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Brittany is located on a peninsula in north-western France. It is divided into the departments of Finistere, Cotes d’Ammour, Ille et Vilaine, Loire Atlantique and Morbihan.

The climate is temperate with regular rainfall which keeps the area verdant. The region of Brittany also gets its fair share of sun and during the summer the mercury can rise up to 30 Celsius.

Getting there
The area is linked by boat to England and Ireland and by train and road to other parts of France.

It is an area known for its Celtic links. The Celtic language, Breton is related to Cornish and Welsh in Britain. Another image that springs to mind is lace-making in Brittany. Embroidery is also a tradition and there are many examples of both in the region.

The municipal capital of Brittany is Rennes. The city is served by canals and is a traditional and historical city. Historical places to see include the Palais de Justice and the Jardin du Thabor.

The coastline, rivers and canals allow sailing, boating and barge holidays. One can also fish in the rivers. Cycling and walking holidays are also available. There are many beautiful and picturesque beaches and coves where plenty of water sports are available. Wind and kite-surfing as well as surfing are all popular here as the Atlantic coast provides lots of wind and waves.

For those of you who prefer traditional summer holidays, La Baule, Belle Ile and the Gulf of Morbihan are some places to choose from.

There are many prehistoric monuments known as megaliths. The largest group is near Carnac.

Towns and villages you may like to visit are Redon,a river port. It is located where the river Villain and the Nantes-Brest canal meet. The houses are mostly of the eras from the 15th to the 18th century. Other towns, villages and cities to see are Rochefort-en-Terre, Saint Malo, Nantes, Rennes, Brest, Loreient and Quimper.

Intricately worked sculptures of crucifixion scenes are common at junctions of small towns and villages and are known as calvaries.

Food and Wine
The most common dishes in Brittany is seafood which includes oysters, clams, mussels,lobster,scallops,crabs,prawns and winkles. Roscoff is known for its excellent lobster and Cancale for its oysters.

Other gastronomic must-tastes are galettes and crepes. Pork and sausage are also popular.

A popular drink for Bretons is cider which is one of the main products in Brittany.

Visit the local markets Brittany to get a taste of local customs and culture. A list of some of the main markets follows:

Monday....Redon (all day)

Tuesday....Nantes (am)

Wednesday....Vannes (am)

Thursday....La Roche Bernard (am)

Friday....Muzilliac (am) and Sene (pm)

Saturday....Vannes (am) and La Gacilly (am)

Sunday....Pornichet (am)

There are also flea markets, antiques and junk sales held most weekends all over the area.

If you get the chance, go to a local concert of festival where you can listen to traditional music. Kan ha diskan is a style of singing which is also common in some other parts of Europe and means roughly ‘call and response’. Bagpipes are also used in traditional Breton music.

At Lorient in the summer the Interceltic Festival is held. More than 4,500 artists perform and there are over 600,000 visitors over the period. You can also have fiddle and bagpipe lessons. There are Gaelic workshops and ceilidhs. http://www.festival-interceltique.com/index_en.php?nav=A_en

At Quimper in the summer, the annual Festival de Cornouaille features traditional and contemporary music, dance, visual arts and more. The local residents wear traditional costumes for the duration. Food and drink from the region are on offer. http://www.festival-cornouaille.com/

At Rennes, in the summer Tombees de la Nuit is held. Amongst the types of performances are; concerts, storytelling and plays. The events are held at various open air venues. http://www.lestombeesdelanuit.com/

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