Villa Tri Men/Hôtel du Bac, Sainte-Marine
Originally a grand holiday home and now a boutique hotel, the Villa Tri Men sits elegantly on a leafy peninsula in the pretty fishing village of Sainte-Marine, 16 miles from Quimper. Most of its 20 bedrooms look across the harbour and the Odet estuary towards the fashionable resort of Bénodet or to the Glénan islands. Take the coastal path around the headland and you’ll arrive at Kermor, a two-mile long, fine sandy beach backed with dunes. Go the other way and you’ll find a bay of lively bars, creperies and restaurants, including the seafront bistro of the Villa Tri Men’s little sister, the Hotel du Bac. The 11 rooms here are small but have river views and were renovated in 2009 with a nautical theme. At weekends Sainte-Marine’s tranquillity is disturbed, but only very slightly, by sophisticated thirtysomethings from Quimper, who come to enjoy its quaintness – and beer.
• +33 2 98 51 94 94, trimen.fr, hoteldubac.fr, Villa Tri Men doubles from €120 room only, Hotel du Bac from €90
Les Mouettes, Larmor-Plage
After breakfast on the restaurant terrace at Les Mouettes you can step straight on to the soft sandy dunes and slide down to the beach. This white art deco hotel wouldn’t look out of place on Miami’s South Beach, but it’s on the far less crowded Plage de Locqueltas on Brittany’s Morbihan coast. Its 21 rooms are clean, crisp and contemporary, but the restaurant is the highlight. It has been highly commended in the Michelin guide and serves Breton food with a strong seafood theme. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows mean that inside or out you’ll still get to dine with views across the Atlantic and to the Ile de Groix. It’s a pricey place to eat, though: you may prefer to take the wooden pathway east across the dunes and along the sea wall to Larmor-Plage, a resort with a popular Sunday market and a beachfront promenade of affordable seafood restaurants.
• +33 2 97 65 50 30, lesmouettes.com, doubles from €98 room only
Château de Bonabry, Hillion
You can’t help but fall in love with this charming old chateau and its equally charming hosts, the Viscount and Viscountess Louis du Fou de Kerdaniel. In a pristine little village called Hillion, east of Saint Brieuc on Brittany’s north coast, the chateau is a cluster of elegantly crumbling buildings around a gravelled courtyard and with pretty gardens behind. It was built in 1373 by the Viscount’s ancestors, many of whom you’ll see in portraits that grace the maze of rooms and corridors inside. Two bedrooms and two suites are reserved for guests, all of them enormous and with canopied beds, heavy patterned bedspreads, matching wallpaper, frilly lampshades and chandeliers. Some of it has become a bit tatty over the years, but that’s all part of the eccentricity and charm of the place. From the courtyard a woodland path leads to the vast sandy beach at Bonabry, backed by dunes and with a tide that goes out so far – over three miles – that you can hardly see the sea.
• +33 2 96 32 21 06, sawdays.co.uk, doubles from €80 B&B
Les Costans, Perros Guirec
The Pink Granite Coast is regarded as Brittany’s most beautiful. Its giant rock formations (some 20m high) are so strange they don’t look real. Their famous pinkness deepens according to the light, reaching its most magical at sunset. The best rocks are on the two-mile coastal path between Perros-Guirec and the port of Ploumanac’h, where most tourists head. Get off the tourist trail at Les Costans, a stylish haven high on a hill just off the coastal path, between the beaches of Trestaou and Trestignel. Rooms are decorated according to their view – blues, greys and sandy colours for those facing the sea; hues of heather and the moors for those facing the garden. Some share a large decked terrace looking out at the sea and the Sept Iles, home to Brittany’s oldest and largest bird sanctuary.
• +33 2 96 23 20 27,
Domaine Moulin Mer, Logonna-Daoulas
If you prefer your coastline wild and rugged, head to Logonna-Daoulas. This Finistère peninsula, midway between Brest and Quimper, is blessed with 11 miles of undulating coastal walks, dotted with secluded rocky coves that you’ll probably have to yourself. Just a short walk from the coastal path is Domaine Moulin Mer, a manor house-turned-B&B in elegant lush gardens with palms, orange trees, bamboo and squirrels. Owner Stéphane is the ultimate host, with a passion for the finer things in life. He has lavishly decorated the three bedrooms and two suites with antiques, some family heirlooms. He’s an accomplished chef, too ,and serves a fine four-course dinner and drinks in the Domaine’s posh dining room for €40 a head. Then he’s up early to bake chocolate croissants and almond pastries for breakfast.
• +33 2 98 07 24 45, domaine-moulin-mer.com, sawdays.co.uk, doubles from €94 B&B
L’Hôtel les Sables Blancs, Concarneau
It’s worth splashing out on a seaview room with a terrace at this beachfront hotel in the popular resort of Concarneau. It’s one of the very few "design" hotels in Brittany, with all the usual characteristics – predominantly white decor but with brightly coloured scatter cushions, bold patterns, bucket seats and oversized plant pots. Decked terraces with stylish sun loungers look over the magnificent beach, named after its sand, so pale it’s almost white. Take the coastal path past splendid villas to the walled town of Concarneau, whose narrow streets are filled with shops, restaurants and ice-cream parlours. Concarneau has a strong fishing history and every August this is celebrated at the Festival des Filets Bleus with traditional music and dancing, sea shanties and other fishy fun.
• +33 2 98 50 10 12, hotel-les-sables-blancs.com, doubles from €105 room only
Hôtel Ty Mad, Douarnenez
In the 1920s the little beach and fishing village of Douarnenez was a favourite haunt of the likes of Pablo Picasso and writer and artist Max Jacob. Today, Hôtel Ty Mad continues its artistic heritage by exhibiting the work of up-and-coming local painters and sculptors. The ivy-clad hotel is a five-minute walk from the beach and 11 of its 15 bedrooms have sea views. Owners Arnaud and Armelle Raillard have an eye for all things arty and have tastefully renovated this former presbytery with limewashed walls, warm colours and funky furniture. After exploring the beaches, take tea and homemade cakes in the quiet gardens or a dip in the plunge pool. There’s even a mini-spa with sauna and steam room.
• +33 2 98 74 00 53, hoteltymad.com, doubles from €87 B&B
Camping des Chevrets, Saint-Coulomb
Live out your childhood dreams in a treehouse overlooking the beach at Camping des Chevrets, between Saint-Malo and Cancale. This campsite has a 40m-high treehouse that wouldn’t look out of place on a desert island, but here it comes with all the amenities of a family-friendly campsite – cafe, bar, restaurant and evening entertainment. The treehouse sleeps just two, but families can stay in one of the campsite’s three yurts – one sleeping five and the others sleeping four. The 21-hectare site also has the usual pitches for tents, caravans or campervans, plus mobile homes, some of which have terraces with uninterrupted beach views. The long, curving, sandy Plage des Chevrets is one of the prettiest on Brittany’s Emerald Coast. It stretches from the headland called Pointe du Meinga, to the Ile Besnard in the west. At low tide, you can also walk out to the nature reserve islands of Petit and Grand Chevret.
• +33 2 99 89 01 90, campingdeschevrets.fr, treehouse €140 a night including breakfast, yurts from €60 a night for four
Ti Va Zadou, Ile de Batz
Brittany’s coastline is dotted with islands and one of the prettiest is the Ile de Batz, a 15-minute boat ride from Roscoff. It has some beautiful sandy beaches, particularly in the northwest, and at just 2.2 miles long and under a mile wide you could easily walk or cycle from one to the next in a day. Alternatively, climb the 198 steps of the island’s lighthouse and you’ll get panoramic views of the whole island and back across to the mainland. The island is also home to the Jardin Exotique Georges Delaselle, a collection of 2,000 plant species from all over the world. Ti Va Zadou is a twee little guesthouse with four cosy bedrooms a five-minute walk from the little beach next to the port. The owner, Marie-Pierre Prigent, doesn’t speak any English but she’s kind and patient. Reserve a table at the popular La Cassonade (lacassonade.fr), where crepes and moules frites are served on a terrace overlooking the water.
• +33 2 98 61 76 91, tivazadou-iledebatz.fr, doubles from €65 B&B
Camping de la Baie, La Trinité sur Mer
On a quiet peninsula, this friendly campsite has the benefit of being between two beautiful sandy beaches. With Kerbihan on one side and Kervillen on the other, you can take your pick, or try numerous other stunning sheltered beaches along this stretch of Morbihan coast. Just steps from the campsite, a coastal path takes you a couple of miles to the charming port and sailing mecca of La Trinité sur Mer. The path runs through a wild and protected area of dunes, woodland and heathlands with views of the islands in the Gulf of Morbihan. The campsite has a bar with music nights and a seafood restaurant overlooking the beach, but La Trinité and Carnac-Plage have plenty more family-friendly seafood restaurants and creperies.
• +33 2 97 55 73 42, camping-de-la-baie.net, tent pitch for two from €5.80 a night