Straight off the boat at St Malo... turn right ...and you're in the Cotes d'Armor!... Best Brittany Website ever:- http://www.brittanytourism.com/
Probably the best connected region of Brittany...being close to the most convenient landfall by sea or air. Flights from all over the UK land at Pluertuit (Dinard) airport as well as the western channel Ferries arriving at St Malo (just into Ille et Vilaine) from Weymouth, Poole and Portsmouth as well as the Channel Isles...But the properties tend to become cheaper when you get away from the coast and into central Brittany. So, what are the Cotes d'Armor towns and cities that might sound familiar to you?
...Dinan, ancient and majestic town on the River Rance, it just oozes ancient architectural splendour from several classic periods in history as well as culture and cuisine of the highest order.
Lamballe - home of the national stud. Erquy & Pleneuf Val Andre - chic resorts with reminiscences of Torquay - but, like I said chic! Next door is Daouhet a fishing village that has grown old gracefully but with an eye to the future via its marina and quayside restaurants serving moules and oysters straight off the boat. The regional capital is the coastal city of St Brieuc; the city of valleys which all lead down to the sea. Follow the road down to Port du Légué which sits 'reborn' under the viaducts which carry the traffic above the valleys as the port gets on with becoming chic and trendy after a good few years of being in disrepair and then in development limbo. There is an Emmaus there which is a must to visit for great household bargains. The road out along the creek takes you to the wide open 'pick your own mussels' beaches of Binic & Plouganoual.. St Brieuc, at the sharp end of the valleys, is a gem of a city with hi-tech as well as traditional industries (a Carrefour big enough to get lost in) - high on culture - low on crime - with an ancient quarter which is a delight to walk around with little chance of being mugged! Voila!
Dinard is a delight - especially when the sun shines...The son et lumiere at Bon Repos is worth moving from the UK for on its own (the first 2 weeks in August). A picnic on the banks of the Nantes Brest Canal makes it a perfect evening... 400 actors, 50 horses, a pack of hounds and laser projections that will amaze!
Music is a must throughout the Cotes d'Armor from traditonal bagpipes and big drums to blues and heavy metal - even Bruce Springsteen played Carhaix Plouger - Vieilles Charrues 2009 - apparently one of France's biggest festivals. We were there...Great show...unusual toilet arrangements, expensive beer and it took us 2 hours to cover 3 miles from the autoroute to the car park...but you love it don't you?
Click for a flavour of Springsteen's first (but hopefully not last) trip to Brittany...
Every Breton village has its own leisure lake... and The Cotes d'Armor has a chunk of the Nantes Brest Canal - as well as Brittany's biggest lake - Lac de Guerledan... with woodland walks, water sports even a beach, Hotels, Kayak & Sailing Centres, Trailer Parks & Camping Grounds, Dinner Cruisers...A second lake, Bosmeliac (with fewer activities but no less beautiful) is just minutes away. The lake's dam is also the start for the Rigole d'Hilvern a narrow 'canal' which follows the contours for 65km acting as a 'drain' for the lake into the Nantes Brest Canal at Hilvern near to Pontivy (46km as the crow flies) It now forms a superb tree lined walk which touches tiny, sometimes seemingly isolated, communities along its length. All of this and you are never more than an hour away from the north or south coasts wherever you are in Brittany.
All things equine are important in Breton life... Ever since we first saw a poster for 'Hippo Courses' we have visited Plouec sur Lié on Bastille Day... No hippo's though...just a load of 'pram chassis' jockeys tearing round a grass track being cheered on by folks from miles around. A great way to spend the day ...It's free to park - free to get in. If it was in England just that would cost you about 15 quid. Take a picnic or buy lunch from the barbecue...How very civilised!
Many towns stage their own horse festivals. But there's plenty of info out there. Here are a few great sources of information....
Click below to find out a little more