Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for the Car Touring Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula
Car Rental France - Travel Guide Information for the Car Touring in Brittany, Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula
Car Rental France - Travel Guide Information for the Car Touring Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula
Choose your Language: Cheap Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula
 

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Cheap Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula

Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula

Brittany - France

Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for the Car Touring Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula A region that values its idiosyncrasies, Brittany is a world of its own at the edge of the country. At the westernmost tip of France, Brittany extends out to the sea where the Atlantic Ocean and English Channel meet.
Rooted in its Celtic past, Brittany presents visitors with a special personality: an ancient countryside with quiet beaches, rugged capes, melancholic moors, small fishing villages, walled cities and prehistoric megaliths.

Start your tour with a car from Car Hire France!

Brittany's coastline
Blessed with 2730 km of coastline, Brittany offers extremely varied environments with a succession of cliffs, dunes, estuaries, mud flats and marshlands.

The cliffs
Cheap Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula The most evocative image of Brittany is a high cliff battered by waves, even though this type of landscape is not continuous along the entire coastline. However, the whole of the peninsula is bordered by rocky coastal outcrops of which the colours and shapes vary from north to south. The highest cliffs (over 100 m) are in the Crozon Peninsula, at the Point of Finistère. The cliffs at Goëlo and at Cap Fréhel in the Côtes d’Armor rise up and overhang the sea at a height of more than 70 m and you can reach them best with a rental car. From Douarnenez to the Pointe du Raz, the cliffs form an uninterrupted barrier dominating the Bay. Elsewhere, the cliffs are not so high, between 10 and 20 m, frequently hollowed out by creeks and beaches, as on the Quiberon Peninsula or the Concarneau coast. etc.

Cheap Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula The beaches and dunes
A large area of the Breton coast is covered by dunes and sandy beaches. In Finistère this environment covers 20% of the coastline and in Morbihan, 35%. The action of sea currents has deposited fine sand in the lowest and set back areas of the coast, to form beaches and then dunes. Under the combined action of wind and sea, the dunes evolve and move, sometimes threatening to engulf whole villages. It is thus of prime importance to preserve the grassy vegetation – the only way to fix the dunes. The marram grass (long and straight with deep roots), sand thistles, immortelles and bindweed constitute the traditional flora of dunes, together with maritime pines. Best to explore the region with a car rental from Car Rental France!

Abers* and Rias
Cheap Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula Brittany is also characterised by the abundance of rivers. Streaming over impermeable rocks, they cut deep, narrow enclosed valleys and enter the sea via long estuaries. In Léon, these river mouths are called abers. Further south they are called rias, such as the Etel ria. These estuaries are tidal and the effects are felt far inland (10 to 15 km for small rivers). For example, the movements of water have sculpted the wild countryside of the coast in north Finistère such as Aber Wrac’h, Aber Benoît and Aber Ildut. Naturally sheltered from strong swells, the abers and rias collect the finer sediments and mud. The mud flats are home to a specific flora and fauna – mud worms, cockles, razor clams and microscopic algae.

The Marshlands
A coastal marsh is a non tidal wetland. The marshes are formed in depressions, behind a coastal belt of sand or stones, or a manmade dyke. The degree of salinity of the water varies depending on infiltration of the sea underground and affects the vegetation and the fauna. The marshes are favoured nesting sites for many birds. Reed warblers, bitterns, moorhens, stilts and types of duck all nest here. They are also used by migratory birds who have no problems finding food in the shallow salty water. The reserve of Falguérec at Sené, is particularly favourable for observing these species. Some marshes were established by man for a specific purpose, the harvesting of salt.

* aber = Breton word for river mouth, cf Welsh Aber - translator

Chateaux and enclosures
Brittany has 4000 chateaux, manors and stately homes built in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance or subsequent centuries. For a long time ravaged by feudal struggles during the Middle Ages, Brittany was the site of many bloody battles to repulse French or English invaders. Over the centuries, a defensive ring of castles was constructed. These fortresses, always built in granite, are the witnesses to an era, and are distinguished by their architectural diversity, always reachable best with a car.

Travel Guide Information for the Auto Touring Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula The Brittany Marches
From the Middles Ages, a dense network of castles was built up along the border between the Duchy of Brittany and the Kingdom of France. The fortresses, called the Brittany Marches, constituted a powerful line of defence against the many external threats. Villages were founded and flourished in the shelter of these fortresses. Following the historical route of the Brittany marches allows exploring the military fortresses of Fougères, Vitré, Chateaubriant, Ancenis, Nantes and Clisson by car.

Cheap Auto Hire France - Travel Guide Information for a driving tour Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula Coastal fortifications
Along the entire coastline, old maritime fortresses are witness to the eventful centuries when the country was forced to protect itself from attack by the English Navy. Most constitute part of the Breton coastal defences established by Vauban under the reign of Louis XIV. Tour with your car from the Fort Nationale at Saint-Malo to the Château du Taureau at Morlaix, via Fort la Latte at Fréhel, the fortifications are arranged along the coast, covering every strategic point. On the southern coast the citadel of Port Louis protects the entrance to the Lorient roadways, and the Vauban citadel at Belle-Île controls entry to the port of Palais.

The châteaux of great families
The Residences and Chateaux of the Dukes of Brittany are remains marked by the history of the Duchy.
Travel Guide Information for the Auto Touring Atlantic coastline with great Breton Chateaux's, huge sea dunes in the Finistère peninsula At the time of the Renaissance, rich Breton aristocrats had luxurious residences built such as the Chateau de Kerjean in Finistère. A few other great families also constructed defensive edifices on their land, but frequently they preferred small fortified manor houses, the fiefs of local lords who protected their modest estates.

Literary Chateaux
Many Breton chateaux are proud to have been owned or occupied by famous writers. The French writer François-René de Chateaubriand, for example, spent some of his childhood at the Chateau of Combourg, bought by his father in 1761. This Chateau, now known as “the Cradle of Romanticism“, is still owned by the family. The Chateau of Rochers-Sévigné at Vitré is the place where the Marquise de Sévigné retired following the death of her husband.
Think about renting a car from Car Rental France for your Brittany tour!
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