Brittany has been referred to as Little Britain, and it borders the English Channel to the North. The border runs to the Celtic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Its land mass is just over 34,000 kilometres.
The weather in Brittany is distinctively seasonal and straightforward. A warm spring usually follows a cold, wet winter. During the summer, temperatures rise and rainfall is less. By autumn, the weather is dry but starts to turn cold in the evening. There is little chance of extreme weather at this time of year. Generally speaking, the worst you can expect from autumn weather is a thunderstorm – although the wind and rain associated with this can sometimes be severe.
However, Winters are cold and stormy in northern France, so try to avoid chartering a yacht in winter. That is unless you are a very experienced sailor. Winter lasts from November to February – so only four months of the year. Don’t expect much sunshine during this season – just three or four hours of daylight, is not uncommon.
Brittany boasts some of the world’s oldest standing architecture. It’s home to the Tumulus Saint-Michel (a megalithic grave mound), Barnenez (a Neolithic monument), and several other historically important monuments. Some of these ancient buildings date back to early in the 5th millennium BC.
Modern Brittany is split into five French areas:
Loire-Atlantique – in the south-east
Morbihan – in the south, on the Bay of Biscay
Finistère – in the west
Côtes-d’Armor – in the north
Ille-et-Vilaine – in the northeast
Since reorganisation in 1956, the current council region of Brittany comprises only four of the five Breton departments. Brittany is the traditional, cultural homeland of the Breton people. The Celtic League recognises it as one of the Six Celtic Nations.