Butter or more butter?
February 27, 2012 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Attention cheese, butter and cider-lovers: Where to go in Brittany or Normandy?

We are visiting my French in-laws in July, and they have left it up to me to choose a week-long vacation spot in either Brittany or Normandy.

I have already been to St.-Malo, Mont St.-Michel, some of the Normandy beaches and Caen briefly, but I've never been anywhere else in Normandy, and the closest I've gotten to Brittany is Nantes. We will be with me, Mr. Liesl, Toddler Liesl, French in-laws and possibly even French brother- and sister-in law who will be toting along a five-month old. Toddler Liesl will be about 22 months.

We will probably be getting a week-long vacation rental house and stay there rather than move around, but we will have cars to take day trips.

I like historic towns, religious buildings, picturesque streets. Good food always happens around my in-laws, so no problem there. All of us speak fluent French, including me. (Well, except the babies, I guess.) At some point in my life I'd like to see the Bayeux tapestry and Etretat, so I'm leaning towards staying around Normandy. Brittany is a longer drive from where we're starting out, but they said they're willing to do it for their "beautiful daughter."

What can't be missed in the area? Where would be a good jumping-off place for a family vacation?
posted by Liesl to Travel & Transportation around France (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Oysters in Cancale

Fish in Concarneau

Buttery treats all over.

Also, in terms of sightseeing, dont forget that Britanny has some of the greatest collections of megaliths. Such as Carnac for example.
posted by vacapinta at 8:04 AM on February 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Rouen is very lovely, and certainly fits the bill in terms of historic/religious/picturesque.
posted by Go Banana at 8:20 AM on February 27, 2012

Yes, Normandy! I studied in Caen in college and ate so much butter and drank so much cider. The ruins of William the Conqueror's castle are amazing, and there are dozens of ancient churches and abbeys to visit. The Bayeux Tapestry is displayed thoughtfully and very much worth a trip. I was there in June and stayed in the dormitory for the Université de Caen, so I can't recommend lodgings, but the food and atmosphere were perfect.
posted by SeedStitch at 8:39 AM on February 27, 2012

Art of Eating did a big piece on Norman Cider maybe 2 issues ago? Not available on-line tho.

Also the K&L Spirits Blog just did a ton of posts on a trip to the big name Calvados producers.

I've only spent time as an adult near Cancale, and as Vacapinta pointed out its pretty obvious what the focus is there
posted by JPD at 8:42 AM on February 27, 2012

You can go swimming in July in Brittany. Concarneau has some very nice beaches. Like so. The seafood and the crêpes and cider are all good, as is the Ville Close, and there's lots of decent walking. Can be pricey in summer. I lived in Concarneau for some months and have been there several times, although not for a few years. I can't imagine that it's changed much.
posted by Wolof at 3:18 AM on February 28, 2012

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