Best of Brittany in One Week
Tailor your week-long itinerary to suit you
Explore the best of the Brittany region including St Malo, Dinan, Rennes, Le Mans, and more with our Paris to Brittany 7-day itinerary.
If you would like to spend longer in any particular region of Brittany then our team would be delighted to craft a custom itinerary just for you. To request your bespoke vacation plan contact our team today!
What is included:
Day 1: Paris to St Malo
Your private chauffeur will collect you from your Paris hotel and take you to Montparnasse station where you will board the train to St Malo.
St Malo is France’s largest marina and the most visited attraction in Brittany. It is not hard to see why – this ancient walled city has a rich heritage filled with pirates and corsairs who pillaged merchant ships crossing the English Channel, as well as being the birthplace of Jacques Cartier, the famous sailor from St Malo who was the first European to sail inland into North America and claim what is now Canada as part of the French kingdom.
Your private tour starts at the city walls and we take a walk around the ramparts that encircle this magical city – views from the ramparts are incredible, looking out to the marina, estuary, and sea.
Your tour then continues to the old town that is protected by the walls – although the buildings seem authentic in actual fact much of the city was destroyed in the Second World War but has been painstakingly and faithfully restored.
Spend the afternoon with a private tour of the Demeure de Corsaire, one of the few buildings that actually survived the war intact. This splendid 18th Century mansion was home to a wealthy merchant and the interior of the building shows how these wealthy merchants lived, with their opulent mansions and grand ballrooms, nothing seemed too extravagant.
Day 2: St Malo to Dinan
Unlike its coastal cousin, Dinan was spared during the Second World War and is home to some wonderful architecture dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. We start the tour at Place du Guesclin where we visit the 700-year-old market that is filled with artisan craft stalls and local organic farm produce.
We then make our way into the Old Town filled with half-timbered houses with steeply pitched roofs, and narrow cobbled streets. Visit the Basilica St Saver, a building unique in that it combines Romanesque and Byzantine architectural styles as building work started in the 12th Century but it was not finally completed until the 16th Century. Inside the Basilica admire the stunning stained glass windows and chapels.
Our next stop is the Chateau of Dinan also known as Donjon de la Duchesse Anne which was built by John IV of Montford. The castle is attached to the ramparts and also contains a museum of local history that charts Breton culture over the centuries. Following your visit, we head to one of the many riverside bistros for lunch and try some traditional Breton dishes.
In the afternoon take a tour of the city walls of Dinan which were first built in the 13th Century with 6 towers along the walls which have amazing views across the town and the River Rance.
Day 3: Dinan to Rennes
Rennes is the capital of Brittany and its history stretches back over 2000 years. From the 16th Century onwards Rennes was the parliamentary, administrative, and garrison city of the historic province of Brittany.
We start today with a private tour of the original Parliament building ‘Palais de Parlement’ which has been magnificently restored following a huge fire in 1994. From here we head to the Musee des fines Artes, which like many French museums is filled with extravagant artifacts and treasures that were confiscated from Castles and churches following the revolution.
Artworks from famous painters such as Rubens, de la Tour, Boudin, and Gaugin are just a few of the many famous artists whose works are on display.
Rennes is also home to 20 markets and this afternoon your guide will take you to the famous Marche des Lices, which is one of the largest markets in the whole of France with over 300 artisans, farmers, and traders. Have lunch nearby and try delicious Breton delicacies such as galette – saucisse.
In the afternoon we head to the famous Jardins Botanique Thabor – Thabor Gardens. The Gardens were owned originally by the monks who lived nearby in the Abbey, following the Revolution the gardens were opened to the public. Thabor Gardens contain over 3,000 different plant species in the main botanical gardens and an additional 2000 different rose varieties in the stunning Rose Garden.
Day 4: Rennes to Carnac & Quiberon
Today we head West to the Brittany coast, with its rugged coastline and white sandy beaches, and fishing villages dotted along the various beaches.
Our first stop is Carnac – think Stonehenge but on a different scale. Carnac is actually the largest megalithic site in the world with over 2,800 stones spread over an area of 40 hectares. (Stonehenge has only 83 stones in a very small area.) The stones are known as the Carnac Alignments and the most famous site is the Menec Site with 11 rows of 1.250 stones. estimated to have been erected at around 4500 BC. Your guide will take you on a tour of these mysterious stones, tombs, and monuments.
In the afternoon head for the Quiberon Peninsula also known as ‘le presqu’ ile’ – the almost island. This 14 Km peninsula is joined to mainland France by little more than a sandbank and until the 11th Century, the Quiberon peninsula was an island. Explore the picturesque fishing villages scattered across the peninsula, each with its distinctive whitewashed walls and blue ‘volets’ (blinds).
Head to one of the harbor restaurants and have the catch of the day whilst watching the fishermen maneuver around the harbor.
Day 5: Quiberon to Laval
We start to head back in the direction of Paris and our first stop is the charming Breton city of Laval. This pretty little city lies on the River and has a stunning cathedral built in a mixture of Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque, and Renaissance architectural styles. Explore the famous Abbaye de la Coudre, which was built in 1859. Today the Abbey is home to Cistercian nuns who sell homemade jams, cakes, and chocolates in the shop which is in the cellars of the Abbey.
In the afternoon wander around one of the many markets and sample the local cheese – Port Salut which originates from this region. No visit to Brittany would be complete with sampling crepes and galettes – think pancakes and waffles but with a French twist from one of the many creperies scattered across the peninsula. Time permitting we head to visit the old Roman baths located just outside the city. The Baths at ‘Thermes d’Entrammes’ were only discovered 25 years ago having lain hidden for over 2000 years.
Day 6: Laval to le Mans
Whilst not in Brittany le Mans is the perfect stop en route back to Paris. famed for its 24-hour endurance race it is also home to a mysterious old town where we start our tour.
Unlike most French towns and villages where the ‘old town ‘ is usually found nestled in the heart of the city of Le Mans the old town is entirely separate from the rest of the city. the old town is dominated by the magnificent cathedral that is one of the largest in France. Standing next to the cathedral’s main entrance is a monolith raised here by the inhabitants of Le Mans in 5000 BC!
Explore the beautifully preserved Old Town with its Medieval Houses dating back to the 14th Century, watch out for the Maison de Pilier rouge (the house with red pillars) easily recognizable with its stunning red timberwork.
In the afternoon your specialist Le Mans race guide will take you for a tour of the track – visit the Press Room and podium and learn about the history of this great race (and lots of anecdotes from your guide!)
Day 7: le Mans to Paris
Today we head back to Paris for your onward journey. Depending on your timings your chauffeur can take you for a drive to take in all the sites of Paris without leaving the comfort of your luxurious vehicle. Drive down the Champs Elysee, take in the Arc de Triomphe and Tour Eiffel as well as a drive over the Pont Alexandre III, often called the ‘most beautiful bridge in the world’.
Maybe have a quick stop at Laduree, home of the macaron which makes perfect gifts for friends and family back home.
Your private chauffeur will take you to the airport or station, ready for you to continue the next part of your travel adventure.
Complimentary Bespoke Brittany Tour Itinerary
The route outlined above is just one of many ways to spend a week enjoying the sights and sounds of Brittany with your private guide. For your tailored vacation itinerary, simply contact our team using the contact form below.
Other tour itineraries to explore
Salut from France! I’m Debbie, founder of Luxury France Tours.
Having developed into a Francophile on a trip to the French Alps many years ago while still in school, I moved to France after a career traveling the world led to me meeting my (now) French Husband in Johannesburg. I created Luxury France Tours as a way of sharing my love of France & igniting this passion in others.