hall and displays works by local artists as well as temporary exhibitions.
If you are more interested in nature than culture, you will not be disappointed by Vannes either. You can enjoy a relaxing stroll or a picnic in the Jardin des Remparts, a beautiful garden that overlooks the ramparts and offers stunning views of the Gulf of Morbihan. You can also visit the Aquarium de Vannes, which features more than 50 tanks with over 200 species of fish and marine animals from around the world. For a more exotic experience, you can head to the Jardin aux papillons, a tropical greenhouse where hundreds of butterflies fly freely among exotic plants and flowers.
Finally, if you want to explore more of Brittany’s coast and islands, you can take a boat trip from Vannes with Compagnie du Golfe, which offers various excursions to places such as Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Ile-aux-Moines or Ile-d’Arz. You will be amazed by the beauty and diversity of these islands, which offer sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, wooded hills and charming villages.
There is a good motorhome aire in Vannes that we have stayed at several times. It’s only a short and scenic cycle ride along the coastal cycle path.
If you are looking for a charming and picturesque destination in Brittany, you might want to consider Pont Aven, a small town in the Finistère department that is famous for its artistic heritage and natural beauty. Pont Aven is situated on the banks of the Aven river, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The town has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was a prosperous port and a centre of trade. However, it was in the late 19th century that Pont Aven gained international fame as a haven for painters, especially the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists who were attracted by its scenic landscapes and colourful atmosphere. The most renowned of these artists was Paul Gauguin, who founded the School of Pont Aven, a group of avant-garde painters who experimented with new techniques and styles.
Today, Pont Aven still preserves its artistic legacy and offers plenty of attractions for visitors who love art and culture. You can visit the Musée de Pont Aven, which displays works by Gauguin and his followers as well as temporary exhibitions. You can also follow the Circuit des Peintres (Painters’ Trail), which takes you to various locations that inspired the artists, such as the Bois d’Amour (Lovers’ Wood), the Chapelle de Trémalo (Trémalo Chapel) or the Moulin de Rosmadec (Rosmadec Mill). You can also admire the many art galleries and studios that line the streets of the town centre.
But Pont Aven is not only about art. It is also a great place to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. You can explore the river by canoe or kayak, or take a boat trip to discover the nearby islands. You can also hike or bike along the many trails that offer stunning views of the countryside and the coast. And don’t forget to taste some of the local specialties, such as the galettes de Pont Aven (buckwheat pancakes) or the galettes Traou Mad (butter biscuits).
We stayed at the excellent motorhome air in Pont Aven. It’s only a 10 minute walk to the village centre. The aire can be found at Rue Louis Lomenech in Pont Aven.
If you are looking for a destination in Brittany that combines the charm of a fishing port, the beauty of a seaside resort and the richness of a cultural heritage, you might want to consider Loctudy, a small town in the Finistère department that is situated at the mouth of the Pont-l’Abbé river estuary.
Loctudy is part of the peninsula of Penmarc’h, which is the far southwestern part of Lower Brittany, and preserves elements of old Breton culture and language. Whether you are interested in history, nature or gastronomy, you will find something to enjoy in Loctudy. One of the main attractions of Loctudy is its port, which is one of the most important fishing ports in France and specialises in langoustines (Norway lobsters). You can visit the port and see the fishing boats and the fish market, where you can buy fresh seafood or taste some local specialties at one of the many restaurants. You can also learn more about the fishing industry and its history at the Musée de la Conserverie Alexis Le Gall, which displays old machines and tools used for canning fish.
Another attraction of Loctudy is its beach, which stretches for 5 km along the Atlantic coast and offers fine sand and clear water. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing or water sports such as sailing, surfing or kayaking. You can also take a boat trip to explore the nearby islands of Glénan, which are known for their turquoise lagoons and exotic flora. If you are interested in culture and history, you will not be disappointed by Loctudy.
You can visit the Manoir de Kerazan, a 16th-century manor house that showcases the life and art of the Breton nobility. You can also admire the Église Saint-Tudy, a 15th-century church that features a remarkable Gothic tower and stained glass windows. And don’t miss the Abri du Marin (Sailor’s Shelter), a museum that tells the story of Pierre Mac Orlan, a famous French writer who lived in Loctudy and was inspired by its maritime atmosphere.
No motorhome tour of Brittany is complete without a visit to Locronan, a small town with a rich history and culture. Locronan is one of the most beautiful villages in France and a member of the Small Towns of Character association.
Locronan was founded in the 6th century by Saint Ronan, an Irish monk who came to evangelise the region. The town became a prosperous centre of hemp production and weaving in the 15th and 16th centuries, supplying sails for the French navy and merchant ships. Locronan was also a popular pilgrimage site, attracting many visitors who came to honour Saint Ronan and his miraculous well.
Today, Locronan preserves its medieval heritage and architecture, with its granite houses, cobbled streets and impressive church. You can admire the Renaissance-style buildings around the central square, such as the town hall, the former bailiff’s house and the Saint Ronan’s chapel. You can also visit the Saint Ronan’s church, which houses a magnificent altarpiece and a reliquary of the saint.
Locronan is also a lively and creative town, where many artists and craftsmen have settled. You can discover their works in the various shops and galleries that line the streets. You can also enjoy some local specialties, such as kouign-amann (a buttery cake), crêpes (thin pancakes) and cider.
Locronan is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment, where you can enjoy hiking, cycling or horse riding. You can explore the nearby forest of Névet, where you can find an ancient dolmen and a fountain dedicated to Saint Eutrope. You can also head to the coast, where you can admire the stunning views of the bay of Douarnenez and the island of Tristan.
The motorhome aire at Locronan is very good. It slopes a little and there is no electrical hook-up, but the location is excellent. The village itself is only 100 metres walk!
You must also visit Cleder, on your motorhome tour of Brittany. It is located on the north coast of Brittany, facing the English Channel. It has a mild climate and a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and small islands. You can enjoy swimming, sailing, fishing or simply walking along the shore and admiring the views.
There is an excellent Aire de Camping Car at Cléder. It’s very close to the beach and it is in a very quiet area. I think that this is a great place for a one night stop over.
Dinan is a must see on your motorhome tour of Brittany. This was our first visit to Dinan and what an amazing historic town this is!
Dinan is perched on a hill overlooking the Rance river, surrounded by nearly three kilometres of ramparts that date back to the 11th century. It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful towns in Brittany, with its half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and Gothic bridge.
Dinan has a rich history that goes back to the Celtic era, but it flourished in the Middle Ages as a centre of trade and commerce. It was also involved in several wars and conflicts, such as the Hundred Years’ War and the Breton War of Succession. Some of its famous residents include Bertrand du Guesclin, a knight who fought against the English and whose heart is buried in Saint-Sauveur basilica; and Anne of Brittany, who chose Dinan as her residence after becoming widowed from King Charles VIII.
There is plenty to see and do in Dinan. You can start by exploring its old town, where you will find many architectural treasures such as Dinan castle (14th century), which houses a museum; the Tour de l’Horloge (15th-century belfry), which offers panoramic views of the town; Saint-Sauveur basilica (12th-18th centuries), which displays different styles from Romanesque to Baroque; Saint-Malo church (15th-19th centuries), which boasts a remarkable organ; and the Cordeliers convent (13th century), which hosts exhibitions and concerts.
You can also stroll along Rue du Jerzual, one of the most picturesque streets in Dinan, lined with old houses and shops selling local crafts and specialties. This street connects the upper town with the lower town, where you will find the port and its marina. From there, you can enjoy a boat ride or a walk along the Rance river valley, admiring its natural beauty and wildlife.
Dinan is also known for its lively cultural scene. Every two years, it hosts a medieval festival that attracts thousands of visitors who dress up in costumes and participate in various activities such as tournaments, taverns and shows. The town also has several museums dedicated to art, history and local traditions; as well as theatres, cinemas and music venues.
The centre of Dinan is a pleasant 15 minute stroll from where we stayed at the municipal campsite – Dinan Chateaubriand. There is also an Aire de Camping Car on the river near to the spectacular bridge over the river in Dinan.
The last leg of our motorhome tour of Brittany took us to one of our favourite places – St Malo. It’s also, conveniently, where the ferry departs to Portsmouth. If you are looking for a destination that combines history, culture and seaside charm, St Malo has it all. A port city in Brittany, France, St Malo is famous for its amazing city walls.
The city has a long and turbulent history, dating back to the Roman times when it was a settlement called Alet. In the Middle Ages, it became an independent republic of corsairs, who were authorized by the king of France to raid enemy ships and keep part of the loot. Some of the most famous corsairs of St Malo were Jacques Cartier, who explored Canada, and Robert Surcouf, who terrorized the British in the Indian Ocean.
Today, St Malo is a popular tourist attraction that offers plenty of things to see and do. You can walk along the ramparts that surround the old city and enjoy the views of the sea, the beaches and the nearby islands. You can also visit the castle, which houses a museum of local history and art, and the cathedral, which has a beautiful stained glass window depicting the life of St Malo. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a boat trip to one of the islands, such as Grand Bé, where you can pay your respects to the famous writer Chateaubriand, who is buried there.
St Malo is also a great place to enjoy some Breton specialties, such as crêpes (thin pancakes), galettes (savoury buckwheat pancakes), cider (apple wine) and kouign-amann (a buttery cake). You can find many restaurants and crêperies in the old city and along the waterfront. You can also shop for local products such as salted butter caramel, cider vinegar and Breton lace.
We have stayed several times at Parking Saint-Malo Feval. It’s a large car/motorhome park and ride near the racecourse. The overnight parking fee includes one free bus ride to St Malo old town. There are several campsites near St Malo, one of which we have stayed at but we find the Aire de Camping Car at St Malo, Feval to be the best and most convenient. The Aire does not have electrical connections but there is fresh water and waste water emptying just over the road.