A break to Brittany promises many things – historic villages, walled citadels and primeval forests – but above all, it’s home to mile upon mile of glorious, sandy beaches.
To help you plan your ideal seaside escape to this spectacular French region, we’ve hunted high and low to find our best-loved beaches, including firm family favourites, top places to tuck into seafood and some secret spots for sun-seekers.
Great for water sports… La Baie de Lannion
Along the delightfully – and accurately – named Pink Granite Coast you’ll find Grand Plage de Goas Lagorn, the Baie de Lannion’s sheltered stretch of beach. Running along the North Brittany Cap between the Celtic towns of Lannion and Trébeurden, this beach provides plenty of activities to keep the whole family amused, including windsurfing and kayaking.
• Pick of the parcs: Les Mouettes – easy to reach from Roscoff ferry port, this parc offers a fantastic pool complex too.
Great for seafood… Audierne
Delve into Audierne to discover an active fishing port offering great quality local seafood. Its beaches are excellent, with long stretches of fine sand and you can hop on a boat trips across to the Ile-de-Sein. Surfers should head to Baie des Trépassés to ride the long waves of the Atlantic.
• Pick of the parcs: Domaine de Ker Ys – a great value parc with a heated lagoon waiting for you to dive into!
Great for beautiful resorts… Dinard
Dinard is perfectly placed opposite St. Malo and visitors will be rewarded with a choice of fine beaches including Plage de l’Ecluse, home of Dinard’s huge main beach and glitzy Casino (main pic above). From here, you can follow the attractive Promenade du Claire de Lune as it wraps itself around the headland and down to the Plage du Prieuré, another lovely beach. Take the opposite route to discover the Plage de St Egonat.
• Pick of the parcs: Domaine des Ormes – packed with top outdoor pursuits, this parc offers an amazing pool complex, golf course and tree top adventure course.
Great for sunshine… La Baule
Those looking for a safe bet for sunshine should try La Baule, a beach in the far south east of Brittany. The weather in this region tends to be more reliable thanks to the microclimate of adjoining Vendée, which provides plenty of warm temperatures to explore the 4-mile stretch of fine sandy beach and pretty promenade. The bay is made even more attractive by a number of small offshore islands.
Why not visit en route to the Vendee, and Camping la Forêt? You won’t be far from Le Grand Parc Puy de Fou, a great family attraction in the ruins of a 13th century chateau where you can watch a fabulous falconry display or see the Vikings at war.
Great for families… Benodet Beach
Benodet beach is often voted one of the best family resorts in Brittany and a trip to the large Plage du Trez in the centre of the bay will show you why. The beach is supervised in the summer season and you can hire pedaloes and beach kayaks. Nearby is the Plage du Letty and the Plage Saint Gilles, both ideal for rock pooling.
• Pick of the parcs: La Pointe St Gilles – this parc is close enough to Benodet beach to allow daily visits and also offers Kids’ Clubs and a great pool complex.
Great for France’s finest… Carnac
Head to southern Brittany and you’ll find Carnac, an area between Vannes and Lorient that offers 5 beaches including La Grande Plage. These south-facing, sheltered beaches benefit from the area’s microclimate and are rightly recognized as some of the best beaches in France. Two of them – La Grande Plage and St. Colomban – have supervised bathing in the summer season. If you can drag the kids away from the beach, don’t miss the famous Standing Stones that are located nearby.
• Pick of the parcs: Des Menhirs – this parc is just a short stroll from Carnac beach and the town centre.
Great for a walk on the wild side… Quiberon Peninsula
Just to the south of Carnac is the Quiberon Peninsula, a stretch of land packed with beaches offering a wilder edge, including the aptly named Côte Sauvage. Quiberon itself is worth visiting and has a lovely little beach, which is very sheltered and great for families.
• Pick of the parcs: La Baie – this small parc is next to two lovely beaches and near to the harbour town of La Trinité-sur-Mer.
Great for enjoying the view… St. Cast
This resort may be small, but it is home to an impressive seven beaches. At the end of the main beach is a small hill with excellent views from the summit over the Emerald Coast and Cap Fréhel, or you can try one of the coastal walks along the jagged cliffs, too.
• Pick of the parcs: Stay at Chateau de Galinee – a family run parc close the St Cast and Dinard coasts and the walled wonder of St Malo.
Great for nature… Mousterlin
Between the rocky headlands of Pointe de Mousterlin and Pointe de Beg-Meil lies over 5km of uninterrupted white sands, backed by a nature reserve. This vast wetland is home to several bird species, and several trails run through for walking and cycling. The beach itself is south facing, so you get the best of the sunshine but also the brunt of the breeze!
• Pick of the parcs: A path runs direct from L’Atlantique to the beach via the nature reserve.