|| Reality confirms our logic. Well, sort of confirms it. We say sort of, because yes, Brittany as a region is indeed special. But Brittany as a bike tour destination is more than special-- it's spectacular.
Located in France's northwest corner, stretching out into the open sea like it has a mind of its own, Brittany has two geographic personalities: coastal and inland. It's a rare combination, all of which makes Brittany so bike-tour perfect. It offers everything (except the Holy Grail) you'd want in a bicycle tour: quiet country roads, food, spectacular coastal scenery, food, architectural landmarks, castles, museums and food.
Postcard-like villages pocket Brittany's northern coast, making each one a vacation in and of itself. Dinard, with its rim of stately villas overlooking a wide crescent of beach, enjoys status as the "Cannes of the North." One of the villas, in fact, served as Alfred Hitchock's inspiration for the Bates Mansion in Psycho. Neighboring St-Malo, the Walled City, is as beautiful as it is historic. It holds several distinctions, including most visited city in Brittany and having the highest concentration of seafood restaurants in Europe. Bon
Appetit! Not to be out done, Roscoff, farther west down the windswept coast, is often referred to as Brittany's "gourmet gateway," with, as you'd suspect, an emphasis on seafood.
Brittany's inland personifies pastoral charm, a land without hurry, haste or, as King Arthur learned, Holy Grail. Quiet country roads wind through sprawling green pastures, dotted with old stone cottages and occasional villages that are more medieval than modern. In the center of Brittany's heartland lies Josselin, home to the Josselin Château, a National Heritage Site. Perhaps more than any other castle in France, it captures the quintessential "Fairy Tale" look.
Just east of Josselin grows the enchanted Forêt de Paimpont, the site of King Arthur's valiant search. And just beyond the forest lies Rennes, Brittany's capital. Its old town center, is an architectural wonderland of half-timbered homes.
The region's emphasis on historic also carries over to its cuisine. Fresh oysters, scallops, mussels and lobster dominate local menus, as do crêpes, which originated in Brittany. And cider, the region's drink of choice, will make you think twice about asking for a wine menu.
Combine all of this together and Brittany, dare we say, may very well be the Holy Grail of bike tours.