Brittany was made for outdoor adventure. In this region of dramatic coastlines and wild, hilly landscapes, you can just as easily whoosh along a beach on a sand yacht as camp under the stars in a forest clearing or heather-filled meadow. Check out these 11 activities and experiences, and get set for an adrenaline-fuelled holiday in northwestern France.
Sand yachting is much like its seagoing counterpart, except you zoom across the sand in a buggy rather than crash through the waves in a boat. Of all the places in Brittany where you can try it out, the expansive beach at Erquy is the best.
Hike Away From the Tourist Trail in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay
Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
Explore Mont-Saint-Michel Bay on foot to take in the scenery | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
The island castle of Mont-Saint-Michel is northwestern France’s biggest tourist attraction; however, the wider bay area, criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails, is free from crowds and full of bucolic scenery.
Paddleboard on the Pink Granite Coast or around Morlaix Bay
You don’t have to be a water sports expert to have a go at paddle boarding | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
There are few better ways to enjoy the Pink Granite Coast, a 30-kilometre (18.5-mile) stretch of blushing boulders in the north of Brittany, than from the unique vantage point of a stand-up paddleboard. You can even undertake your coastal exploration with the guidance of surf champion Alexis Deniel. Otherwise, drift around the beautiful Morlaix Bay, where you’ll find little islands and islets that are ripe for exploring.
The best way to see Belle-Île is by bike | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
Belle-Île – the beautiful isle – is Brittany’s largest island and a top spot for outdoor activities. The best way to soak up the coastline and gently undulating interior is by bike; if you’re feeling super energetic, you can attempt to cycle the 82.5km (51mi) coastal path in a single day.
With 2,860km (1,780mi) miles of coastline, Brittany is an unbeatable destination for canyoning – or coasteering, as it’s also known. This adventure activity involves scrambling over cliffs and boulders and intermittently plunging into the sea. The commune of Plougonvelin, at the northwestern tip of the Breton peninsula, is the perfect base for avid and beginner canyoners.
Take in the views along the clifftops of the Crozon Peninsula | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
The Crozon Peninsula is famed for its clifftop walks. The most dramatic point along the way is the Pointe de Pen-Hir, with its 70-metre (230-foot) drop. From here, you can gaze out at the Tas de Pois, four stacks shaped by the waves of the Iroise Sea.
The consistent swell at Brest makes it ideal for kitesurfing | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
With no shortage of coastline or wind, Brittany has long been a destination for kitesurfers. For the best conditions the region has to offer, head to Brest. The Brittany Kite School can show you the ropes with lessons at numerous sites.
Proving there’s more to Brittany than stunning coastlines, Armorica Natural Park is a beautiful area of protected wilderness, extending many miles inland and comprising thick forests and heather-filled meadows, excellent for a long day’s trek.
This adventure park in Rennes, in the east of Brittany, will have your heart racing with its treetop courses, some of which reach heights of 20m (65ft). The five-stage zip line route whizzes you through the canopy for over half a mile.
Waves are all but guaranteed at Pointe de la Torche | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
Jutting as it does into the tempestuous Atlantic, it’s unsurprising that Brittany is a surfers paradise. The most popular spot, with near-guaranteed waves, is Pointe de la Torche, a finger of land in the southwest of the region that pokes into the sea.
Head out on a boat in Brittany to see dolphins in the wild | Courtesy of Brittany Tourism
With nearly 400 bottle-nosed dolphins in the bay (the largest population of the species in Europe), your best bet of catching them in action is on a boat trip with the Association Al-Lark. The conservationist group organises daily dolphin-spotting excursions across the bay – and with any luck, you’ll get a chance to capture the playful mammals jumping and gliding through the sea.