Planning a 7-day road trip in Brittany but unsure where to go? Discover our itinerary through the northern part of this region. You’ll explore the Pink Granite Coast, the island of Bréhat, Saint-Malo, and the Emerald Coast… You’ll also find essential tips and advice for your Brittany road trip.
1-Week Road Trip in Brittany: The Itinerary
Embark on a captivating 7-day road trip through Brittany, starting from the historic city of Rennes and journeying to the stunning coastal towns of Saint-Malo and Dinard, renowned for their picturesque beaches and maritime heritage. Explore the majestic Cap Fréhel and the imposing Fort la Latte, offering breathtaking views of the rugged coastline. Discover the quaint charm of Erquy, with its pink sandstone architecture and serene beaches, and experience the tranquil beauty of Île de Bréhat, a car-free island paradise. Marvel at the unique Pink Granite Coast near Perros-Guirec and the enchanting Ploumanac’h, culminating in Brest, a city rich in maritime history and home to the fascinating Océanopolis. This itinerary offers a blend of natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural experiences, making it a perfect snapshot of Brittany’s diverse allure.
Map of your 1-Week Road Trip in Brittany
Your 1-week in Brittany itinerary at a glance :
- Days 1 and 2: Rennes to Saint-Malo: Start from Rennes and head to Saint-Malo, known for its historic intra-muros city, Saint-Malo Castle, and the Emerald Coast. Explore Dinard across the bay and enjoy marine life experiences. Overnight in Saint-Malo.
- Day 3: Cap Fréhel and Fort la Latte: Visit the pink sandstone fortress of Fort la Latte, offering panoramic views of the Bay of Saint-Malo and the Emerald Coast. Discover the breathtaking Cap Fréhel. Overnight in the area.
- Day 4: Erquy: Explore Erquy, famous for its pink sandstone architecture, beautiful beaches, and the “Blue Lakes.” Enjoy activities like cycling, hiking, and water sports. Overnight in Erquy.
- Day 5: Île de Bréhat: Travel to the car-free Île de Bréhat, known as “the island of flowers.” Experience its tranquil beauty, preserved nature, and charming villages. Overnight in the vicinity.
- Day 6: Perros-Guirec and Ploumanac’h: Head to Perros-Guirec to see the Pink Granite Coast and visit Ploumanac’h with its iconic pink granite lighthouse. Enjoy romantic sunset views. Overnight in Perros-Guirec.
- Day 7: Brest: Conclude in Brest, exploring maritime history at the Motte-Tanguy Tower and Océanopolis. Experience the city’s rich cultural heritage. Optionally, return to Rennes or stay overnight in Brest.
7-Day Road Trip in Brittany: Our Tips
While the road rules are the same throughout France, here are some important points to note for your week-long road trip in Brittany:
- Roads in Brittany are toll-free, as there are no highways.
- Travel times are quick (it’s a region without mountains…).
- In 2021, Bretons were ranked as the second-best drivers in France.
- During your road trip, you’ll notice that signs for Breton towns are always marked in both French and Breton.
- Between Saint-Malo and Dinard, we recommend taking the Rance Tidal Power Station route. However, be sure to check the barrage opening times to avoid traffic jams.
For vehicle rental, we advise comparing agencies through a comparison site. This can lead to significant savings on your rental.
1-Week Road Trip in Brittany: Our Itinerary
Your 7-day road trip in Brittany starts from Rennes. Although this city is not included in this circuit, we highly recommend visiting it. You’ll discover its historic center with timber-framed houses typical of the city. Wondering what to do in Rennes? Be sure to visit the Thabor Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the City Hall.
📍 Brittany Itinerary Day 1 and 2: From Rennes to Saint-Malo
🚆Train journey: Rennes – Saint Malo (1h02)
🚘By car: Rennes – Saint Malo (1h – 70Km)
To begin your 7-day circuit in Brittany, head to Saint-Malo, about an hour’s drive from Rennes. Stay for two days in this city to also explore Dinard, located opposite. Known as the corsair city, Saint-Malo is primarily historical and a must-visit destination in Brittany. Wander through its old intra-muros city, visit the Saint-Malo Castle, and walk along the city walls to see the sea and the Emerald Coast, the Fort National on Sillon Beach, and the city of Dinard in the distance.
For those interested in marine life, the Bay of Saint-Malo is home to European dolphins in summer. To observe them, consider a trip to Cancale, 30 minutes away by car, for an excursion. Alternatively, the Grand Aquarium of Saint-Malo is ideal for families.
Then, visit the city of Dinard, where you can relax on Saint-Enogat Beach and enjoy views of the sea and Saint-Malo. Several walks in Dinard are worth doing, like the “chemin de ronde” for admiring the beautiful houses along the sea. Plus, sea kayaking in Dinard offers a unique experience to observe the city.
📍 Brittany Itinerary Day 3: Cap Fréhel and Fort la Latte
🚘By car: Saint Malo – Cap Fréhel (1h20 – 50Km)
Continue your week-long road trip in Brittany with a visit to Fort la Latte. Located about 1 hour and 5 minutes from Saint-Malo, this pink sandstone fortress faces the sea. A filming location for movies, it offers a magnificent view of the horizon. Classified as a historical monument, the fortress retains its medieval charm with a walkway, dungeon, and machicolations. Enjoy the exceptional panorama of the Bay of Saint-Malo, the Emerald Coast, Cap Fréhel, and the sea and cliffs.
Just 16 minutes away by car, discover the pink sandstone Cap Fréhel, separating the Bay of Saint-Malo from that of Saint-Brieuc. For those wishing to walk to the cape, it takes about an hour along the coast. Enjoy the Breton moorland and its lovely landscapes. Once at Cap Fréhel, you’ll see the pink cliffs surrounded by the vivid colors of the sea and heather fields. It’s one of the most beautiful views in Brittany. You can tour the cape on foot in 1 to 2 hours, including a visit to its lighthouse.
📍 Brittany Itinerary Day 4: Erquy
🚘By car: Cap Fréhel – Erquy (30 min- 20Km)
Just a 30-minute drive from Cap Fréhel, your 7-day Brittany road trip continues to Erquy. Here, you can stroll through the town’s streets and observe its typical pink sandstone architecture. Erquy is perfect for cycling (watch out for the hills) or hiking. The 2-hour “Pointe d’Erquy” walk lets you wander along beaches and moorland. We also recommend visiting the “Blue Lakes,” former pink sandstone quarries.
For those looking to relax by the sea, Erquy has numerous beaches for swimming. Activities like land sailing, surfing, and sailing are available. Then, visit the “Bienassis” castle, set in its woods. Still inhabited, the castle sometimes closes its doors, so we recommend checking opening days.
Finally, end your city tour by visiting its port. This is the ideal place to taste regional specialties, especially scallops. Every year, the Scallop Festival takes place alternately in Erquy, Paimpol, and Saint Quay-Portrieux in April. You can enjoy this festival with seafood tasting in a musical atmosphere.
📍 Brittany Itinerary Day 5: Île de Bréhat
🚘By car: Erquy – Île de Bréhat (1h20 – 85Km)
Continue your 7-day Brittany circuit with a visit to Île de Bréhat. To reach this French destination, pass through the village of Arcouest, 1 hour and 20 minutes from Erquy. From the coast, take a 10-minute boat ride to the island. Note that other towns offer crossings, like Paimpol, but the shortest is from Arcouest. On Île de Bréhat, you can either walk or cycle, as cars are prohibited. Enjoy the island’s tranquility and stunning landscapes.
Nicknamed “the island of flowers” for its many agapanthus, it’s one of France’s most beautiful islands. You’ll see its preserved nature and charming villages. Don’t miss the Paon Lighthouse and the Birlot tidal mill, two emblematic sites. Guerzido Beach, with its turquoise water, is particularly breathtaking.
📍 Brittany Itinerary Day 6: Perros-Guirec and Ploumanac’h
🚘By car: Île de Bréhat – Perros-Guirec (1h05 – 50Km)
Continue your 7-day Brittany road trip by heading to Perros-Guirec, an hour’s drive from Arcouest. This town is a favorite among Bretons. Relax on its beaches, like Trestrignel Beach. But the main attraction is the Pink Granite Coast. In Ploumanac’h, observe the Mean Ruz Lighthouse made of pink granite. At the foot of the lighthouse, numerous pink rocks blend beautifully with the sea. Stay until sunset when the granite becomes even more colorful, perfect for a romantic moment.
To reach this coast, start from the “Customs Officers’ Path” (GR34). You’ll witness the unique formations of the granite layers.
📍 Brittany Itinerary Day 7: Brest
🚘By car: Perros-Guirec – Brest (1h45 – 110Km)
To conclude your 1-week circuit in Brittany, finish your itinerary in Brest, 1 hour and 45 minutes from Perros-Guirec. Brest, one of Brittany’s most important cities, offers numerous monuments, including the Motte-Tanguy Tower. Located opposite the medieval castle, now a Maritime Museum, the tower includes a museum showcasing the city before World War II.
A must-visit in Brest is Océanopolis. Here, discover three types of marine worlds: polar, tropical, and Breton. Ideal for families, you’ll see sharks, rays, penguins, and the “otter trail.”
This last destination concludes our week-long road trip in Brittany. Finally, you have two options: either close the loop of your circuit by returning to Rennes, a 2-hour and 40-minute journey, or rent a car in Rennes and leave it in Brest. However, note that the latter option may incur higher fees.
When to Embark on Your 1-Week Itinerary in Brittany
Brittany, with its maritime climate, offers distinct experiences throughout the year, making it a versatile destination. The ideal time for your 1-week itinerary largely depends on your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and local events.
Spring (April to June)
Spring in Brittany is a delightful season, marked by mild temperatures and blooming landscapes. This period is perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and cycling in comfortable weather. The tourist crowds are thinner, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of the region’s towns and natural sites. Additionally, spring is the season for various local festivals, offering a glimpse into Brittany’s rich cultural heritage.
Summer (July to August)
Summer is the peak tourist season in Brittany, attracting visitors with its warm weather and vibrant coastal life. This is the best time for beach activities, sailing, and enjoying the bustling seaside towns. However, be prepared for higher accommodation prices and more crowded attractions. Summer also brings numerous music and cultural festivals, making it a lively time to visit.
Autumn (September to October)
Autumn sees fewer tourists and offers a tranquil atmosphere with cooler, yet pleasant temperatures. The landscape turns into a picturesque array of colors, ideal for photography enthusiasts. It’s also a great time for food lovers to visit, as many local food festivals, including the famous seafood celebrations, occur during this season.
Winter (November to March)
Winter in Brittany is quieter and has its own charm, with crisp air and fewer tourists. While some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed, it’s a wonderful time to experience the region’s rugged beauty and cozy towns. Winter also often means lower accommodation rates, making it a budget-friendly option.
Local Events and Festivals
Brittany is known for its vibrant festivals and events. From the lively Fest-Noz traditional dance parties to the famous Interceltic Festival in Lorient, there’s always something happening. Check the local event calendar when planning your trip to include these unique cultural experiences.
Budgeting for a 1-Week Itinerary Through Brittany
A well-planned budget is crucial for a fulfilling 1-week journey through Brittany. Your budget will depend on several factors including the time of year, type of accommodation, dining preferences, transportation, and activities. Here’s a guide to help you estimate your expenses.
- Budget Options: Hostels, budget hotels, and guesthouses range from €40 to €70 per night.
- Mid-Range: Comfortable hotels or bed and breakfasts typically cost between €70 and €120 per night.
- Luxury: Upscale hotels or boutique accommodations can start from €120 and go upwards, especially in popular tourist areas.
- Car Rental: Essential for flexibility on a road trip, expect to pay around €30 to €50 per day, excluding fuel.
- Fuel Costs: Depending on your route and car model, budget approximately €50 to €100 for the week.
- Public Transport: If opting for trains and buses, set aside around €10 to €20 per day.
Food and Dining
- Budget Dining: Casual meals and street food can cost €10 to €15 per meal.
- Mid-Range Restaurants: Expect to pay around €20 to €30 per person for a meal with a drink.
- Fine Dining: High-end restaurants will cost €40 or more per person.
Activities and Entrance Fees
- Many natural attractions in Brittany are free, but budget for:
- Museum and historical site entrance fees: €5 to €15 per site.
- Guided tours or special activities like boat trips: €20 to €50 per activity.
- Budget Traveler: €60 to €80 per day.
- Mid-Range Traveler: €100 to €150 per day.
- Luxury Traveler: €200 or more per day.
Tips for Saving Money
- Book in Advance: Especially for accommodation and car rentals, to get the best rates.
- Travel Off-Peak: Consider shoulder seasons like spring and autumn for better rates and fewer crowds.
- Self-Catering: Opt for accommodations with kitchen facilities to save on meals.
- Free Activities: Explore Brittany’s natural landscapes, beaches, and some historical sites that offer free admission.
- Public Transport: If on a tight budget, consider using Brittany’s extensive public transport network.
1-Week Circuit in Brittany: Conclusion
With this last destination, we conclude our 7-day road trip in Brittany. You’ve discovered the northern coast of the region and the best places to visit in a week.
If you wish to modify this itinerary, you can change its duration or some destinations. For example, you might skip Dinard if you’re short on time to fully explore Saint-Malo.