After having criss-crossed the European roads in a camper van, we had the project to discover our beautiful French regions. For this first road trip, after some research, we wanted to explore Brittany.
Visiting this region in a vehicle(van, camper, camping car…) is ideal, because Brittany is big, so we were able to go to all the spots we wanted to see in Brittany (there were a lot!).
We detail below our 15 days itinerary (that you can easily adapt into a one week itinerary, we explain everything), because we like to read the itineraries of other travelers, even if we don’t follow them to the letter it always inspires us a lot.
We also give you all our best sleeping spots, our advice for visits and also our good addresses. Let’ go
- Our 15 days itinerary by camping car (or van)
- Itinerary 7 days – 1 week
- D1 – Direction south of Brittany : Nantes
- Day 2 – Vannes, the Gulf of Morbihan & Carnac’s alignments at sunset
- Day 3 – Quiberon & Quimperlé peninsula
- D4 – Concarneau’s closed city to the end of Europe, Pointe du Van
- Day 5 – One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Crozon peninsula
- D6 – The incredible peninsula of Crozon, our favorite !
- D7 – Côtes d’Armor : alone in the world on the Ile Grande
- D8 – The unavoidable pink granite coast
- D9 – Small stone villages & breathtaking views
- D10 – Emerald Coast : Cap Fréhel and Fort La Latte
- D11 – Dinan : medieval city
- D12 – Saint Malo: the corsair city & the oysters of Cancale
- D13 – Mont Saint Michel: the wonder and our tips
- Day 14 – Renne: its historical center
- D15 Return
- Where to sleep for free in Brittany, our tips ?
- Where to park during the day in Brittany ?
- Where to rent a van or camper in Brittany ?
- Our balance sheet
Our 15 days itinerary by camping car (or van)
For this first trip we asked you on Instagram for your recommendations, we wrote down all your ideas on our map which we then completed through various blog postings.
Spoiler alert, there are many things to see in Brittany, it is an incredible region, so we had to make choices. We chose to go along the Breton coast. We selected the places that came up most often. We also tried to alternate between city tour days and walks along the coast. We wanted to ride a maximum of 1 hour per day to avoid spending too much time on the road.
We started our journey with the south of Brittany, the golf of Morbihan to the tip of the Van (south Finistère) then by the peninsula of Crozon (which came back all the time during our research) then by the north of Brittany, the coasts of Armor, the coast of Emerald then we changed department to visit the marvellous Mont Saint Michel in Normandy!
We chose not to explore the North Finistère, we keep this part for a future stay.
Itinerary 7 days – 1 week
If you have 1 week of vacations, we advise you to concentrate on the north or the south of Brittany.
- For the south, you can realize our itinerary from D1 to D6 (starting from Nantes to finish on the peninsula of Crozon)
- For the north, you can do the itinerary from D15 to D7 (starting with Rennes, then the Mont Saint Michel…)
D1 – Direction south of Brittany : Nantes
We spent this first day of our trip driving from the island of Oleron to Nantes. We found a great place to sleep, the Domaine Viticole de la Chevrue (Free spot Park 4 night), quiet and secure with a free tasting of a dozen different wines, in the joy and good humor, the owners are super friendly and nice really the type of spot we love with water and electricity, in short there is everything!
If you have less road than us, you can, for this first day, join the city of Nantes by bike from the domain or park your bike in one of the parking lots near the city center.
For our part, we already knew the city so we preferred to take strength after this day of road. Allow at least half a day to visit the beautiful city of Nantes!
For your discovery of the city, we advise you to take the Nantes Pass valid for 1, 2, 3 or 7 days, it will offer you free access to public transport to museums (carrousel of the marine worlds, the gallery of the machines of the island, museum of history, museum of art…), to cruises on the Erdre and to guided tours.
➡ If you do 2 activities (1 museum and 1 cruise or 1 guided tour, for example) and take public transport, the pass will pay for itself!
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
➡ Driving time : 3h (it all depends on where you start;)
➡ Spot dodo Domaine viticole de la Chevrue (Free spot Park 4 night), we recommend it +++
Day 2 – Vannes, the Gulf of Morbihan & Carnac’s alignments at sunset
We had a big crush on the beautiful city of Vannes. This city has many assets, ideally located north of the Gulf of Morbihan, you can easily explore its medieval city center on foot, walk along its ramparts and finish your visit by its lovely port. We had lunch at the very good Sarra’Zen pancake house, ideally located and the pancakes are cooked with fresh products!
We then took the road to enjoy the Carnac alignments at sunset.
We strongly recommend you to go there at the end of the day to enjoy the warmer lights that give this place an even more mystical side!
➡ Driving time: Nantes -> Vannes 1h30 (free parking Avenue du Président Franklin Roosevelt) then Vannes –> Carnac 30 minutes +
➡ Tree-linedsleeping spot in Carnac, west of the Dolmen parking lot, ideally located between the Ménec and Kermario alignments, recommended by other travelers we met in Vannes (thanks to Tom and Sarah if you’re passing by)!
Day 3 – Quiberon & Quimperlé peninsula
To go to the peninsula of Quiberon, a beautiful sunny and warm Sunday of September, is to accept to share this corner of paradise with many other motorhome owners and vanlifer.
Moreover, many parking lots are forbidden to campers, we had never seen so many signs on so little distance, in addition there are barriers of height at the entrance of the majority of the parking lots…
We still went around the island to explore the different points of interest, the small lighthouse of Port-Haliguen, the Pointe du Conguel and the beautiful Turpault castle overlooking the sea.
We parked at the parking lot of the Port Blanc arch, then we enjoyed the pretty wild beach nearby. This spot is popular with locals for surfing and families, it has a pleasant atmosphere. Despite the difficulty to park and to move around, we loved this island still very wild.
We recommend you to visit the peninsula out of season and rather during the week to fully enjoy it
Direction Quimperlé, not to be confused with its almost homonymous Quimper, to do the services, as the spot is 10 minutes walk from the village we took the opportunity to visit the pleasant lower town, its pretty market halls, its half-timbered houses and the imposing Sainte-Croix church.
➡Travel time: Carnac – Quiberon 20 minutes, Quiberon – Quimperlé 1h then
➡ Spot dodo Beach of Pouldohan at 30 minutes – pleasant land wooded and quiet next to a beautiful white sandy beach (6 places CC 48h authorized) – restaurant in Quimperlé le Wagon-lit.
Glenan Island, the Breton paradise
D4 – Concarneau’s closed city to the end of Europe, Pointe du Van
After 20 minutes of cycling, we take the ferry (cost 2€ round trip) from Passage Lanriec (place Duquesne) to the walled city of Concarneau. This way we avoided going around the Moros bridge.
We cross the walled city to take 1000 pictures, then we take a little height on the ramparts then we leave in direction of the beautiful and large beach of the white sands (in 1km while going along the littoral).
We recommend you to go to the Pointe du Van at sunset, to enjoy the beautiful lights of the end of the day during the golden hours!
A point to think about our itinerary is necessary, for this first trip to Brittany we unfortunately can’t see everything. We decided to go to the Crozon peninsula, located at the western end of Brittany, famous for its wild coast and its beautiful beaches. We will come back another time to visit the North Finistère.
➡ Driving time : Concarneau – Pointe du van 1h22
➡ Spot dodo parking with ocean view tip of Beuzec (15 minutes from the tip of the van)
Day 5 – One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Crozon peninsula
The Guardian has classified the beach of Ile Vierge, located in Finistère, as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (yes, it is possible)! Even though we don’t particularly like rankings because we consider everything to be beautiful, we went there to be curious.
From the parking lot, count about 3km round trip, following the GR34, you will cross a pine forest before reaching a viewpoint, from where you will enjoy a beautiful panorama on the creek with its pretty turquoise water, we had the impression to be in the Marseilles creeks. Unfortunately victim of its success the access to this idyllic beach became too dangerous.
To finish this beautiful day, we enjoyed a beautiful red sunset, one more, on the Cap de la Chèvre, the southernmost point of the Crozon peninsula.
➡ Travel time: Pointe du Van to Virgin Island 1 hour and 10 minutes then 15 minutes to Cap de la Chèvre.
➡ Sleep Spot: Cape of the goat park4night
D6 – The incredible peninsula of Crozon, our favorite !
Second day on the incredible peninsula of Crozon, we had a lot of fun!
We headed west, passing by the point of Dinan, the immense beach of Kersiguénou, stopping at the Lagatjar alignments, then we explored more deeply the surroundings and the beach of Pen Hat.
To finish this beautiful day, we walked in the city of Camaret sur mer to the guard tower designed by Vauban to defend the harbor, then we went along the coast, and the fortifications which protected the access to the harbor of Brest, until the point of the Spanish from where we enjoyed a beautiful view of Brest.
This nature reserve is a real concentrate of what is most beautiful in Brittany! In short, we already want to come back to explore more of this little corner of paradise.
A coastal path of 120km (Customs Officers’ path) allows you to walk around the island, we keep in a corner of our mind this dream itinerary for a future hike.
We recommend Fourn’île in Crozon, everything is organic and home-made, an excellent bakery with Breton products (obviously) brioche, far, kouign-Amann … that we devoured!
➡ Travel time : Cap de la chèvre – Pointe des Espagnols about 1h counting the numerous detours
➡ Spot dodo point of the Spanish (quiet but not crazy).
D7 – Côtes d’Armor : alone in the world on the Ile Grande
Linked to the mainland by a small stone bridge, Ile Grande is located in the heart of the pink granite coast. We followed the coastal path to cycle around the island (about 7km, all possible on foot), passing through marshes, harbors and numerous beaches.
Once a granite mining area, the island is largely covered with small stones. We crossed few people during our walk, in September, we have quickly them the feeling to be alone in the world, sensation that we adore!
➡ Travel time: Pointe des Espagnols – Trèdrez-Locquémeau, about 2 hours with a stop for services and shopping
➡Spotdodo : Pleumeur Bodou, concrete parking, next to the Gallic village, authorized stop 24h
Honestly, we didn’t know about the existence of this rating at all before our research on Brittany. Of course we quickly realized that this was still a must do in Brittany, a place almost unique in the world and the pictures of other travelers clearly made us want to come and see this little corner with our own eyes!
The pink granite coast extends over 30km, the area not to be missed is the one located between Trégastel and Ploumanac’h.
We left in the direction of theRenote Island (north of Trégastel), we advise you to take the main path at the end of which there is a beautiful view on the coast and on the lighthouse of Mean Ruz in Ploumanac’h (better known as the lighthouse of the pink granite coast) is waiting for you and then follow the east coast to reach the parking lot, since this island is only accessible on foot (about 2km there and back).
This second part is less frequented and therefore wilder with very beautiful beaches to observe these pink rocks with their particular shapes shaped by erosion.
Then we headed to Ploumanac’h (elected favorite village of the French in 2015) then you can join the customs path (still him) or the coastal path to observe the lighthouse more closely, its beaches and its adorable little port. In short, we loved this day!
➡ Travel time : Trèdrez-Locquémeau – île Renote – Tréguier, about 1h
➡Spotdodo : Tréguier parking at the waterfront Park4night, two minutes walk from the city center in the quiet, we were about twenty camping because once again it is crowded in Brittany
D9 – Small stone villages & breathtaking views
We had noted two charming villages to explore on our way to Tréguier & Paimpol, in the north of the Cotes d’Armor.
The first one is worth the detour just to see its magnificent Saint-Tugdual cathedral, its beautiful granite and half-timbered houses. The medieval historical center has kept all its charm.
The second one is interesting for its adorable small port and its pleasant city center, we were there on a market day, it was a very good atmosphere!
We stopped by chance at the grocery store Vivre, located in the center, the pretty frontage attracted us, what a good idea, we ate delicious sandwiches with fresh products, organic and selected with a lot of care, everything we like. The homemade lemonade with rhubarb syrup was to die for. In short, a must!
On the advice of the owners, we went to the cliffs of Plouah, the highest in Brittany. Indeed, it’s vertiginous, the cliff path offers beautiful views on the wild coast. Unfortunately we were there on a gray and rainy day, we could not enjoy the turquoise water, we will return!
➡ Travel time : Tréguier – Saint Brieuc about 1h
➡Spotdodo : Tréguier parking at the waterfront Park4night, two minutes walk from the city center in the quiet, we were about twenty camping because once again it is crowded in Brittany
D10 – Emerald Coast : Cap Fréhel and Fort La Latte
We start our exploration of the Emerald Coast which stretches from Cap Fréhel to the Pointe du Grouin.
The ideal way to link these two places is by taking the Douanier trail (still the same one) which allows you to link the Cap Fréhel and the Fort La Latte by following 5km of coastline. It is one of the most beautiful hiking itineraries in Brittany, in addition to passing by two emblematic sites, it offers very beautiful viewpoints. You can park your car at the Fort La Latte parking lot which is free of charge.
We had a very rainy day, we had to make a cross on this hike, we could only take advantage of a small lull at the end of the day to go out. We were nevertheless impressed by the impressive lighthouse of Cap Fréhel, which stands proudly facing the sea.
On the other hand, we had the bad surprise to arrive in front of the closed gates of the Fort La Latte because of bad weather (in September!), we can only advise you to check the opening information before your visit (not like us)!
➡ Travel time : Saint Brieuc – Saint Cast le Guildo (east of Fort La Latte) about 1h
➡ Sleep spot: Saint Cast le Guildo port parking in height at the water’s edge Park4night
D11 – Dinan : medieval city
Dinan, another must-see in Brittany, even visiting the city partly under the rain we loved the medieval atmosphere that reigns there. From the cobbled streets, the half-timbered houses to the old stones and the ramparts, one has the impression of strolling in the Middle Ages .
Thanks to the rain we discovered a small free and instructive museum on the history of the city within the tourist office which was used as a refuge during a big shower (free parking at the foot of the bridge on a large park4night meadow 10 minutes walk from the city center, it goes up, and 5 minutes from the port).
We ate at Miette’s, centrally located, for a great burger and homemade gnocchi. We didn’t leave a bit of it, the easy but true joke!
➡ Travel time: Saint Cast le Guildo – Saint Suliac (about 1h)
➡ Sleeping spot: Saint Suliac with a view of the port Park4night
D12 – Saint Malo: the corsair city & the oysters of Cancale
Without much surprise, we loved Saint-Malo, at the same time it would be difficult not to enjoy walking on its ramparts, admiring its impressive fortifications and exploring its city center where all the houses are made of granite from Chausey, which gives a beautiful uniqueness to the city.
Another aspect that we really appreciated was to be able to visit some islands only accessible at low tide (Grand-Bé and Petit-Bé islands). We will do a detailed article on this city that we loved! (Free parking behind Intermarché, the Rochebonne promenade which runs along the sea front allows you to reach the ramparts in 20 minutes Park4night)
We then went for a walk in the center of Cancale and took the path along the coast to go down to the port. (Free parking next to the cemetery, 5 minutes walk from downtown Park4night)
➡ Travel time: Saint Suliac – Saint Broladre (Cherrueix) about 1h passing by Saint Malo and Cancale
➡ Sleeping spot: Saint Broladre (Cherrueix) 500 meters from the beach with a view in the distance of Mont Saint Michel Park4night
D13 – Mont Saint Michel: the wonder and our tips
We had never been to Mont Saint Michel, so we wanted to finish our Breton stay in beauty, obviously we loved it. We give you our tips to make the most of your visit!
- Tip 1: A visit to the abbey of Mont Saint Michel is a must, whether you are a believer or not. Entrance to Mont Saint Michel is free, but access to theabbey and all of its public rooms is not free.
- Tip 2 : We advise you to book your tickets in advance, because it is one of the most visited sites in France, we were surprised by the crowd in September. This ticket includes a guided tour of about 1 hour, we discovered it when we arrived on the site.
- Tip 3: When you arrive to avoid the crowds that stagnate mainly in the main street, the one where all the stores are located. We advise you to go directly to the ramparts after the main gate (stairs on your right) or to take the stairs on the left just after the post office.
- Tip 4: A dream picnic spot with a view on the Mont Saint Michel, eat on the pedestrian bridge of the Mont Saint Michel dam, located just before the access footbridge to the site. Buy or plan your picnic before arriving at the Mont Saint Michel, there is not really a good value for money. There is very little free space for eating on site.
➡ Travel time: Saint Broladre (Cherrueix) – Sougeal parking area (south of Mont Saint Michel, driving time 30 minutes
➡ Sleeping spot: Sougeal parking area, very quiet Park4night
Day 14 – Renne: its historical center
For this last day of road trip we made a stop to walk in the city of Renne that we already knew. It’s always nice to walk around in such a beautiful city (we will dedicate an article for this day soon).
➡ Travel time: Sougeal – Rennes parking area (about 1h)
➡ Spot dodo : Crevin parking area (south of Rennes) + services
Let’s go for a 4 hours drive to the island of Oleron where we are currently sailing. At the end of each road trip, we empty all our tanks to avoid stagnant water in our tanks!
Where to sleep for free in Brittany, our tips ?
For those who have been following us for a long time, you know that we have traveled several months in motorhome in Europe, on our French coasts the restrictions are numerous compared to other countries (Italy, Greece…). For example, on the peninsula of Quiberon, we had never seen so many signs prohibiting parking on such a short distance, and moreover there are high barriers at the entrance of the majority of the parking lots…
The rule is the same everywhere in France : wild camping is forbidden, parking is tolerated wherever cars are allowed to park. Obviously it is preferable to remain discrete by avoiding to spread out all your camping equipment on the parking lot “in cuckoo mode we settle for the month” and by staying 24 to 48 hours maximum (some parking lots indicate the authorized duration at the entrance).
We reassure you, we still managed to find beautiful “wild” spots by searching well, we even managed to have some spots with sea views by moving away from cities or very touristy places!
For our research of spots we used the famous Park4night application, with the paying option (about 2€/month or 10€ for the year) we can add filters to our research, “note higher than 4/5”, “free CC stat. area”, “playground” ideal to occupy our small watches 😉
We also complete our research by trying to locate parking lots far from any civilization on Google maps and by asking other travelers (this is how we found the parking lot next to the alignments in Carnac) or friends on site.
To summarize, to park for free in Brittany, you have several options:
- The communal areas (many town halls play the game), indeed we are often squeezed like sardines, it is not at all instagrammable, for one night it is largely feasible. For example, we slept on the area next to the Village Gaulois to explore the pink granite coast, we were 15 minutes by bike from the big island and 15 minutes by camping car from Ploumanac’h, it’s just perfect to explore this very touristic area ! The services are generally free, what more could you ask for?
- Authorized parking to carsOn those clearly we try to stay as discreet as possible, we avoid parking too close to the road (we like quiet), restaurants especially on weekends and busy places so as not to disturb other motorists and especially the locals. For example, on the peninsula of Crozon, wild camping is forbidden, but some parking lots authorize the presence of campers for 24 hours maximum. We advise you to read the latest Park4night reviews carefully as the permissions change regularly.
Our last tips for sleeping in the wild, we advise you to prefer sites far from the main points of interest, the before or after season (May, June and September) and to ask the locals if it is possible to park for a night!
You also have many great campsites with dream locations, sanitary facilities where you can take showers with a good flow, and paid camping car areas with a very low daily fee (the network Camping car park is top, we used it a lot in the east of France during our first steps as camper !
Where to park during the day in Brittany ?
To park for the day, we were generally able to park for free near the main sites. We mainly used Park4night to search for our locations. We don’t use Google maps much because there are a lot of barriers on the parking in France, they are not necessarily indicated on this application.
During one of our first trips in a camping car in Biarritz, we could not turn around at the barrier, the access road was too narrow, so we had to go back several meters in the city center. In short, we are now vigilant.
We love this way of travelling so we try to disturb as little as possible to show that the cohabitation of cars and converted vehicles is possible on the parking lot and we respect the different prohibitions.
We advise you to read the signs when you arrive or to ask the locals or shopkeepers. For example, to access theisland Renote on the pink granite coast, the parking of the aquarium is forbidden to camping cars, off season we are tolerated for a few hours.
Where to rent a van or camper in Brittany ?
We advise you to rent your motorhome, van, van conversion … between individuals, using the platform Yescapa which connects tenants and owners. It’s a French company, from Bordeaux, leader with more than 13’000 vehicles proposed, you will find your happiness !
For our part we used this platform to test several models of motorhome before choosing ours. We have always been satisfied with the different vehicles and we have also had plenty of advice from the owners who usually take the time to explain the operation of the vehicle.
The operation is very simple you select your city of departure then your dates of travel, then the platform proposes you the available vehicles. Then you can sort by price, number of beds, unlimited kilometers, foreign travel possible or not …. And the most important according to us, the comments of the other tenants, to read the various returns gives us full of information (reliability of the advertisement, arranging hirer, available…) and reassures us!
Our balance sheet
You will certainly have understood from this article, we loved our stay in Brittany. We were amazed! We can’t wait to come back to this incredible region, we already have a lot of spots, which we have noted for this second Breton stay!
We wish you an excellent stay! Don’t hesitate to leave us a note below to let us know if you are planning this trip, or to ask any questions you may have, we read all your messages and we will answer you with great pleasure!