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Brittany: a coast of wild beauty

This article is also available in: Italian

Brittany is a historical region of north-western France, formed by a peninsula wedged between the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. Ancient kingdom and then duchy, independent since the Middle Ages, historical Brittany also included part of today’s department of Loire-Atlantique, today in the Pays de la Loire region, here is also the ancient capital of Brittany, Nantes.

The current region, which has the city of Rennes as its capital, is administratively made up of 4 departments: Côtes-d’Armor (22), Finistère (29), Ille-et-Vilaine (35) and Morbihan ( 56). Thanks to its shape, Brittany is the French region with the greatest coastal length, in fact its coasts extend for about 2,800 km along the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel.

The coast of Brittany presents a great diversity, always very indented, rocky and full of islands, it is steep and craggy on the side facing the Channel, and less elevated on the side of the Bay of Biscay. The region occupies the western part of the Armorican massif, formed by low hills that exceed three hundred meters in height only in correspondence with the Montagnes Noires and the Monts d’Arrée, which culminate with Mount Roc’h Ruz (385 metres). Livestock farming, fishing, agriculture and tourism are Brittany’s main resources.


Tourism in Brittany is attracted by the wild beauty of the Breton coasts, by the vast area of megaliths around Carnac, and by towns and small historic centers such as Saint-Malo, Josselin, Vitré, Vannes, Dinan, Quimper, Dinard, Morlaix, Paimpol, Huelgoat, Roscoff, Rennes, Concarneau, and Pont-Aven.

The beauty of the coasts of Brittany is one of the main reasons for visiting the region. The coasts, always very busy, often rocky, with numerous islands, have suggestive names, there is the Emerald Coast (Côte d’Émeraude), the Pink Granite Coast (Côte de Granit Rose), the Goëlo Coast (Côte de Goëlo), the Golden Belt (Ceinture Dorée), the Coast of Legends (Côte des Légendes), the Abers Coast (Côte des Abers), the Iroise Coast (Côte d’Iroise), the Cornouaille Coast (Côte de Cornouaille) and the Coast of the Megaliths (Côte des Mégalithes).

Gastronomy can also be a reason to visit, Breton cuisine mainly uses fish, there are many regional specialties, such as scallops (coquilles Saint-Jacques), but many other dishes based on fish and shellfish are prepared. Breton cider (cidre), an alcoholic beverage (between 2% and 8% alcohol) obtained from the fermentation of apple juice, is very popular.

The climate of Brittany.

Area: 27,208 km²
Population: 3,120,288 (2007)
Capital: Rennes


This article is also available in: Italian

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