All roads in Brittany curl eventually inland to Rennes, the capital. East of Rennes, the fortified citadel of Vitré protected the eastern approaches to medieval Brittany, which vigorously defended its independence against incursors. Along the north coast, west of Normandy’s Mont St-Michel, stand some of Brittany’s finest old towns. A spectacular introduction to the province greets ferry passengers: the River Rance, guarded by magnificently preserved St-Malo on its estuary, and beautiful medieval Dinan 20km upstream. Further west stretches a varied coastline that culminates in the seductive Île de Bréhat, and the colourful chaos of the Côte de Granit Rose.

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Video: a 1 minute guide to France

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