Last Updated on 26/11/2023 by secretmoona
I recently visited two of Brittany’s four “departments”: the Cotes d’Armor (22) in the north and Ille et Vilaine (35) in the east, bordering on Normandy. I wanted to share with you some of the most beautiful towns in Brittany that I have visited or plan to visit. So, here are my top picks for the prettiest and most charming medieval towns in Brittany. Each of these towns represents one of the heritage characteristics of Brittany, including urban, maritime, castles, rural, and religious.
Brittany’s prettiest and charming towns
Brittany is a region with diverse architecture and geography. Bretons have a strong cultural identity, which has led them to preserve their heritage. From walled cities, fishing ports, and rustic buildings to medieval castles, Brittany has become a popular tourist destination, with culture and the sea at the top of the agenda.
Auray is a quaint town that will capture your heart at first glance. With its historic half-timbered and stone houses, cobbled streets, and picturesque port of Saint-Goustan, Auray has all the elements of a charming town. Once an important harbour, this port town has transformed into a delightful destination with a variety of restaurants, bars, and artistic boutiques. It is definitely worth a visit.
Bécherel is a charming little town located between Rennes and Saint-Malo in France. It is famous for being the country’s first book town and the third in Europe after Hay-on-Wye (Wales) and Redu (Belgium). The town boasts over 15 bookshops, a monthly open-air book market and annually hosts a popular Fête du Livre, making it the perfect destination for book lovers of all ages and genders. In addition to being a hub for literature and culture, the village is also breathtakingly picturesque.
Dinan, Côtes d’Armor
Dinan is the epitome of a quaint, beautiful Breton town. This charming little town is steeped in medieval history, boasting a well-preserved 13th-century castle and ramparts that are like jewels. As you walk through the narrow, cobbled streets, you can see how much the locals care about and cherish their town. In my opinion, Dinan is the most picturesque town in Brittany and is definitely worth a visit.
Fougères is a charming town located at the border of Normandy, boasting a lovely medieval quarter and a fairytale-like château that is a must-see attraction. As a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (town of Art and History), it offers plenty of things to see and discover, making it an ideal destination for lovers of art, history, and architecture.
Saint-Malo is an enchanting walled seaside town located in the northwest of France’s Brittany region. It boasts a rich history and culture, evidenced in its well-preserved town centre, the Fort National, and the castle. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the town’s ramparts, which offer breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. Those looking to indulge in fresh seafood will find plenty of options in Saint-Malo’s restaurants and markets. The town is also famous for its galettes, a traditional Breton pancake made from buckwheat flour. With its beautiful beaches and charming atmosphere, Saint-Malo has something for everyone and is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Brittany.
Vannes is a beautiful city situated in Morbihan, on the southern coast of Brittany. It has managed to preserve its medieval charm with stunning wood-beamed houses and the magnificent Cathédrale de St Pierre. The town was formerly built on a fortified Roman site. The quaint streets of Vannes are bustling with shops, boutiques, and restaurants where you can taste the delicious local specialities such as crepes, cheeses, and oysters.
Locronan is one of the most beautiful villages in Brittany, and for good reason: its beauty is simply breathtaking. The photo of this picturesque village speaks for itself – with its granite Renaissance homes, old church and well, all located in the pedestrian historic centre. The architecture has been impressively preserved, testifying to the rich history of the town, which reached its apogee thanks to its admirably well-preserved heritage.
Vitré is a charming town with many attractions, including grand, high-rise, half-timbered houses, stone cottages, quaint streets, and a fairytale-like castle. In addition to its architectural marvels, the town also offers an opportunity to enjoy nature. Several lakes provide great walking spots, as well as places for swimming and water sports. Furthermore, with Mme de Sévigné, the town’s most famous former resident, you can also enjoy a bit of literature.
Moncontour, Côtes d’Armor
Moncontour is a charming village that is surrounded by imposing ramparts. The village is perfect for a leisurely stroll, with its narrow streets, impressive mansions, and buildings. It was once known for its production and trading of fabric, but now it has become a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months. Every other year, the village hosts a medieval festival with street entertainment, which is definitely worth experiencing.
Have you visited any of these beautiful and charming villages and towns? Which one is your favourite? I am curious to know. Have you visited any of these charming villages and towns in Brittany? Which is your favourite?