Getting to Brittany (or Bretagne, in French), in northwestern France, is an easy train trip from Paris. Depending on where you go in the region—Rennes, Saint-Malo, or Brest—the scenic train routes from Paris Montparnasse station take between 2-4 hours. It's also possible to drive, a full-day trip if you decide to sightsee along the way (which we recommend).
Brittany is known for its beautiful rugged coastline, its many fortified towns, and its delicious food scene, which includes highlights like crèpes and cider. If you want to explore more of northwestern France, this 6-day itinerary takes you through the countryside of Brittany and Normandy, with stops at the Mont Saint-Michel, the fishing port of Cancale and the village of Dinan. You can also expand your trip to include the Loire Valley with this 14-day itinerary.
Duration: 2-4 hours by train; 4-7 hours by car
Brittany is a large region (10,505 square miles/27,200 square km) and travel times will vary depending on your destination. If you're traveling by train it takes about two hours to reach Rennes, three hours to reach Saint-Malo, and four hours to reach Brest, which is at the western tip of the region. Trains to all three cities leave from Paris Montparnasse train station.
Driving takes longer (between 3.5 and 7 hours, depending on your destination) but gives you the chance to do some sightseeing along the way. Some options include stopping in Chartres to see its famous gothic cathedral or in Le Mans, which is roughly halfway between Paris and Rennes. If you're visiting the south of Brittany the small towns of Guérande and Carnac are worth a visit.
Duration: 3 to 8 hours
Trains from Normandy to Brittany usually require a connection in Paris, and travel times will vary depending on your final destination. Driving gives you the chance to see more of the coast and enjoy the local scenery. Start your road trip off in Rouen (for example), and drive an hour to visit nearby Honfleur's charming old port, and continue on to the chic town of Deauville (12 miles/20km). From there, you can drive 110 miles (180 km) and visit the famous Mont-Saint-Michel, before driving another 130 miles (210 km) down to Cancale, a charming fishing village in Brittany famous for its oysters.
From there you can head 20 miles (35 km) south to Dinan, a small medieval town. Now that you're in northern Brittany, your route will depend on your final destination. To reach Rennes, drive 35 miles (55 km) south on the N137. Saint-Malo is on the coast, halfway between Dinan and Cancale, on the N176. If you're traveling all the way to Brest, you'll drive about 125 miles (200 km) on the N12 to reach your destination.