Our family fell in love with Finistère, in Brittany, France last summer. We spent three weeks in August travelling through the west of the country. Brittany was our first stop on a tour that also took in the Vendée and north Dordogne.
We’d return to any of these areas in a flash – but it was Finistère that left us dreaming about buying a little cottage by the sea, and spending lazy days on the sandy beaches, dabbling nets into rock pools and watching fishing boats chug their way into the harbour.
We were lucky with the weather. Like all of northern France, Brittany’s climate isn’t that different to the south of England, and rain is always a possibility, even in the summer months. But the region caters for this. There are plenty of indoor attractions, like Océanopolis at Brest, where you can see seals, otters and sharks.
Finistère is at the westernmost tip of the country, jutting out into the Atlantic ocean, so it’s often hit by storms in the winter. The summer’s a different story, though. That’s when Finistère’s remoteness comes into its own, and you can visit hidden treasures, like the Glénan Archipelago, a set of islands ten miles off the coast, with periwinkle-blue sea to rival the Caribbean.
Most of Brittany’s food is unmistakeably French, so if you’re a family that loves to guzzle croissants and frites (French fries), you’ll be in your element.
Brittany also has its own specialities: crèpes (pancakes), galettes (sweet biscuits made with butter, a bit like shortbread), delicately flavoured apple juice, and cider as complex as a fine wine.
We stayed at Siblu’s Domaine de Kerlann holiday park, which catered well for families, with a waterpark, kids’ clubs, playgrounds and bike hire. As in all of France, there’s a wide range of accommodation, from apartments and gites (holiday homes) to campsites.