July 31-August 6, 2016
The name “Brittany” derives from the Britons who, back in the dark ages 500-1000 AD), came south across the English Channel to seek refuge from the Anglo Saxon invaders who were pushing them out of a large part of the island of Great Britain.
In this historic past, other Britons fled to the west and south west of their own island, to Wales and Cornwall; and so it is that today, Brittany shares a historic culture with the other Celtic regions of northwest Europe.
We will meet you at a local Rail station and transport you by large private air conditioned van to your home for the week. Enjoy a meet-and-greet featuring locally produced beverages. Then relax until it is time for a welcome dinner.
Today, a leisurely day before gearing up. A drive along the beautiful coast line of the Emerald Coast with several historical stops along the way, an ancient Druid cemetery, a ruined castle, a fort and a lighthouse. Picnic lunch. Plenty of time for photographs. Dinner in a seaside restaurant.
After breakfast, we will visit Dinard, with its Belle Époque villas and blue and white striped beach tents, it is like taking a trip back to the 19th century. Made popular by British and American visitors in the 19th century, Dinard was France’s top summer resort until the French Riviera took over in the 1930s. The former fishing village attracted wealthy celebrities (such as Alfred Hitchcock) and businessmen as well as European royalty, some of whom built fabulous villas. Tuesday is Market Day and we will wander around the vast outdoor and indoor market. Purchase local foods and drink for your own picnic lunch to eat seaside. Dinner at a down town restaurant. Perhaps sample the mussels in garlic and butter?
Awake rested and ready to go. We will enjoy breakfast and head to Le Mont Saint Michel. This is not just a church on a rock; it is a whole medieval city, one of the few places in France to have preserved intact its medieval walls and defenses. The city, though small, has a mayor, and in addition to its religious monuments, has old houses, narrow streets, hotels, restaurants and shops. But on the way to Mont Saint Michel we will stop to enjoy Cancale known as the “Oyster Capital of Brittany”. Here you will walk among the oyster beds and sample today’s fresh catch including crab, shrimp and fish. Don’t worry if you are not a fish lover, they also serve ‘turf with the surf’!
After breakfast, we will visit Dinan, without doubt one of the most attractive and best preserved small towns in Brittany. The quay is lined with old stone houses, many of which are now waterside restaurants and chandlers’ shops. Take a walk along the old towpath or cross the 15th-century stone bridge to Lanvallay to find out about life on the river in the Maison de la Rance discovery centre. Wherever you are, you won’t miss the 131ft (40m)-high viaduct. Then make your way up the steep Rue du Petit-Fort, this cobbled hill with its half-timbered houses boasts arts and crafts shops. Dinan is filled with artists, sculptors, engravers, bookbinders, glassblowers and more. Dinan’s old town appears that time has stood still. To get your bearings, climb the 158 steps to the top of the 40m (132ft)-high Tour de l’Horloge for wonderful views over Dinan and the surrounding area – you can see as far as Mont St Michel on a clear day. The 13th-century castle now houses the town’s museum and this is the best place to start a tour of the magnificent ramparts, 8804ft long, which are the oldest and most impressive in Brittany. Lunch in small gourmet restaurant in Dinan.
Breakfast, then we will discover Saint-Malo which became notorious as the home of the corsairs, French privateers and sometimes pirates. The corsairs of Saint-Malo not only forced English ships passing up the Channel to pay tribute, but also brought wealth from further afield. Jacques Cartier, who sailed the Saint Lawrence River and visited the sites of Quebec City and Montreal, and is thus credited as the discoverer of Canada, lived in and sailed from Saint-Malo, as did the first colonists to settle the Falkland Islands. In World War II, during fighting in late August and early September 1944, the historic walled city of Saint-Malo was almost totally destroyed by American shelling and bombing as well as British naval gunfire. Saint-Malo was rebuilt over a 12-year period from 1948-1960. We will visit the walled city with the château of Saint-Malo, (part of which is now the town museum), the Cathedral of St. Vincent, the Privateer’s House (“La Demeure de Corsaire” a ship-owner’s town house built in 1725, shows objects from the history of privateering, weaponry and ship models) and much more.
Breakfast then transportation to a local train station for your return home (or your next destination).
A fantastic week exploring France with Kim and Walter Eagleton leading the way. Each day was very memorable with gourmet food, wine and visits to historic sites. Best of all was our “home”. Who wouldn’t enjoy living in a castle? Ray and Cydney
(Maybe booked alone or in combination with the American D-Day Beaches Adventure click here for more information)
$3600 pp single occupancy
$3450 pp double occupancy
The Adventure cost covers rail originating at CDG airport or central Paris to and from the local rail station, ground transfers to and from your home for the week originating at rail station, daily ground transportation by air conditioned van, all breakfasts, most lunches and most dinners.
Tour cost is included.
Airfare is not included.
Airport meet and escort by host is available for additional fee of $500 per group.
Travel Insurance is HIGHLY recommended.
Nonrefundable deposit of $750 pp due upon booking.