Quimper's name means 'confluence of two rivers', in this case the rivers Odet and Steir. The old town is well worth a visit, with many half-timbered houses and a distinctive cathedral with twin spires, as well as the Breton Museum and the Art Museum. The city is known for its intricate traditional lace making and its handmade pottery with distinctive yellow and blue borders.
Try the local tipple
The nearby town of Rosporden is known as "The Capital of Chouchen", Chouchen being a traditional Breton liqueur made with honey, similar to mead.
Follow the 'Route des Chapelles'
Take a leisurely drive around the local area, taking in some of the pretty stone chapels dotted around, most dating from between the 15th and 17th centuries and presenting interesting features such as intricate bell towers, ornate carvings and friezes, and colourful wooden statues.
Go for bike rides
You can take to the local countryside roads directly from the door of this property. Or if you prefer to follow a marked route, guides showing both short and long distance routes around Rosporden can be bought at the Tourist Office. Or about 20 minutes drive to the north, at Châteauneuf-du-Faou, you can join the canal path of the Nantes-Brest Canal, which has the benefit of being flat, off-road and very easy to navigate!
About a half hour drive to the east, the town of Le Faouët is best known for its beautiful architecture. Visit the 16th century 'Halles' (covered market place) in the town square and the medieval churches of St Barbara and Saint-Fiacre.
It is approximately 45 minutes drive to this picture postcard village of well preserved stone houses built around a picturesque central square with a pretty chapel. As modern development has been strictly controlled here, several filmmakers have been drawn to use the village as the backdrop for a bygone era.
can indulge their passion at the 'Etangs de Rosporden’ lakes. A day visitor licence must be obtained in Rosporden.
Anyone for tennis or golf?
There are tennis courts in Rosporden, and an 18 hole golf course in La Foret Fouesnant.
Around a 30 minute drive from Coat Bihan, Concarneau is a major port area. While visiting, take a look around the old town which is home to traditional handicraft shops while also boasting a modern centre ideal for some holiday retail therapy!
Also situated in Concarneau is the 'Ville Close'. Get a glimpse of Breton past by walking around the fortified old town set into the harbour.
Art & Architecture in Quimper
Stroll round Quimper's picturesque centre, whose colourful half timbered houses are wonderfully intact. Dating back to 1239, the Cathedral St Corentin has been described as a jewel of Breton gothic art, although it has a surprisingly light interior. Art lovers can appreciate traditional pieces at Quimper's Musee des Beaux Arts and contemporary work at Le Quartier gallery.
Around a 30 minute drive away, Pont-Aven is a small but popular town on the river Aven, known for its many art galleries and antique shops. Its most famous former resident is undoubtedly the painter Paul Gauguin, who worked here with a group of other artists who are now referred to as the Pont-Aven School. This is also the place to go for succulent oysters, which flourish in the river Belon, which meets the sea at the same place as the Aven.
Day out in Brest
Brittany's second largest city, Brest offers a multitude of attractions and activities: the Castle and Tour Tanguy are the principal landmarks, and those wanting to delve into the city's history should visit the museums housed therein; art museums, cinemas and theatres aplenty for lovers of the arts; the excellent aquarium centre Océanopolis is a fantastic family day out.
Armorique natural park
Within an hour's drive to the north, the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique is an area comprising 10 square kilometres of forest, protected and maintained by the French equivalent of the Forestry Commission. The park provides plenty of opportunity for walking and hiking, and simply enjoying nature. The park contains a number of geological and prehistoric curiosities, and also museums and traditional villages where you can discover the history of the area.
Cruise around the Glénan Isles
Drive down to the old port of Bénodet where you can book a boat trip around the Iles de Glénan. The isles are made up of seven different islands each home to fine sandy beaches and clear lagoon-like waters. The perfect opportunity for walking, bird watching, kayaking and diving.
Cidrerie Melenig in Elliant
Local apple juice and farmhouse cider, the traditional tipple of the Breton people, can be bought from the Cidrerie Melenig in Elliant, about 15 minutes drive away. Free guided tours are conducted every day during July and August, and on Saturday afternoons at other times of the year. You will learn about the different apple varieties and how they are processed, and there’s the opportunity to taste before you buy.
Lanniron Château and Gardens
Set on the bank of the river Odet, directly south of Quimper city centre, the Château de Lanniron was the former residence of the Bishops of Quimper. The gardens have been restored in accordance with historic documentation, and present a typical French 17th Century garden. Terraced areas descend down to the river, with many unusual tree species as well as a good show of flowers and a produce garden.
Day at the beach
The nearest beaches are at Concarneau, but a little further west you can reach Bénodet and all the Fouesnant beaches, or a little further east are the Trégunc beaches. Some have a busy seaside town atmosphere whilst others are quiet country beaches or little coves - something for everyone! Much of this coastline is lined with perfect-looking soft white sand, and often there are watersports on offer from energetic activities such as surfing or sailing to the more relaxing option of hiring a boat.
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