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Due to its distinctive character, pleasant climate and proximity to the UK, Brittany has long been a favoured destination for a French villa holiday.
A spectacular coastline of majestic sandy beaches and rugged cliffs encircles Brittany, interspersed with scenic harbours and rocky coves dotted with lighthouses.
Traditionally a region of seafarers and fishermen, this influence remains strong to the present day from working fishing ports to yacht marinas and plenty of opportunities to engage in watersports.
Inland an equally captivating and varied landscape awaits, of mysterious megalithic sites and wooded river valleys steeped in Arthurian legend: Brocéliande Forest is said to be enchanted and home to Merlin’s tomb and the Lady of the Lake.
Brittany enjoys a mild climate much like Cornwall, thanks to its coastal borders and the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. The Breton peninsula and the south coast in particular experience a micro-climate with comparitively higher temperatures and more sunshine than the rest of northern France and the UK.
Just to the south of Brest and lying within protected National Park, the Crozon peninsula forks out into the Celtic Sea, magnificent panoramic views of which can to be enjoyed from Menez Hom, the highest point in Brittany.
Whilst some stretches of this coastline are wild and craggy, the seaside village of Telgruc sur Mer is situated on the southerly side of the peninsula, with a long gently shelving fine sand beach at Trez Bellec.
The old town is well worth a visit, home to a distinctive cathedral with twin spires as well as the Breton museum and the Museé des Beaux Arts.
Stroll around the cobbled streets to admire the timbered houses and marvel at the intricacy of traditional Breton lace-making, or simply soak up the friendly atmosphere from a pavement café. Quimper is also famous for its handmade pottery with its distinctive yellow and blue borders.
Boat trips from Lorient head out to the Ile de Groix, Brittany's second largest island, which is dotted with pretty fishermen's cottages painted in bright colours and boasts both beautiful sandy beaches and breathtaking clifftop scenery.
Our villas in this area are situated along the coast west of Lorient, which is characterised by sweeping sandy bays, rocky coves and small harbours such as the picturesque port of Doëlan. Nearby, the market town of Moëlan-sur-Mer offers a comprehensive choice of amenities and three family friendly sandy beaches at Le Pouldu.
Further west lies picturesque Pont-Aven, renowned for its many art galleries and antique shops, a legacy of its most famous resident, the painter Paul Gauguin. For others, the chic atmosphere of Bénodet may appeal more, its impressive marina and pristine beach justifying its reputation as the 'Breton Riviera'.
Concarneau is a major port for both fishing and pleasure boats, and is blessed with many excellent fish and seafood restaurants. Take a walk around the well preserved 'Ville Close', the fortified old town set in the harbour, an iconic landmark of this celebrated town.
Most towns hold a weekly market selling fresh local produce, and often the opportunity to sample specialities before purchasing. These include markets held in Bénodet and Concarneau on Monday, Moëlan and Telgruc sur Mer on Tuesday, Le Guilvinec on Wednesday, Pont l'Abbé on Thursday, Fouesnant on Friday, Clohars Carnoët on Saturday, and Quimper on Sunday.
Perhaps the most typical dish however is the 'galette bretonne', a savoury filled crêpe, accompanied by a cup of Breton cider. Other specialities to sample are an egg custard flan known as Far Breton and Traou Mad, a delicious full fat butter biscuit.