Brittany, the Emerald Coast of France is the hidden European gem you’ve been looking for

Don’t believe the myth that Brittany, France is perpetually grey: while the north-west region of France has its fair share of rainfall, sunshine is also abundant on its Emerald Coast, especially outside winter months. And with historic towns, jagged coastlines and white sandy beaches, it’s no wonder the fairytale landscape has been a favorite of British holidaymakers across the Channel since the 19th century: they have maybe started the rumor to keep the place for them.

The sea occupies an important place around Brittany, a peninsula bounded by water on three sides. It is, after all, the cradle of sailor, the classic and iconic French striped shirt originally worn by Breton sailors. Water activities abound here: from surfing, snorkeling and kite surfing to boating and paddle boarding. And on land, year-round travelers have easy access to tennis, golf, hiking and biking. The beauty of Brittany forces you to slow down for really live this.

The region’s unique cuisine is also an experience in itself: you’ll find pancakes or buckwheat pancakes topped with fresh farm-fresh eggs, edges crispy to perfection, and dishes accented with umami-packed seaweed. ; fresh fish and brackish oysters picked on the coast; and rustic, refined pastries baked with rich Breton butter. Home to Michelin-starred restaurants, family-run creperies, BYOB oyster markets, and more, Brittany is an ideal destination for those with a big appetite for fresh coastal cuisine.

To relax, there are plenty of accommodations to choose from, whether you fancy a comfortable family home guest house (which have five rooms or less, by law) or a quaint resort with tasting menus and craft cocktail bars. More recently, passionate hoteliers have breathed new life into some of the most picturesque historic properties to make the uncrowded area a more attractive destination than ever.

Recently, the Brittany Tourist Board shared that tourism has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. According to local business owners, word of this magical region spreads slowly, and each year they see more and more international visitors, including many more Americans. Take that as your sign to go now, before the secret really gets out (just be sure to tell your friends about your ‘terrible’ holiday in ‘rainy’ Brittany). Here are the best things to do in Brittany, France,

Fresh fish at Oyster Club, a nautical-themed corner in Dinard for oysters, octopus, prawns and natural wine

oyster club

The minimalist interior of the Oyster Club

oyster club

Where to eat in Brittany, France

If the Breton culinary scene has its share of Michelin-starred restaurants (44 in total, in Guide edition 2022), most of the establishments are casual places where you will find some of the most typical dining experiences in the region. There are countless family creperies to choose from, but at Breizh Cafe (which has multiple locations), you’ll find elegant versions of Brittany’s traditional buckwheat savory crepe, with combinations like smoked salmon, fresh goat’s cheese and chive cream; or white ham, Comté cheese and churn Bordier House Butter. To La Ferme Breizh Café in Saint-Coulumb, the famous restaurant grows buckwheat or buckwheat for its flour and its apples for its homemade cider. According to the founder Bertrand Larcher, few crêperies use Breton buckwheat. His goal for this project was to promote local agriculture. During the summer months, they welcome travelers to visit the farm and taste their products (like the classic sausage galette) at the source, in the open air, a stone’s throw from the Guesclin beach.