Brittany France: South Coast, Vannes, Carnac


Highlights of southern Brittany France
prehistoric monuments, beaches and great shopping!

The southern part of Brittany is known as Morbihan, meaning ‘little sea’. There are lots of things to see and do here, and together with a mild climate, makes it a top holiday destination.

So what are the best places to visit?

Our first choice would be the lovely medieval city of Vannes, capital of Morbihan (one of our favourite places to visit in France).

Head to the old town (Vieux Vannes) where you can wander through its narrow streets and admire the colombage (half-timbered) buildings – some of the best can be found in Place Henri IV.

Visit the St-Pierre cathedral which dates from the 10th century, with beautiful stained glass windows; or explore the medieval ramparts which surround the old town. There are some lovely gardens just outside the remparts too where you can go for a walk.

There are lots of shops (Vannes has great shopping), cafes and creperies in the old town, as well as a daily fresh food market at Place Des Halles.

Vannes comes alive in summer especially, and has festivals and events such as the Jazz Festival in July.



Vannes is also a good base for exploring the Gulf of Morbihan which has around 40 little islands. Artists and actors live on many of these islands. The island Île aux Moines, with its pretty thatched cottages, is recommended. Belle Île is also very popular.

The Quiberon peninsula is also a highlight, with sandy beaches popular with families (on the eastern side) as well as its own “Wild Coast” on the western side.


Quiberon, Brittany France

Another favourite is Rochefort-en-Terre, about 40 minutes drive from Vannes. Rochefort is a beautifully preserved village, with an old 12th century well in place du Puits, pretty flowers around the doors and windows and elaborate hand-crafted signs.

Morhiban is of course known for its prehistoric landmarks – the most famous being the Carnac megaliths. A visit to this part of Brittany wouldn’t be complete without spending some time at these ancient sites.

Carnac France

Please see our Brittany Map Page for more information on these destinations.

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Enjoy, and have fun!

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