Last Updated on 9 July, 2021 by Veronica
Brittany is a French region you’ll fall in love with. This post will tell you the main attractions and how to plan a 4-day road trip through South French Brittany from Nantes.
It’s a 240-kilometer itinerary that you can do in 4 days in the South of Brittany. This road trip starts in Nantes and ends up in Pont-l’Abbé, although we added a detour to the lighthouse of Eckmühl.
You will visit the town of Guerande, famous for its salt. Although it no longer belongs to Brittany, we include it in this tour.
You will visit very nice villages of the River d’Etel, boat cemeteries, the city of sailing and also, we will tell you where to sleep with the camper van, or motorhome for free and with beautiful views.
Road trip Itinerary South Brittany in 4 days
Day 1. Nantes – Guerande – Pluneret – Site de Kernours
On the first day, you took the opportunity to visit the medieval city of Guérande and “Les Marais Salant de Guérande,” which are the famous salt flats where one of the best salts in France is collected.
Guérande, visit the medieval city
Guerande is a medieval city that has preserved its walls intact. It belonged to Brittany Region but is now part of the Pays de la Loire.
One of the best things to do is enter this magnificent city through the St. Michel’s Gate, built in the mid-15th century.
It’s the most representative and was also the home of the governor of Guérande. Today, it’s a museum where you can learn about local and regional history.
It’s a must you get carried away by its streets, it’s small, and it goes along with a lot of ease.
After visiting the Medieval City of Guérande, visit its salt flats. If you have time, there are itineraries to do on foot or by bike. If not, go in your car and stop at the marked places.
From Guerande you are going to go to Bono. Here, you have to visit its ship cemetery. After that, you should go to Pluneret, a very picturesque little village, from where you can go to the ship cemetery. . . .
If you’re traveling in a van or motorhome and don’t want to go to a campsite, you know you have to find a place to park before the light goes out.
Where to stay in van or motorhome
We sleep in a tranquil place in the park4night app, and it is called Site de Kernours. It is a small car park near a mound of the same name and the Auray River.
No more than 4 or 5 camper vans or motorhomes enter, depending on how they park them. It’s a very quiet place to spend the night in southern Brittany, and it’s free.
NOTE: If you haven’t been to Carnac, you can go the next day or this same day if you’re on time. In Carnac, there are prehistoric alignments of megaliths and dolmens.
In total, 2934 menhirs were built between the years 6000 and 2000 a.C. We’ve already been, and that’s why it’s not part of this road trip.
Day 2. Sainte-Anne-d’Auray – Dolan
On the second day of this beautiful breathtaking road trip through French Brittany, you set off for Sainte-Anne-d’Auray.
We honestly arrived by chance because we were going to Auray, and in the end, we changed our minds and visited the sanctuary of Sainte-Anne-d’Auray. It is the most important pilgrimage center in Brittany.
Here it appeared Jesus’ grandmother in 1624 and told a labrador, named Yvon Nicolazic, in Breton “Me zo Anna mamm Mari” I am Mary’s mother.
Following Anne’s instructions, Yvon Nicolazic found a statue of St. Anne in the ruins of a chapel in its fields in Bocenno. Since then, it has received pilgrims from all over the world; the most famous has been John Paul II, who visited the Sanctuary in 1996.
It is a fascinating place to visit, in addition to the Sanctuary, there is a nice park and several monuments to visit.
(If you like photography, it’s best to go in the afternoon)
Kerhervy Boat Cemetery in Lanester
The first ships that received this cemetery were in 1923. And since then, they’ve been ship casings arriving. You’ll see some newer and some practically sunk in the mud or covered by water depends on how the tide is.
Here too, you can see an open-air theatre, where two festivals are held a year, one amateur theater and one professional.
Take a look at it to this website in case it matches the dates of your trip: http://festival.kerhervy.com/
It’s very quiet, has tables to eat looking at the cemetery of boats. Also, I think you could sleep in the van here.
Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly
Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly in Lorient is the city of sailing is a huge complex with a sailing museum, a submarine museum, and the entrance also includes a short trip on a sailing boat.
Citadelle de Port-Louis
The Citadelle de Port-Louis has star fortifications like those of Elvas in Portugal but at sea. It was built in the sixteenth century by the Spanish army and modified in the seventeenth century by the French army.
Inside, you can visit the National Navy Museum.
The timetable for May to August is from 10h to 18:30h.
Doëlan, visiting picturesque harbours
You can end this day in Doëlan, a very picturesque place with a small port. Here we have dinner in le Trois-Mats, and we spoil ourselves.
In this area, it is very typical the “Fruits de Mer” (seafood) we ate the ones you see in the picture, and it was delicious. We also order a slice of meat that is typical of the area. And the truth is, it was all perfect.
We slept near Merrien with beautiful sea views. This place we also find by the park4night app. It is only ok to sleep and take a walk in the morning; there is no service.
Day 3. Brigneau – Pont-Aven – Ville Close de Concarneau
Port de Brigneau
In the morning you should visit Port de Brigneau. Before you arrive, you can see a small cemetery of boats. If you arrive at the super low tide, you could see people looking for crabs and other seafood.
Pont-Aven, the city of painters
Pont-Aven is a very picturesque village known for the Pont Aven School, founded by the painter Paul Gauguin.
Here, you are in the south of Finisterre, in the city of painters. You can walk to the small village that is located in the estuary of the Aven River.
Our recommendation is to get carried away. Stroll through its streets, cross its small bridges, visit the art galleries (which are very numerous), visit its port, find its mills and enjoy this place so bucolic that it made many of Paris’s painters come to be inspired by this town.
La Ville Close de Concarneau
La Ville Close de Concarneau is a fortified city of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It is one of the most visited monuments of Brittany, and it was a world of people.
You can visit without paying entrance and among its walls, you can see a small town with all services and some very picturesque places.
Also, the city Concarneau is a seaside town, that is, many people come too because of its beaches.
We slept in the campsite Le Helles. It is very close to the beach; you can go from the campsite. Also, the port of Sainte Marine is beautiful, which is nearby.
Day 4 Pont-l’Abbé and the lighthouse of Eckmühl
It is located in the heart of the “Pays Bigouden” and is the region’s capital. It owes its name to the bridge that crosses the estuary.
It is an inhabited bridge linking the district of Lambour to the heart of the city that developed around the castle since the republic’s establishment is the “hotel de Ville” or town hall.
You’ve got many places to visit; it’s best to go to the tourist office and ask for a map. If you don’t dare to ask in French, I’ll prepare a blog post from this city 😉
Lighthouse of Eckmühl
Like our visit to Pont-l’Abbé was on a national holiday, we could not enter anywhere but the church. That’s why we decided to make a getaway at the Lighthouse of Eckmühl.
This lighthouse is located in the municipality of Penmarch. It is 65 meters high, and it was built in 1897. It can be visited from April to November, and the entrance is €2.50.
Take advantage and eat in one of the creperies in the surrounding area. They are very well priced, and crepe is typical of Brittany.
You can’t leave without eating a crepe! The typical crepe is the “complete,” but there are so many varieties you’ll want to try them all.
As you can see, it’s a very nice road trip you can do to escape routine. It is ideal to do so in 3 or 4 days from Nantes.
In this post, you have an itinerary to visit south Brittany in 3 or 4 days. In other articles, we will expand the information.
If you come from Europe, you will find flights to Nantes and car rental very well priced. And this area is very nice. We will continue to travel it, and we will continue to tell you in the next posts, in case you feel like you want to spend more days in French Brittany.
Prepare your journey through Brittany and western France
- What to see in Bordeaux in 1 day
- What to see in La Rochelle
- What to see in Nantes
- What to see in Guerande, the medieval city, and the salt flats
- Best things to do in Clisson
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