Are you heading over to Roscoff this month? Here are the highlights of Christmas markets, winter wonderlands, free activities and even an icy swim - if you dare...
French Christmas markets
French Christmas markets are filled with crafts, edible treats and original gift ideas and they always have a magical atmosphere, often enhanced by a glass of hot mulled wine! Here's a round-up of when and where you can find a great 'Marché de Noël' this winter.
- 4th December - Carantec Golf Course
- 5-6th December - Locquirec and Plouégat-Guerrand
- 6th December - Plouézoc'h and Cloître-Saint-Thégonnec
- 12-27th December - Morlaix (details below)
- 13th December - Guerlesquin
- 19-20th December - Plougasnou
With so many Christmas markets to enjoy within easy reach of Roscoff, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to festive goodies!
Christmas in Morlaix
Morlaix, just 30 minutes from Roscoff, becomes a winter wonderland in December, with its picturesque timbered buildings and Christmas lights. In addition to the independent boutiques and larger chains, you'll find 13 festive chalets in Morlaix centre from the 12th to the 27th of December, in the courtyard of the Musée des Jacobins. British visitors will particularly appreciate the Sunday opening on 13th and 20th December, so you can really make the most of your weekend or short break!
For those with youngsters - or an insatiable appetite for festive entertainment - be sure to head to Morlaix on Sunday 20th when Father Christmas will abseil down the iconic viaduct. Remember to bring your camera!
Family fun in easy reach of Roscoff
If you are visiting with the kids, there are plenty of activities off-season. As well as the swimming pools at Morlaix and Plouigneau, there are horse-riding activities in Plougasnou, Saint-Jean-du-Doigt and Plouégat-Guerrand (including Shetland ponies!) and finally, the fabulous watersports centres at Carantec or Morlaix and the surf school in Locquirec. It's the perfect time to try sailing, surfing or paddle-boarding!
Outings for free
To make your festive budget stretch further, there are plenty of free activities to enjoy here in December. Firstly, just off the coast of Carantec, you'll see the fascinating island of Île Callot, which is cut off by water for most of the day - but at low tide, you can walk across and explore on your own, which makes youngsters feel like true adventurers. Do be sure to check the tides for coming back again, and allow plenty of time!
Also free on the first Sunday of December and January (6th December and 3rd January) is the magnificent Cairn de Barnénez, a prehistoric burial chamber that's older than the pyramids. Located on the heights of Plouezoc'h, you get stunning views across the ocean from here.
Another site that captivates kids is the Abbaye du Relec in Plounéour-Ménez, which dates back to 1132. You can come and explore for free all year round, including the lakes, the monumental fountain and the ancient ruins.
If you're feeling active...
Of course, this part of Brittany is spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal walks and cycle trails, but there is now a new 'Pitch and Putt' at the Golf Course in Carantec so you can perfect your swing while enjoying a seaview!
A chilling event in Brittany
On Boxing Day in Carantec, you can come and cheer on the courageous folk taking part in The Great Winter Swim! Known as the 'Bain d'hiver', this event is held at 3pm on Kelenn Beach, and crowds of people head out for a dip in the icy sea, to be greeted by hot wine or hot chocolate as they emerge. Spectators can also indulge in the hot drinks, of course! Posters of the event are on sale on the day to support the Lifeguard Association.
New Year sales
Unlike in Britain, France still waits until the New Year to hold its annual sales, which begin on 6th January - so you can head over the Channel again with the great excuse of grabbing a few European bargains!
Find out more about what to see and do around Roscoff at tourisme-morlaix.fr.
Do you love Roscoff at this time time of year? Let us know your festive suggestions for things to do in the area below.