10 Brilliant Facts about Brittany

Brittany is one of France’s most famous regions and with good reason. This natural, wild, and beautiful expanse boasts a fascinating history, inviting culture, and warming food. Here are some fun facts about Brittany you’ll want to know before you visit.

1. Brittany is in the north of France.

Brittany is a gorgeous region located in the northwest of France. It borders the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Rennes is its capital city, with a population of at least 215,000 people at the last census.

2. It has an important Celtic heritage.

Brittany has a strong Celtic cultural heritage, and the Breton language, a Celtic language, is still spoken by some residents. In fact, you’ll see that most towns in the region have the town names written in basic French as well as Breton. It’s worth learning a bit of the lingo before you visit if you can!

3. It has its own flag.

The Gwenn-ha-du, meaning “black and white” in Breton, is the official flag of Brittany. It features eleven black-and-white stripes representing the traditional dioceses. You can often see the flag on regional products heralding from Brittany, such as galettes, biscuits, etc. Now you know what the insignia means if you buy lots of French treats!

Flag of Brittany

4. It has an incredible coastline.

One of the most famous things about Brittany is its rugged coastline with numerous cliffs, beaches, and islands. The Pink Granite Coast (Côte de Granit Rose) is famous for its distinctive pink-hued granite rocks.

5. It is home to part of Mont Saint-Michel.

While the world-famous Mont Saint-Michel itself is in Normandy, part of Mont Saint-Michel Bay lies within Brittany. The bay has by far one of the highest tidal ranges in the world, so make sure you check the tide times before visiting the area!

6. It hosts multiple Celtic festivals.

Brittany hosts various Celtic festivals throughout the year, celebrating its roots with traditional music and dance events. Traditional Breton music features instruments like the bagpipes and bombard – a treat for the ears!

Fest-Noz, for example, is a famous and traditional Breton dance party. In fact, this festival has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. That’s a pretty big accolade, in other words!

7. Brittany’s cuisine is famous worldwide.

As is all of France, Brittany is known for its delicious cuisine. Some of the most famous dishes include galettes (savory buckwheat pancakes) and crêpes (sweet pancakes). Of course, there’s more to tuck into here if you’re not a fan of pancakes!

8. It is the home of Saint-Malo and some fascinating maritime history.

The historic walled city, Saint-Malo, is known for its corsair history, stunning beaches, and the annual Route du Rhum yacht race. Brest is another major port city in Brittany, known for its maritime history, naval base, and the Océanopolis aquarium. Interestingly, Brittany has a history of corsairs and privateers who operated from its ports, engaging in maritime activities who were sometimes authorized by the government for privateering. Set sail, then!

Saint Malo, Brittany, France

9. It’s well known for its beautiful forestry.

Brittany is also known for being very green and having several forests and natural reserves. For example, the Brocéliande Forest is famously associated with Arthurian legends.

10. It has plenty of traces left from its history.

Brittany also has a significant number of megalithic structures, including menhirs and dolmens, some of which are found in the region of Carnac.

Carnac, Brittany, France

Carnac, Brittany, France

FAQs about Brittany

What is Brittany known for?

Brittany is probably best known for its rich Celtic heritage, stunning coastline, incredible food and vast green lands. It’s a very popular vacation spot for local people and international visitors alike.

Is Brittany French or English?

Although Brittany has had a long history of being fought over by the French and English, and even having been known as Little Britain at one point, today it is considered a completely French territory.

Which is better to visit, Brittany or Normandy?

Brittany and Normandy both have their qualities and are both worth visiting. However, if you are interested in Celtic culture and galettes, Brittany is definitely the region to visit first!

Further reading

Do you know any fun facts about Brittany? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on February 27, 2024. Suggest an edit

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