With its magnificent beaches, turbulent tides and secluded inland areas of fertile green countryside and architectural interest, Côtes-d'Armor is ideal for relaxing beach holidays and romantic breaks as well as the more active holiday.
Strong tidal movements crash against Côtes-d'Armor twice a day rendering its rugged coastline one of the most majestic and varied in the whole of France. Intersected by deep estuaries, rivers, and narrow creeks, Côtes-d'Armor offers striking fertile scenery that is enhanced by golden gorse, pink rock formations and a range of fascinating bird life.
Many of the towns and villages of Côtes-d'Armor bear witness to their fascinating ancient histories and the celtic traditions that historically have seeped into Breton culture. The department asserts its historical and cultural identity through festivals, known as pardons that recreate interesting events from a particular town's past. The 'Fete Medievale' and the 'Fete des Remparts' are two magnificent medieval feasts that are celebrated in the town of Dinan each September and in Moncontour in August. Also worthy of note is the 'Grande Ferie', a grand spectacle at the lake and castle of Quintin that takes place annually on the 14th July.
- St Breuic
Tempered by the warming impact of the Gulf Stream the Côtes D'Armour stays relatively mild, even in winter and temperatures rarely go below freezing point. In the summer months temperatures average 18º rising up to 25º although along the coastline in particular, the weather is changeable and spectacular storms are not uncommon.
Côtes-d'Armor has a long history of tourism and its coastline has been welcoming visitors since the 19th century when holidaymakers came across the channel to appreciate the fine sand and dramatic landscapes that the beaches afford.
Beautiful sandy beaches line Côtes-d'Armor and whilst tourism flares around many of the resorts, some of its bays are still dominated by the locals. The Dinard has in recent years emerged as a fashionable resort and further along the coast are the popular more family-oriented resorts of Perros-Guirec and Tregastel-Plage.
The headland of Arcouest is the site of the famous Pink Granite Coast and at sunset the spectacular site of the rose rock formations found here are no less than breathtaking. The Cap Frehel and Cap Erquy are ideal for sunbathing and swimming and are popular beaches with the Breton locals. The bays also provide some breezy clifftop walks and beautiful views of the Breton coastline.
Côtes-d'Armor is a fusion of secluded French life and a bustling tourist trade catering for the needs of a variety of holidaymakers. Along the coast (tourism thrives while inland) the department's countryside has maintained an air of tranquillity and it has a wealth of small towns that are an ideal destination for those wishing to get away from it all.
The capital of the department is St Breuic, a bustling town which, despite its industrial prowess, remains an attractive old city with some good shopping and a notable cathedral. The town of Dinan is particularly worthy of a visit, with its river port, ancient fortifications and quaint cobbled streets. Guincamp is host to the Warenghem Breton whisky distillery and the old town of Lannion has attractive narrow streets lining a river with a bustling market every Thursday. Côtes-d'Armor is well known for its ancient Breton villages such as Moncontour and Jugon-les-Lacs, where delightful old chapels and ancient crafts provide a slice of the department's historic and cultural heritage.
The coastline of Brittany is a haven for many species of birdlife and there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience the tranquillity of these reserves. The Les Sept Illes is a cluster of islands off the Côtes-d'Armor coast that has the only colony of gannets in France, as well as puffins and cormorants. Visitors can take a boat from one of the nearby harbours and sample a piece of the island's magic.
Côtes-d'Armor caters for a wide range of visitors and around its popular family resorts there are numerous activities suited to all ages. Further inland the 'Armoripark' is a leisure park with swimming pools, ice-skating, pedalos and mini-golf situated in Begard, north of Guingamp. The Planeterium de Bretagne is also a popular day out for families, housed in Pleumeur-Bodou, near to the town of Lannion.
Food and Drink
Brittany is typical of the rest of France in its wealth of traditional restaurants and crêperies. By the coast, good quality fish restaurants are in abundance with Côtes-d'Armor being the largest producer of scallopes in Europe. For good quality local produce all of the main towns in Côtes-d'Armor have lively colourful markets once a week where locals and tourists gather to purchase the finest Breton foods.
Côtes-d'Armor is known for its cider which is said to compliment the taste of Breton's famous crêpes.
Côtes-d'Armor has idyllic walking opportunities both on the coast and inland. There are breezy coastal walks with spectacular cliff-top views to be experienced. Inland there is an expanse of countryside dotted with lakes begging to be explored either on bike or on foot.
There are any number of sports available along the Brittany coastline and almost every beach and estuary has its own water-sports centre offering windsurfing, canoeing, water-skiing, scuba diving and fishing. With its fair share of winds, the waters along the coast are ideal for windsurfing and sailing and there are numerous nautical events and regattas that take place during high season. Further inland there is a network of paths suitable for cycling, mountain-biking and horse riding.
Ease of access
The Côtes-d'Armor is in ease of access from the UK and Brits have been holidaying in Brittany since the 19th century. The department's nearest port is St. Malo which is served by Brittany Ferries and Condor with round-the-year sailing going from Portsmouth, Poole and Cork. There are also regular flights to St. Breuic from Paris and to Dinard from London.
Value for money
Brittany can be an expensive area to visit, particularly during the high season and along the coast. The rental properties in Brittany can get snapped up early on so try book as early as possible, preferably by January (of the year you are visiting France). The best value accommodation are farmhouses and gites - these are becoming increasingly popular with tourists.
With its golden beaches, water-sports and inland walking opportunities, Côtes-d'Armor welcomes visitors whatever their preferences. Its landscapes are some of the most beautiful in France, and with its rugged coastline and fertile countryside and it is easy to see why holidaymakers can't stay away.