Back to Brittany!

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Back to Brittany!

Postby al_yrpal » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:53 pm

Thought I would go back on 1st May for a week after doing a couple of weeks there a few years ago. This time I am crossing to Roscoff and returning via St Malo riding on my own on a tour for the first time. I want to visit Crozon and then intend to bumble along towards St Malo avoiding the canal because I have ridden that before. I saw Huelegot recommended, I have been to Morlaix, Guincamp Treguier and Lorquirec. I will be camping. Any recomendations on nice places or decent camp sites appreciated?

Al
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby jamesgilbert » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:26 am

In 2011 I cycled from Morlaix round Finistère to Quimperlé, following the coast as closely as possible all the way. Here are the campsites we used for the section from Roscoff to Crozon. Some may be too far west, I'm not sure how much time you have to get to Crozon.

Camping du Phare, Brignognan-Plage (http://www.camping-du-phare.com) - nice location, good facilities.
B&B Manoir du Trouzilit (http://www.manoir-trouzilit.com) - couldn't find any campsites near here. Friendly owners, interesting old building, breakfast okay. Prices have increased by 2 euros since 2011!
Camping Terrasses de Bertheaume, Plougonvelin (http://location-de-salle-camping.campin ... /index.htm) - big and touristy, lots of mobile homes, okay for 1 night (and the nearby fort is worth a visit).
Camping du Roz, near Logonna-Daoulas (http://www.camping-du-roz.com) - strange place, lots of permanent residents, never saw the owners. I can't recommend this one.
Camping Gwel Kaër, Le Fret (http://www.camping-gwel-kaer.com/) - best campsite of the trip, nice location opposite the "Ile Longue" nuclear sub base(!) - quiet and very neat and tidy. The pizzeria at the other end of the causeway was also very good.
Camping Les Mimosas, Telgruc (http://www.campingmimosa.com) - we arrived in torrential rain, and were the only people staying there. Nothing special, there are two other campsites next door.
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby simonineaston » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:55 pm

You should have a nice trip - I'm envious!
I'd recommend having a look at one or more of the enclos paroissial - I'm particularly fond of the carvings at Saint Thegonnec - they are very humorous and well-preserved - they look like they were carved yesterday. More-or-less due south of Roscoff and so easy to get to on Day 1 - the villages featuring the parish closes are a bit touristy, but that means more-choice-of-restuarants when it comes to lunch :-)
Huelgoat is typically Breton, wooded and on the river Argent. A good place to stop for a night, I imagine. I've only ever been through it on my way to somewhere else so can't recommend a particular campsite.
Whizzing east a few miles... I like the harbour town of Paimpol, based around a large double harbour, home to a biannual music festival (first week in August...). There's a fairly big cheap camping municipal at Kerity s.e. of Paimpol, 5 min.s stroll from the coast. Paimpol is a good base if you fancy a trip to the small island of Ile de Brehat (which does have a camp site but I'm not sure if it will be open in May). The island is lovely! Paimpol itself is quite posh, with lots of bars, restaurants and shops. And if you like chuff-chuffs, it's the destination for the restored steam-train which you can take to get you down as far as Guingamp, I think. Le train vapeur follows the valley of the river Trieux and it's a lovely trip! Toot Toot!
http://www.vapeurdutrieux.com
Guingamp is a decent sized town, and probably worth half a day, although I can't think of any special reason to go there other than the Saturday market... others may know of Guingamp's hidden attractions!

Dropping down further south, I like St Brieuc. I avoided it for years thinking it's a modern French town, complete with blocks of flats and a nasty white-van infested camping municipal, which it is... but the centre of town is great and I think it'd be worth an afternoon if you don't mind towns!
If you like sea-food, you're obviously in the right place but if it ties in with your travel plans consider 'over-shooting' St Malo and going to Cancale for lunch. The oyster beds are just out in the bay and you can sit in one of the many cafés (along with all the other tourists... the place is popular :-o ) and watch your lunch come out of the funny aluminium skiff-thingies they use and straight onto your plate. 'Cos of all the competition, the prices are rock-bottom but the quality is up the top end :-) If you have never 'got' oysters give half-a-dozen a try here and you'll find out what all the fuss is about!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying Moulton F frames & a Brompton...)
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby BeeKeeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:26 am

I have posted a link to this trip report before: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Brittany2012 but it covers my trip to Crozon a couple of years ago. The route I took from Roscoff to Crozon was quiet cycling and pretty flat although there are some low hills to go over. I stayed at Camping La Plage de Goulien but it was expensive compared to a municipal but was otherwise fine. They even had a hosepipe which I used to wash the salt off my bike after my trip to the Ile d'Ouessant. The bike still started to rot subsequently but that was my fault for not cleaning it and re-greasing everything after getting back home.

An alternative approach to Crozon would be to go to Brest and get the ferry across to the Crozon peninsula. I went Le Fret/Brest but it also goes to Camaret but I don't know if the latter takes bikes. Embarking at Le Fret was easy but there were a few steps at Brest, but it was negotiable The ferry company's website is: http://www.azenor.fr/liaisons-oceanopolis.php Cycling into Brest should be fine - cycling out of it was uphill all the way! I would e-mail the company and ask for times of the ferries. They didn't run on Mondays at the time I was travelling.
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby jamesgilbert » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:36 am

I can confirm that Brest is fairly hilly!Attached is the profile of that day of my trip, Brest is around the 30km mark.
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby al_yrpal » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:44 am

Thanks guys for all the info so far, very useful. I remember from my trip around some of the hilly north coast last time. As we approached one hill fully loaded an old Frenchman cutting his hedge crossed himself when we set off up the 1 in 5 ahead! Thats why I had been trying to lose 30lbs off the belly, 18 so far and if I can stick to my diet I might manage another 10 before I go.
Booked the ferries which includes a cabin on the way out, only £117, should be a cheap trip, oysters are definitely on the menu.

Al
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby nmnm » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:33 pm

Ille de Brehat, camping municipal up on a plateau above the harbour, terrific, one night stop over to explore island!
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby jamesgilbert » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:40 pm

Unfortunately the Ile de Bréhat campsite only opens on June 15th.
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby bretonbikes » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:01 pm

The campsite on the Isle itself is shut but the one on the tip of the peninsula ('Point de l'arch Ouest) is open all year and is excellent). The only snag being that it's a way from any shops. See http://www.campingpanorama.com/camping-du-rohou.php

The island really needs a day to walk around rather than cycle so you save the hassle of taking your bikes over as well. The whole area and coast is stunning...
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby bretonbikes » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:03 pm

al_yrpal wrote:Thought I would go back on 1st May for a week after doing a couple of weeks there a few years ago. This time I am crossing to Roscoff and returning via St Malo riding on my own on a tour for the first time. I want to visit Crozon and then intend to bumble along towards St Malo avoiding the canal because I have ridden that before. I saw Huelegot recommended, I have been to Morlaix, Guincamp Treguier and Lorquirec. I will be camping. Any recomendations on nice places or decent camp sites appreciated?

Al


This may help as a starting point, and any help you want just get in touch.

http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... route.html

and perhaps this guide I wrote a while back

http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... rance.html
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby al_yrpal » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:14 pm

Kate and Geoff, many thanks for that. I fear I will be too early for many camp sites, so I will bumble about taking pot luck.

Al
I'm getting a Pono! And... My current jam http://www.thisismyjam.com/alyrpal/_5syk5x6
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby jamesgilbert » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:55 pm

On the tour I mentioned above we left in the last week of April, and had almost no problems with the campsites. One wasn't quite open, but we were still able to camp there.
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby simonineaston » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:51 am

al_yrpal wrote: I fear I will be too early for many camp sites, so I will bumble about taking pot luck.

That is the irony of going to France 'out of season'... in all other respects, it is God's Cycle-Touring Country and then they go and blow it by not opening their sites when you'd expect them to! I wouldn't mind so much if some of them were open April to Oct, but so many are limited to the summer season only. :(
I'll keep doing the lottery in the hopes of being able to afford chambres d'hote... maybe they would be open for business?!
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby bretonbikes » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:43 pm

simonineaston wrote:
al_yrpal wrote: I fear I will be too early for many camp sites, so I will bumble about taking pot luck.

That is the irony of going to France 'out of season'... in all other respects, it is God's Cycle-Touring Country and then they go and blow it by not opening their sites when you'd expect them to! I wouldn't mind so much if some of them were open April to Oct, but so many are limited to the summer season only. :(
I'll keep doing the lottery in the hopes of being able to afford chambres d'hote... maybe they would be open for business?!


To be fair to the poor souls - if you do go to a campsite in April (or even early June) anywhere but the coast or similar tourist area you are likely to be the only one staying there. Some areas which have all-year-round activities i.e. summer walking blends into winter skiing will have lots open all year, and areas owned/frequented by the Brits/Dutch likewise have plenty of permanent campsites open. It's very much departmental dependent and a quick glance at the campsite guides will tell you if you are in a desert or not;-) Inland Brittany is sadly one of the poorer areas.
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Re: Back to Brittany!

Postby al_yrpal » Wed May 07, 2014 4:28 pm

Mrs flunked out at the last minute on getting me to Plymouth so I did St Malo crossings which meant riding right across Brittany both ways to get to Crozon and back, so I dumped the tent and did Logis and small hotels. The distances were longer than I am used to at 70 mpd so I ended up getting the train from Guingamp to St Malo to finish. My highlight of the trip was a Cafe lunch at a small village called Plournerin west of Guingamp: Pottage Bonne Femme (leek Potato and carrot soup), a plate of charcuterie, Pork Fillet slices in gravy with salad accompaniment, a cheeseboard - help yourself to as much as you want from 6 different cheeses, a choice of very healthy fruit deserts and coffee with free bottled water - €12.50! Obviously, the place was absolutely packed with about 50 diners!

Decided that lone touring isnt really for me. Rode long distances on Voies Vertes which were boring. As I rode towards Sizun I kept getting passed by groups of roadies shouting 'Allez mon Vieux' etc. Found out why, they (and I) were heading for Brittany's highest point 385m.

All in all, not a good tour, lesson is dont change your plans at the last minute!

Al
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