Located in Morbihan, on the Southern coast of Brittany, the fascinating city of Vannes is an intriguing mix of antiquity and urbanisation, merging into the incredible Mor-Bihan ('little sea') of the Gulf of Morbihan - 12,000 hectares of sheltered Atlantic sea.
Built on the foundations of a fortified Roman town, Vannes has a long history that's evident in its architecture, especially the beautiful walled town that forms the protected heart of the city. Dominated by the magnificent Cathédrale de St Pierre, this walled town features stunning wood beamed houses from the 15th century. Formerly a busy trade port exporting local wines, Vannes' pretty streets are full of quaint stores and fashion boutiques with musicians and street performers playing as you walk by. Explore the traditional tastes of Brittany with oysters from the Gulf of Morbihan, delicious local cheeses, crêpes and the famous Gâteau Breton. Enjoy your meal with locally brewed cider and beer, or start with a tipple of fine cider brandy such as Lambic or the oakier Le Fine Bretagne.
Vannes is brimming with exciting places to visit such as the Chateau Gaillard, which houses the Musée de Vannes and is filled with medieval exhibits from the town. There are also the Musée de Beaux Arts and an aquarium of fish from the Gulf of Morbihan and the tropics. The glorious Jardin aux Papillons (butterfly garden), housed inside a giant dome, is guaranteed to captivate young audiences. Or, get outside and enjoy the spectacular interior sea of Mor-Bihan by taking an oyster mini-cruise to Ile aux Moines, where you can taste the oysters and learn more about their farming and the fragile ecosystem of this amazing place.
Nearby you can explore the megaliths of the past, or visit the incredible dinosaurs at the Parc de Préhistoire de Bretagne, a forest full of scale models of dinosaurs, ancient mammals and Neolithic man. The inspiring Fortresse de Largoët holds the highest keep in France and a stunning octagonal tower. A short drive from Vannes is the Maison du Cidre where you can discover traditional cider-making practices. If you're looking for fantastic walks, the spectacular 180 acres of gardens of the Chateau de Trédion are well worth a visit or try the woodlands of Argoat, with brilliant hiking trials that offer beautiful views of the Gulf of Morbihan. There is also the Réserve de Naturelle des Marais de Séné - 530 hectares of stunning protected coastline along the Gulf of Morbihan.