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Brittany - a French pearl

The shape of Brittany in maps resembles a ship’s bow; four fifths of its territory is surrounded by the sea, and the peninsula has a very impressive of 3,000 km of coastline. The main event here is the ebb of flow of the sea.

During low tide, the ocean slowly retreats into the distance, leaving lots of seaweed, shells, oysters and little crabs on the sand, and people go strolling round the ocean floor looking for seafood. The distance to the shore at this time is about half a kilometre.

Brittany’s coastline is quite varied. Some stretches are characterized by wild and romantic northern beauty: endless expanses, cliffs, dunes, large mossy boulders, lonely lighthouses, sea waves and wind; while others are marked by more southern and calm waters with strings of scattered little green islands.

Brittany is littered with small fortified harbour towns, piers with petite boats, oyster plantations and seaside restaurants, painted in white and blue. If you find yourself in the North, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Mont Saint-Michel, Saint-Malo and the resort town called Dinard, more than suitable for family vacations. The Southern part of the region is home to some real seaside pearls – the town of Le Boulais and the Gulf of Morbihan. Also, don’t forget the water resorts.

Every town in Brittany has its own unique history. Whichever you decide to visit, however, you’re bound to notice the remarkably striking signs – nowhere will you find signs that are more reminiscent of the past.

Saint-Malo enchants its every visitor. The bright and colourful exteriors of the local houses lead to the Old Town, which delights in its gray, wind-swept buildings. Tourists would be well advised to stay here for more than just one day. The same holds true when visiting Mont Saint-Michel.

The abbeys of the Mont Saint-Michel fortresses, located at the boundary between Brittany and Normandy, can be seen on every tourist brochure and are called the eighth Wonder of the Ancient World. It’s a really spectacular structure, wrapped around a cliff that protrudes out of the sea.

Mont Saint-Michel is an excellent place to explore medieval architecture. Two styles are intertwined here – the stern Roman and the spiritual Gothic. The abbey’s inner courtyard, which seems to be diving between the sea and the sky, is a real treasure of the monastery.

Over three million tourists come here every year just for this very sight. Most of them are in a hurry to visit the famous local restaurant, called La Mere Poulard, which offers the renowned mother Poulard’s omelette with calvados – the highest quality calvados you’ll ever taste.

Brittany is also known for its cheeses. The city of Vimoutie, which is still in a legal battle with Camembert over the right to call itself the capital of the legendary cheese, has built a monument to a cow in its central square.

Make sure to also try some of the other local cheeses: the mild liver cheese, the creamed pon l’eveko or the heart-shaped neuchâtel. These cheeses acquired their romantic shape during the Middle Ages, when the local women who made them decided to demonstrate their sympathies to the English soldiers, fighting against their taciturn husbands.

Bretons are the only European nation with clearly manifest Celtic roots. Many people here still speak the Breton language and cultivate the old Celtic legends and fairytales. The small stretch of the Brocéliande forest, located in Brittany, was the gathering place of the Knights of the Round Table, and home of the wizard Merlin and the fairy Viviane. Those who are interested can see the “mirror of the fairies” – a deep pond, where fairies used to comb their hair in the morning, and the sacred druid beech.

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