Chris Slade describes the son et lumiere presentation at the abbey of Bon Repos called "Le Pays de Conomor" in Brittany, which takes place during the first two weeks of August.
Whatever your interests, the Brittany / Pays de la Loire region of France certainly offers an incredible range of local activities. From walking to sailing or from playing golf to relaxing on one of the many glorious sandy beaches. Do you prefer a self-catering cottage, camping, or perhaps a gite holiday? Maybe your ideal day might start with a visit to one of the local French markets. A relaxing afternoon on the beach would follow. How about ending this perfect day with a sumptuous fruits-de-mer platter at an intimate French restaurant? On this page we will try to give you a flavour for the area and local activities available. However, we promise not to spoil it by giving too much away before you get there!
La Baule is thirty minutes from La Roche Bernard. It boasts nine kilometers of fine sand and is the longest, and some say most beautiful beach in Europe. It also offers a nice avenue of boutiques, some quality restaurants and a casino. On the other hand, try the Côte Sauvage, a dramatic scenery with rocky outcrops and secluded sandy bays. Similarly, in the area, the fishing ports at Le Croisic and La Turballe make for a pleasant visit. If sandy beaches appeal to you, why not also visit Penestin with its choice of several fine beaches?
The town of Damgan in the Morbihan is another favourite place among holidaymakers. It boasts a 4-kilometer long beautiful stretch of South facing sandy beach. The Grande Plage offers several restaurants and cafés and is conveniently located on the edge of the town cen. Supervised swimming in the Summer, several sailing schools, shower facilities and games for children are some of the local activities available.
There are a number of great golf courses within 30 minutes of La Roche Bernard. Closest is the beautifully manicured course of La Bretesche at Missillac. Although quite expensive, the stunning backdrop of the Château and lake offer an added bonus. It is certainly difficult to imagine a more beautiful place for a round of golf.
In the same vein, the International course at La Baule offers two attractive and fairly challenging 18-hole courses, plus a 9-hole course. It is set amongst chestnut and oak woods.
In addition, Savenay, 20 minutes from La Roche Bernard, hosts another great course.
If you have never experienced the hustle and bustle of a French provincial market, this is a must. You will be in for a pleasant surprise. Most towns have markets which generally operate on one day each week from early morning through to around noon. Local producers and artisans sell their wares to a variety of local people and to the inevitable tourist.
For example, within the local area, we recommend the markets at La Roche-Bernard (Thursday), Guerande (Saturday) and Penestin (Sunday). Consult the local Syndicat d’Initiative for details of other markets in the area.
What can children do on holiday in Brittany / Pays de la Loire?
You will hopefully find something to appeal to children of all ages in the area. Take a look at some of our ideas below:
Aquariums – there are good aquariums at Vannes and at Le Croisic. The Ocearium at Le Croisic opened in the 1990’s and features a walk-through perspex tunnel
Submarine – L”Espadon (or Swordfish in English) was the first submarine to sail beneath the North Pole. It is now permanently located at St Nazaire, where guided tours are provided
Wildlife Parks – Head towards Questembert where you will find Branféré, a lovely park where animals roam free. Alternatively, Planète Sauvage is a more conventional “safari” park situated between Nantes and Pornic. Most importantly, both parks are well-managed, and a far cry from the old-fashioned zoos
Swimming and Canoeing – Available locally at La Roche Bernard
We have endeavoured to suggest some options for your holiday on this page. To the best of our knowledge, these are correct at the present time. From time to time the availability and timing of any events here may change, and so you are therefore strongly advised to check locally before setting out to avoid disappointment.