No matter which region you choose to explore in France, there are always beautiful towns and villages to visit. Brittany is no different. Although most of the best things to do in Brittany are related to the ocean, Brittany also offers a strong heritage and culture. Here’s my (non-exhaustive!) selection of the most beautiful towns and prettiest villages in Brittany.

Houses and shops with wooden and stone facades in a pretty village in Brittany (Treguier)
Treguier

I’ve ordered the list by region so that you can more easily find a lovely town or village to visit near you. The numbers are not my order of preference; they are useful to locate the place on the map at the end of the article.

The most beautiful towns and villages in Ille et Villaine (north)

1. Vitré

The medieval city of Vitré is at the junction between three French regions: Brittany, Normandy and Anjou. The streets of Vitré are very charming with a castle, half-timbered houses and rich residences.

2. Fougères

Located at the limit of Brittany and Normandy, Fougères is home to Europe’s biggest medieval fortress. The beautiful castle will take you on a journey to learn more about the Dukes of Brittany. Also, Fougere’s beautiful belfry is one of the oldest in Brittany. There’s also an ancient forest with megalithic sites just near the town.

3. Combourg

The village of Combourg was made famous by Chateaubriand. The famous French poet lived there from 1777, so Combourg is seen sometimes referred to as the “cradle of romanticism”. There are lovely views of the castle from the lake and the city centre is made of beautiful houses with noble granite and half-timbered façades.

4. Saint Malo

Saint Malo is one of the most famous towns in Brittany as it is located not far from the Mont Saint Michel, the second most visited French attraction. The historic city is beautiful and lively with shops, restaurants and cafés. The walk around the ramparts (about two kilometres) offers wonderful views of the coast, the 18th-century island forts and the port of Saint Malo. You can climb to the top of the castle to get stunning views of the area too.

If you have time, take a detour to Saint Suliac only 10 kilometres away, on your way to Dinan. Saint Suliac has a lovely port on the estuary of the river La Rance.

The most beautiful towns and villages in Cotes d’Armor (north)

5. Dinan

Many have said Dinan is the prettiest town they’ve visited in Brittany.

As you explore the narrow streets of the medieval walled town, you feel that you’ve travelled back in time. The ramparts – the oldest ones in Brittany – are impressive. You can climb to the top of the 40-meter high Tour de l’Horloge to get wonderful views over Dinan and the region. The lovely port on the river and the 40-meter high viaduct are not to be missed. Make sure you also check out Rue du Petit-Fort that you’ll see on many postcards in Brittany.

6. Moncontour

I admit that I have never visited Moncontour. But it is on the list of France’s most beautiful villages, so I thought it would be logical to include it on my list of Brittany’s most beautiful villages. Like a few others on this list, the ramparts and the half-timbered houses and bourgeois residences create a charming village.

7. Plougrescant

Plougrescant - Best Of Brittany

The village of Plougrescant is not as charming as the other ones on the list of pretty villages in Brittany. But it is home to one of the most picturesque houses you’ll ever see, so it is worth the detour. It used to be on many postcards from Brittany before the owner of the house forbade it.

8. Treguier

Treguier has a lovely old district with stunning houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. Its beautiful cathedral is an imposing and interesting masterpiece with three towers each with different architectural styles. The small harbour on the Gaudy River is lovely too.

9. Lannion

The Brélévenez church at the top of 140 steps (but you can also drive there!) offers lovely views of the valley. In the heart of the historical town, you will love the sculpted decorations on the slate houses and the beautiful half-timbered houses. The manors have massive towers attached to the front; they house spiral staircases.

The most beautiful towns and villages in Finistere (west)

10. Roscoff

Roscoff is an interesting detour if you’re on the northern coast of Finistere. A 3.5-kilometre heritage circuit will take you to all the must-sees around town. From the port of Roscoff, ferries leave to go to Ireland so all interpretative signs are also in English.

11. Landerneau

Between the river and the sea, Landerneau has remarkable charms you won’t find in other beautiful villages in Brittany. The most notable building is probably the Rohan bridge, built in the 16th century. It is the only bridge in Europe that still has people living on it.

12. Locronan

Some say Locronan has lost its charms and has become a village made for tourists. It’s true that tourism is driving the rhythm of this small village and you won’t find many locals around. But it’s still one of the prettiest villages in Brittany. It looks like time has stopped there and the old, cobbled, pedestrian-only streets atmosphere make you feel like you’ve just entered a movie set. I really enjoyed my time in Locronan.

13. Quimper

With lovely squares and pedestrian streets in the city centre, Quimper is a lovely town in Brittany. You won’t be able to miss the Cathedral Saint Corentin when visiting Quimper. Indeed, its spires can be seen from almost every street. It took more than three centuries to build it.

Quimper is known to be the cultural heart of Brittany. So if you like museums, allow enough time to visit all that Quimper has to offer.

14. Concarneau

The walled town of Concarneau (Concarneau Ville Close) is quite extraordinary and one of the most visited sites in Brittany. Indeed, it even gets a bit too crowded in summer, so plan to go there early if you are visiting Brittany during the peak season. Concarneau Ville Close is located on a small island accessible via two bridges. It’s made of narrow streets with beautiful houses and shops. You can take a walk around the ramparts for spectacular views.

The fishing port of Concarneau is one of the most active ports in France. You may find it interesting to watch a fish auction (around 6.30 am) or fishermen unload their catch (around 10 pm).

15. Pont Aven

No one will argue Pont Aven shouldn’t have a spot on a list of the prettiest villages in Brittany. Many artists over the years stayed in Pont Aven and were inspired by its beauty. The famous French painter Paul Gaugin created the Pont Aven School. Those who love art will want to allow time to visit the galleries and museum while in Pont Aven.

16. Quimperlé

Two rivers meet in Quimperlé to create a third one. The narrow cobbled streets and lovely bridges full of flowers are lovely to explore. The Church abbey of Sainte-Croix, built in the 11th century, is at the heart of the beautiful village. Because of the lack of space, the village had to develop on the hill. With the Notre Dame of the Assumption Church at the top, it is sometimes referred to as the “Mont Saint-Michel of the land”. I find the comparison quite exaggerated, but it is still a lovely view.

The most beautiful towns and villages in Morbihan (south)

17. Saint Goustan (Auray)

The port of Saint Goustan and Auray are next to each other and both worth a visit. I reckon Saint Goustan is the most picturesque port in Brittany. You can walk across the four-arch stone bridge from the 13th century to get the best views of this charming village along the river. The cobbled streets and half-timbered facade houses with sailing boats in front make postcard-perfect pictures.

18. Vannes

Vannes, the capital of Morbihan, is one of the most beautiful towns in Brittany. It is very enjoyable to explore its multiple facets and atmospheres. The port is very lively with restaurants and bars. Inside the walls, the heart of the medieval city takes you back in time with about 272 heritage-listed buildings in the town. Just outside the walls, it’s a pleasure to have a stroll in the lovely public gardens.

19. Rochefort en Terre

Rochefort en Terre is one of the most visited villages in Brittany. In summer, only pedestrians can access the lovely cobbled streets. Beautiful, colourful flowers always add to the charms of this pretty village where 16th-century half-timbered houses are mixed with Renaissance buildings.

20. Malestroit

Malestroit was built in the 11th century between two arms of the Oust River. Even when you go inland, all the beautiful villages in Brittany have strong links to the water. Place du Bouffay is a perfect place to sit down and admire the surrounding buildings. Malestroit is located on the Nantes-Brest Canal, and Josselin is just a bit further north.

21. Josselin

With a beautiful castle and old town next to a lovely canal, it’s not surprising to find Josselin on the list of the most beautiful towns in Brittany. You’ll find pretty medieval half-timbered houses in the Sainte-Croix district, and you can climb up to the top of the bell tower of the Gothic Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier to get panoramic views of the area.

If you continue north on the Nantes-Brest Canal, you will reach Pontivy. This town in the middle of Brittany used to be called Napoleonville. It is a must-see for those passionate about history and Napoleon Bonaparte, who wanted to turn Pontivy into the capital of the region.

What are the most beautiful towns in Brittany? Do you know a pretty village in Brittany that’s not on my list? Share your experience in the comments below!

Map of the most beautiful towns and prettiest villages in Brittany

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