About Brest

Brittany, formerly Celtic Armorica, is situated on the very edge of Europe. Bordered by jagged cliffs, long white sandy beaches and calm estuaries (abers), Finistere offers the traveller unspoilt nature in abundance and UNESCO has classified the island of Ushant and the Molene archipelago as a world biosphere reserve.From the Crozon Peninsular at sunset, visitors can marvel at the hundred or so standing stones of Lagatjar, a spiritual centre of forgotten civilizations. In Finistere, there is an abundance of gravestones from the Celtic era as well as more recent chapels and wayside crucifixes.

A ship coming into Brest is greeted by the sight of one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The city itself is just a few hundred yards from the quayside guarded by its Motte-Tanguy Tower and castle dating back to the 13th and 17th centuries respectively; the latter also housing the splendid naval museum. Watchtowers and courtyards overlook the harbour and the Penfeld River which in the year 2008, played host for the fifth time to the largest gathering of boats in the world.

Brest, with its evocative street names – Siam, Bougainville, La Fayette, Segalen – is a place where the traveller can relax in a variety of ways; shopping, theatre, museums, restaurants and bars with a truly Celtic atmosphere. With its new international airport, highspeed rail links and toll-free motorways, Brest is but a few hours away from the greatest capital cities in Europe and is a magnet for lovers of regattas and ocean racing.

And continuing the theme of water, Oceanopolis is one of Europe’s largest aquariums. Divided into three climatic regions: Polar, Tropical and Temperate, Oceanopolis allows visitors to travel the world’s oceans, viewing life beneath the waves in an amazing array of 42 aquariums.

Heading south from Brest and visitors will encounter Landevennec, founded by St. Guenole in the fifth century on the trail of King Gradlon and Ys, the town swallowed up by the sea. Then on to Locronon, whose 17th century architectural charm remains intact. Brittany is proud of its Celtic roots and festivals: for around 75 years the ‘Festival de Cornouaille’ in the heart of historic Quimper is a celebration of music, song, dance and gastronomy.