Hidden Gems

Discover the true Breton culture

Our special places

For lasting memories of a wonderful holiday

Minezan

Less than 10 minutes away on the banks of the Blavet River, tucked away through the trees near the lock house, lies Bar Minezan and the river beach; a favourite location of the locals for a summer picnic and swim or the fishermen to while-away an afternoon. The rustic bar with tables nestled under the trees overlooking the river is the ideal place to have a coffee, beer or ice-cream and watch the walkers, cyclists and occasional canoe or boat go by. A perfect location for either a lazy afternoon, an evening aperitif or a stop-over for the more energetic on a walk or a cycle.

Notre Dame de la Cloître

Hidden in the forest in the commune of Quistinic, not far from here, this unpretentious chapel stands as testament to the bravery of the Breton resistance in World War 2. Concealed in wooded ground, this 16C chapel was used as an infirmary during the war. In 1944 the Germans discovered the chapel and all but one of the resistance fighters were killed. The chapel is open in July and August as part of the Art in the Chapels exhibition.

St-Nicolas-des-Eaux

This tranquil little village nestling along the Blavet River with several bars and restaurants is the perfect place to spend a relaxing sunny afternoon with easy walks along the towpath and pedaloes to hire. Our favourite place to stop for lunch or afternoon aperitif is the terrace of the delightful Le Bistrot du Père Nicolas with its friendly owner and gorgeous food, beer and wine. On some Saturday evenings in the summer there is a charming market specialising in organic produce with live entertainment. The church has some amazing sablieres – Breton gargoyles carved into the wooded beams.

Pardon des Chevaux

The last Sunday in July in our commune of Quistinic one can see the amazing Pardon des Chevaux – a local religious festival blessing the horses at the Chapel St-Roch. You do not have to be a horse fan or religious to attend – it is sufficient just to witness this unique event where the ancient connectivity between man and horse is recognised. Surrounding the blessing is a feast, horse-rides, competitions and demonstrations.

Saint-Gildas

Built into the rock on a secluded part of the Blavet River, this tiny chapel was home to an Irish monk who lived here as a hermit in the 11C. In summer, you can gain access to this quaint chapel as part of the Art in the Chapels exhibition. A lovely spot for a lunch time picnic, swim in the Blavet and a walk in the countryside.

Quelven

Quelven is a delightfully small hamlet with the most impressive 15th century Gothic chapel that towers over the landscape. Renowned for the local pardon in August, a religious festival, where an angel descends from the tower, the quirky Aux Anges café (The Angels) opposite is a cultural find. This arty venue is well known for hosting musical events throughout the year together with traditional Breton beer and cider, pizzas and crêpes.  The chapel holds tours and concerts every Thursday in the summer holidays.

Ancient magical woodlands

Ancient walking paths leading straight from the cottages give you a glimpse into a bye-gone age from ancient bread ovens, tranquil hamlets to magic springs. Pack a picnic bag and venture out into this timeless world of peace and beauty. There are numerous footpaths and options; one way will lead you to the 16th century village of Poul Fetan a beautifully reconstructed hamlet with a tavern, pottery studio, bread oven and grinding circle and another will take you alongside the Sebrevet river teaming with jumping brown trout and the mill at Botconan.

Poéte Ferrailleur

Near Lizio, is the most amazing world of moving objects made from scrap metal. The poet artist has created these delightful objects which are a joy to both young and old and you can’t help leaving with a spring in the step and brighter and calmer of mind. Do watch the two movies at the end of your visit – they have English subtitles and give a good insight into the mind of the artist and this gentle and wonderful universe.

Lanvaudan

This pretty village concealed in the backroads is just 15 minutes away.  Blessed with many beautiful granite thatched cottages, this quiet back water is well worth a visit. The local café specialises in traditional Breton beer and cider.  On the second weekend of September this tranquil community becomes a music lovers haven with the residents opening up their doors and squares to host the Terres Fertiles festival with 600 plus musicians and 4000 spectators –  a spectacle not to be missed.

Ste-Noyale Chapel

This serene chapel in stunning surroundings in the commune of Noyal-Pontivy belies it’s rather grizzly story – that of the martyr Ste-Noyal, the daughter of a Cumbrian king who wanted to devote her life to God. She fled to Brittany to escape from her father who wanted her to marry only to fall foul of a local chieftain who beheaded her when she refused to marry him. The legend is beautifully portrayed in panels around the church. The chapel falls part of the Art in the Chapels exhibition. The surrounding grounds and greens provide lovely surroundings for a relaxing picnic.

Anse de Sordan

There are three beaches to choose from if you visit the beautiful Lac de Guerlédan in the centre of Brittany, but our favourite is tucked away on the south side with only a small campsite and the restaurant Merlin.  You could believe you were in the south of France. Dine in style at the Merlin – but make a reservation not to be disappointed.

Take along your swimming gear to swim, kayak or pedaloe. There is a childrens play area and walks.  And if you really do feel the necessity, there is plenty to do in the area as part of one of our suggested Day Trips.

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