Outdoor Activities in Brittany
Getting to know the forests, rivers, islands and nature parks of Brittany...
Did you know:
- Brittany has 1,730 ha of Nature Reserves.
- 87 percent of French artichokes are produced in Brittany.
- There are 1,700 Kms of coasts, seashores, caps and islands.
- Brittany comes second place in Europe for most births per year after Ireland.
- Morbihan has 2040 hours of sunshine a year - that may be why the early inhabitants built granite dolmens and menhirs which point to the setting sun.
There is an endless supply of activities for the adventurous and much useful information available. Most Tourist Offices have information brochures in English and several have informative Web sites with details on activities in each area. Several of the Tourist Offices have Web sites with details on activities in each area.
Before you head out to the hills you may want to check the weather
The Nature Reserves
The nature reserves in Brittany are committed to protecting and ensuring preservation of the maritime and inland heritage. Also lots of good information (in French on the Bretagne Vivante Web site).
Information on the Regional Parks:
- Parc Naturel Régional d'Armorique
At: 15 Place aux Foires, BP 27, 29590 Le Foaou Bière 02 98 81 90 08
- Parc Naturel Régional de Brière
At: 38 rue de la Brière, 44410 La Chapelle des Marais
Tel: 02 40 66 85 01
The seven nature parks are:
- Ile de Groix Marais de Séné (in Séné, Morbihan)
- des Sept-Iles (the Seven Islands, in Perros-Guirec, Côtes d'Armor)
- Perros Guirec
- Bay of St Brieuc (in Côtes-d'Armor)
- Iroise (in Molène Archipel and Ouessant, Finistère)
- Tourbière du Vénec (in Brennillis, Finistère)
- St Nicolas du Glénan (in Fouesnant, Finistère)
- Information on each of these can be found on the website Réserves Natrelles: Click here (in French)
For further information contact:
Hiking in Brittany
The Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pedestre (FFRP) is the overseeing body for all marked and maintained walking routes in France. It provides information and guide-books (most in French) for walkers in the area.
Top 25 hiking maps issued by the Institut Géographique National (IGN) are available from newsagents (presse) and bookshops.
Brittany has more than 1,700 Km of coastal pathways which have been developed for walkers of all levels. Many bookshops and other stores will sell local maps with detailed routes. There are also 53 Km of "green" paths developed in Morbihan suitable for cycling, walking, roller skating and for people with reduced mobility. Rando Briezh publishes guide books on all the walks, bike trails and horse trails. Look out for a booklet in the tourist offices or order yours online.
All nationally recognised trails are categorised as follows:
- GR (Grand Randonnée): Registered hiking trails that often run across the entire country.
- GRP (Sentiers de Grande Randonnée de Pays): Registered regional trails that will take you around a particular region for several days.
- PR (Sentiers de Promenade): Walking and hiking trails for short circuits, lasting several hours.
The French route marking system shows paths by means of signs and blazes.
- For clear explanations of the waymarks, or blazes (balises): Click here
Beautiful, green scenery is ideal for riding horseback in Brittany and there are over 2,000 kms especially for this very popular activity. There are centres all across the region offering trails and events.
- Comité Régional d’Equitation de Bretagne (in French)
Tel: 02 97 84 44 00
Mountain Biking and Cycling
Brittany is rich in cycle paths and sites covering all areas but especially coastal countryside and there are several organisations providing all the information you’ll need (in French).
- Ligue Régionale de Cyclotourisme/VTT
Tel: 02 99 36 38 11
Fax: 02 99 36 38 11
- Auberge de Jeunesse (Ille et Vilaine)
Tel: 02 99 48 75 69
- Pays du Menez Hom Atlantique (Finistère)
Tel: 02 98 26 17 18
- Base Départementale de Plein Air (Côtes d’Armor)
Tel: 02 96 67 12 22
- Pays de la Vallée du Blavet (Morbihan)
Tel: 02 97 51 07 53
Fax: 02 97 39 07 23
Canoeing is well represented in the local rivers. Navigable rivers are classified into six grades, Classes I to VI. There are many organisations providing training, transport and equipment for trips, one day or several. The sport is monitored by the Fédération Française de Canoë-Kayak. It has information on appropriate rivers and expert guides, where necessary.
- Fédération Française de Canoë-Kayak
Tel: 02 48 89 39 89
- Comité Régional de Canoe-Kayak ( Rennes)
Tel: 02 23 20 30 14