Itinerary for a Brittany Road Trip in a Motorhome

January 25, 2024 in Routes, Destinations, Tips for Travellers, Europe & France

Brittany is so close to the UK, that it’s almost a shame not to drive over and explore it for yourself. It’s like Cornwall, but French! With a wild and dramatic coastline, countless sandy beaches, picturesque villages and a culture of its own. It’s also a real gem historically, with incredible sights relating to the two world wars, Roman times and even megalithic monuments. 

From all the many, many things to do in Brittany, we’ve managed to whittle it down to a 1 week Brittany road trip itinerary. With sights like the Pink Granite Coast and the walled Saint-Malo, this route will take you through the best this region has to offer.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittany

Getting to Brittany

We highly recommend you hire a motorhome to travel through Britanny, as it’s one of the best regions in France for camping.

It’s also easy to get in terms of taking a ferry from the UK to France, and here are three options. The first is taking the most popular ferry route, from Dover to Calais. This 90-minute crossing is the quickest option and goes up to 53 times a day. 

Then there’s the Plymouth to Roscoff route, with Brittany Ferries. It takes about six hours and tends to be one of the pricier options. Brittany Ferries is strict on motorhome size, so be sure to check your measurements beforehand.

DFDS Seaways offers a ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe, which is less expensive than the previous option, but more expensive than the classic Dover to Calais route. It takes about an hour.

Alternatively, you can avoid a ferry trip by taking the Eurotunnel. This departs from Folkestone and takes you to Calais, from which it is about a five-hour drive to the first stop on our road trip.

Alternatively, you can cross the Channel and then hire a motorhome in France.

Day 1 - Mont St. Michel

Now, let’s get to the fun part: the first stop on our Brittany road trip itinerary! Mont St. Michel technically falls just outside of Brittany, but it’s so close and incredible that we wanted to include it in this itinerary. 

This little island is a wonder to behold and has long been a place of pilgrimage. It’s considered to be the crown jewel of Normandy and one of France’s most recognisable silhouettes. It is often compared to a castle in the clouds, as it appears to float on the sea. Naturally, it’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ll quickly discover why. We can’t think of a better place to start your road trip in Brittany than at this incredible place. 

Keep in mind that parking close to the island is expensive, and that you’ll then walk the bridge to the island itself.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittany

Things to do in Mont Saint-Michel:

-The best way to explore this island is on foot with a walking tour.  A guide can tell you all about this magical little island and the rich history its residents experienced, as well as the many details of the medieval monastery dominating Mont St. Michel.

-Speaking of this Benedictine Abbey, be sure to visit this incredible structure. Make sure to book your tickets well in advance, as they can sell out quickly in the peak season.

-There are three museums we recommend visiting in Mont Saint-Michel. The Maritime Museum is obviously significant given that this town rests on an island and witnessed countless navy battles over the centuries. The Historical Museum of Sound and Light covers 1000 years of the island’s history in one magnificent show. Lastly, the historic house of Bertrand Du Guesclin features well-preserved medieval furniture and artefacts.

Staying at: Camping Château des Lez Eaux

Finding an affordable campsite near such a popular tourist spot can be difficult, but we’ve found the perfect place in Camping Château des Lez Eaux. It’s located on the grounds of a château and features high-quality facilities. It is beloved by families and will ensure you don’t have to drive too far after a busy first day of your trip.

240 Route de Lezeaux, 50380 Saint-Aubin-des-Préaux, France
48.796992, -1.525509
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittany

Day 2 - Cancale and Saint-Malo

For the second day of our road trip in Brittany itinerary, we’ll turn our attention to one of the most beloved seaside towns in the region. Cancale is best known for two things: its fishing port and oyster farming centre. Cancale oysters are famous, and in the 17th and 18th centuries, they were shipped to French royalty twice a week.

It’s a small village that you can easily explore in a morning. Then you can drive along the coast to Saint-Malo. This port city has tall granite walls surrounding the old town, which was once a stronghold for privateers. You’ll see countless Romanesque and Gothic buildings, with glass windows depicting the city’s rich history. Spend the rest of your day exploring this beautiful place.

Things to do in Cancale and Saint-Malo:

-During low tide, you can hike to Le Grand Bé, an uninhabited islet located a few hundred meters from Saint-Malo. It’s best known as the resting place of famous romance writer François-René de Chateaubriand. Beside his tomb is a small plaque that reads, “A great French writer wanted to rest here to hear only the wind and the sea. Passerby, respect his last will.“ But make sure to hike back before the tide rises once more!

-Saint-Malo is a food lover's dream, so be sure to get your fill while you’re here. You’ll find crêperies, seafood restaurants and delicious butter cakes. You can even enjoy a meal at the gorgeous Sillon Beach if you eat at Brasserie du Sillon, which is located on the sea wall.

-At Demeure de Corsaire, you can explore the home of a wealthy shipping merchant from the 18th century. This will also teach you more about the history of the region and the importance of its navy. Alternatively, if you’d like to stay outdoors, head to Fort National, which is positioned on a tidal island and was built in 1689 to protect Saint-Malo’s port.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyStaying at: Camping Domaine de la Ville Huchet

This lovely campsite is located on the outskirts of Saint-Malo in a peaceful setting. You can easily cycle or walk to Saint-Malo in the evening, but there is also a direct bus route only five minutes from the site. There is a small shop available on-site for anything you may need, and a restaurant/bar open in the evenings.

Rue de la Passagère, 35400 Saint-Malo, France
48.610510, -1.985097

Day 3 - Dinard and Dinan

Just a twenty-minute drive away from St. Malo, Dinard is a stylish seaside town that was popular with the creatives of Belle Epoque. These gorgeous villas were once holiday homes for wealthy aristocrats, and have now become protected buildings. Visiting this 1920s town feels like travelling back in time, and you can get the perfect view of it from the beach. 

Then, head twenty minutes further to Dinan, which is more medieval than nearby Dinard. Strolling along the cobblestoned streets and gazing up at the town’s 13th-century castle will also make you feel like you’ve been transported to the past, only a lot further back. Both towns are so different, despite being so close, and are the perfect way to spend the third day of your road trip. They’re home to some of the best things to do in Brittany
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyThings to do in Dinard and Dinan:

-Dinard is situated at the mouth of the River Rance, so it’s a great place to rent kayaks or canoes and explore the waterways for yourself. This will also be a great way to cool off if you’re travelling in the heat of summer. You can combine this with a trip to the Maison de la Rance Discovery Centre, where you can learn about all the wildlife that inhabits the waters — perhaps once you’re done paddling in it!

-Feel like a challenge? Climb the 158 steps to the top of the Tour de l'Horloge and you'll be rewarded with incredible views over the roofs of the old town of Dinard.

-Your hiking boots can be put to good use in Parc du Port Breton. This 5-acre park is filled with gorgeous trails to walk, and a delight for the whole family. If you’re travelling with little ones, you can also finish the day with some pony trekking or mini golf. 
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyStaying at: Camping de Beauséjour

This campsite offers a tranquil escape from the bustle of daily life. Visitors particularly like the swimming pool, which tends not to get too crowded even in the peak of summer. It’s also well-priced for what you get, with spacious pitches that can easily fit your awning and even a tent for the little ones.

La Hisse, 22100 Saint-Samson-sur-Rance, France
48.488835, -2.006971

Day 4 - Ploumanac'h and Roscoff

Known also as the ‘Pink Granite Coast,’ Ploumanac'h is one of the most beautiful pieces of scenery in Brittany. This seaside resort is sheltered by incredible pink granite cliffs, set against the azure ocean and sandy beaches. It’s beautiful to explore, and also a great place for water sports. 

From Ploumanac'h, it’s an hour’s drive to Roscoff. Along this port town, you’ll see 16th-century houses with carefully positioned flower arrangements. This area is known primarily for its fishing industry, as well as one of the best camping destinations in northern France. 
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyThings to do in Ploumanac'h and Roscoff:

-Cairn of Barnenez is a Neolithic monument located near Plouezoc'h, which dates back to the early Neolithic period of about 4800 BC. This ancient megalithic burial site is the largest in Europe and is situated on a hilltop, providing an unparalleled view of the area. You can also spot the remains of megalithic art carved into the stone.

-Either rent a boat or book an organised trip to see the surrounding islets and the rest of the bay. One amazing sight in particular is the Castle of Taureau, a 16th-century castle on a small rocky island.

-One of our favourite lesser-known things to do in this region is to visit the Jardin Exotique et Botanique de Roscoff. This botanical garden is home to over 3000 plant species, spread over 1,6 hectares of exotic gardens. It also features giant rockeries, water features, waterfalls, ponds and fountains. Additionally, from this garden, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Morlaix Bay.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyStaying at: Camping Paradis la Pointe de Roscoff

This campsite is within walking distance of both Roscoff and the beach, making it ideal for visiting both. You can stroll over the beach at sunset for an unbeatable view. You can also rent bikes at the campsite, to explore more of the area. The facilities are well-maintained, so expect a lovely warm shower after a day at the beach. 

All. des Chênes Verts, 29680 Roscoff, France
48.714003, -4.008472

Day 5 - Brest

It’ll take about an hour to drive from Roscoff to Brest, and this takes you to the north-western coast of France. This port city is bisected by the Penfeld River and is best known for its rich maritime history and naval base. 

It suffered significant damage in the wars, and a large part of the historic centre has been rebuilt. To see the historic Brest, head down the rue de Saint-Malo, which was spared from bombing. But even the areas that were rebuilt have been done in a unique and Brittanic style.

You can take a cable car across the city, which forms the backbone of Brest’s public transport system. It connects the two riverbanks of the Penfeld, and riding it is a great way to get a bird's view of the city.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyThings to do in Brest:

-Visit Brest’s Naval Museum, also known as Musée National de la Marine. It is located in the Château de Brest, the oldest building in the city. There has been a fort situated here since the Roman camp of Osismis in the 3rd century, after which it became a seat for the Dukes of Brittany to repel sieges from the British in the 14th and 15th centuries. It contains wooden figureheads from warships, historic model ships and sculptures and paintings that convey the development of the port in the 17th and 18th centuries.

-The Musée des Beaux-Arts is Brest’s main art museum, and it lost its entire collection in the war. Since 1945, it has assembled around 250 sculptures and paintings from the 17th to 19th centuries. It favours older pieces over modern art, to represent the collection it used to house. It includes work by Carlo Saraceni, Pierre Bonnard, Palma il Giovane and Carlo Dolci.

-A trip to Brest is not complete without visiting Fort de Bertheaume. There have been a few forts on this Brittany road trip itinerary, but this one is Brest might just be our favourite. Built in the 1300s, this impenetrable fortress is situated on a tiny tidal island, and linked to the mainland with a footbridge. It looks like something out of another world, or at least a Game of Thrones episode. But it’s been made a little more modern by the zipline that runs from the cliffs to the top of the fortress, perfect for adrenaline junkies!
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyStaying at: Camping Saint Jean

Located just past Brest, this campsite situates you perfectly to continue to Nantes tomorrow. It’s also close to the beach and sea views. The staff are known to be welcoming and helpful, and you’ll get to stretch out on spacious pitches. There’s even a swimming pool to rinse off the sweat of the day!

1910 Route de la Chapelle St Jean, 29470 Plougastel-Daoulas, France
48.401006, -4.353585

Day 6 - Nantes

We’ll dip out of Brittany for our next stop, to take in another excellent city. But if you’d like to only stick to destinations in Brittany, head to the next stop on this itinerary.

Nantes is often described as the ideal city break, and it’ll be a nice contrast to the coastal cities you’ve explored on your road trip so far. It is filled with things to do without ever feeling overwhelmed. 

This city is seeped in history and yet blends this with trendy venues and technological marvels. It is also known for the vineyards surrounding the city, which produce Muscadet white wine. If you’re going to try this delicious wine, be sure to pair it with seafood for the best combination.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyThings to do in Nantes:

-Whether it’s for your kids or your inner child, head to the Machines of the Isle of Nantes for a sight like no other. Inspired by Leonardo Di Vinci’s inventions, Jules Vernes’ novels, and the industrial history of Nantes, this artistic and cultural project brings fantasy to real life. The star exhibit is the mechanical Great Elephant, so pre-book a ride on it beforehand to avoid long queues.

-Visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. Located in the centre of Nantes, this Gothic landmark was started in the 15th century but only finished at the end of the 19th century. It stands out not only for its large size, but for the detailed architecture.

-For a genuine French shopping experience, head to Talensac Market. It is located at the heart of the city, and features over 200 stalls, selling fresh produce, clothing, artisanal products and more. It’s a great place to try local delicacies and immerse yourself in the daily lives of the citizens of Nantes.

Staying at: Camping Du Chêne Nantes

This campsite is slightly outside of Nantes, but it’s well worth the journey. Located in the charming village of Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, it has direct access to the Chêne lake. You can do numerous watersports on the lake, including fishing or renting a catamaran. 

1 Rte du Lac, 44450 Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, France
47.249308, -1.371306

Day 7 - Rennes

Our Brittany road trip itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the capital city of this province: Rennes. This multi-dimensional city is known for its high quality of life, with some of the happiest residents in all of France. It blends the history of Brittany with modern and tasteful architecture. There is an easygoing nature to the city, and yet it is filled with some of the best things to do in Brittany.

Take the time to stroll along the cobbled streets and drink coffee at the lovely cafe terraces. In the historic centre, you’ll spot one of the most unique features of Rennes: its half-timbered houses with colourful facades. Rennes is actually home to the most half-timbered houses in France, with 286 of them in total. You can spot them on Le Chapitre Street, Psalette and Saint-Sauveur Street. This is also a great area to do some shopping.
Brittany road trip itinerary brittany ferry things to do in brittanyThings to do in Rennes:

-Thabor Park is known as the ‘Central Park of Rennes,’ and you’ll definitely enjoy it as much. There are over 10 hectares of this park, filled with a French garden, an English garden, waterfalls, a botanical garden, an aviary, a music kiosk, a cave, and much more. In the summer, there are live performances organized every Sunday evening.

-Head to the Champs Libres, which is the cultural centre of Rennes. This complex consists of the Brittany Museum, the Science Centre and Planetarium, and a huge 6-storey library that regularly hosts exhibits.

-Hire bikes to ride along the La Vilaine riverside. The main cycling route is about 30 miles long and starts right in the centre of the city. It’s the best way to explore this gorgeous city, especially towards the end of the day.

Staying at: Camping des Gayeulles

This campsite is the perfect place to toast to the end of your trip. It is situated in the middle of a dense forest, and has various activities available, including a treetop adventure course, a swimming pool, an ice rink, a mini golf course and a summer-only pub. Dogs are welcome here, and they’ll love exploring the 250 acres of forest surrounding Camping des Gayeulles.

Rue du Professeur Maurice Audin, 35700 Rennes, France
48.135241, -1.645216

Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our itinerary for a road trip in Brittany. There is so much more to see in this gorgeous region, but we’ve tried to fit it into a week for now. You can easily extend your trip by spending more days by the coast, or by combining this route with our road trip itinerary for Normandy.

We’ve also rounded up the best campsites in Brittany for your trip to France. Make sure to pack light for your trip, as we have no doubt you’ll want to bring back plenty of delicacies when you return!