With so much to do within Siblu’s Domaine de Kerlann, you could easily put a week in without leaving the holiday village. But having come all this way, we wanted to see more of Brittany, so here’s some of what we found in the neighbouring area.
Exploring Brittany – Carnac
Our furthest jaunt was to Carnac, around 45 minutes away from base. To the uninitiated (ie me) it’s a big old pile of stones in fields. To the ancient stone aficionado (ie Himself) it’s like, the bestest thing ever. And seeing as it was Himself’s birthday whilst we were away, he got to choose the trip.
As big old piles of stones go, it was pretty impressive. Also known as France’s version of Stonehenge, the site consists of over 3,000 prehistoric standing stones.
One major point to bear in mind if you’re visiting is that the stones are fenced off, so you can’t just wander in and start stroking them. Well, you can in low season. But this was high season, so access was restricted to pre-booked groups only. But you can still see them pretty well from the road.
I am sucker for a place with a silly name (hence previous outings to North Curry and Beer), so we took another daytrip to Quimper which let’s face it, sounds like it was named after The Lost Muppet.
Actually, it’s a very pretty cathedral town, and a great shopping destination. If you’re in the mood to hit the shops then this is the place to do it. But it’s not all about the shops – we started our visit by climbing the hill behind Quimper where there’s a lovely viewing area.
Then we walked back down into the town where I dribbled my way round palace of beauty Sephora, closely followed by the macaroon shops.
Quimper cathedral is well worth a visit whatever your religious inclinations to see the beautiful stained glass windows. Afterwards you can leave a message in the visitor’s book expressing how moved you feel. Or indeed, expressing the sentiment Mods Forever, as the previous visitor had done.
Just down the road from Siblu’s Domaine de Kerlann is the artistic community of Pont-Aven. A former base to Paul Gaugin, it’s still home to many artists and galleries.
The other big local business seems to be biscuits – masses and masses of biscuits. Every other shop, if it’s not an art gallery, seems to be a biscuit shop or confectionary. So this is the place to stock up on gifts for whoever’s at home feeding your cats. I must also give a special mention to the owner of Real Chocolat who basically wouldn’t let us leave without sampling half the shop. Yes of course we bought some too.
Tuesday is a good day to visit Pont-Aven as you also get to sample the local market which offers an interesting mix of local goods. The kids bought sweets. I bought this monster notebook. Well, how could you not?
Wet weather plans
We’d been warned that the weather in Brittany can be unpredictable, so we formed a wet weather plan to head off to the Oceanopolis in Brest, or possibly the Insectarium, as advertised by a jaunty leaflet showing a ladybird giving another ladybird a special cuddle. We even had the iPad packed in case of emergencies, but as the weather was kind it wasn’t needed and stayed in the suitcase.
So all in all there’s plenty to do around Domaine de Kerlann, especially if the weather’s good and you can check out the lovely local beaches such as Port Manec’h. A week will fly by.
One minor word of warning though- we visited two tourist offices and they both had leaflets in French only, and not multilingual ones as you might expect. So there’s not exactly a proliferation of information available. But go with the flow and check out anywhere you like the sound of. It’s all pretty lovely and there’s something interesting round every corner. Plus you just might pick up an unexpectedly monstrous souvenir. Just don’t try picking up the big stones.