Brest Cruises, France
- Keep a couple of hours free for a wander around the Jardin du Conservatoire Botanique National de Brest – a beautiful botanical garden with rare plants, streams and waterfalls.
- Gaze through a window into the past with a trip to Tour Tanguy, a 14th-century castle which allows you a glimpse of pre-war Brest.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
Quimper is a picturesque town set in the heart of Cournouaille – a part of Brittany which gets its name from Cornish visitors of years-gone-by. The town’s not dissimilar to England’s south-western settlements, either, with stone-clad cottages and timber-fronted houses lining the streets. As your guide leads you through the centre, you’ll see classic Renaissance architecture crop up in the form of chateaus and Gothic churches. The twin spires of the Cathedral St Corentin poke above the rooftops, and there’s a museum on your route which is dedicated to the town’s history of pottery making. And be sure to snap a picture or two of the Odet River – it’s considered one of the prettiest waterways in France. After the tour wraps up, you’ll get a bit of time to explore under your own steam before making the return journey to Brest.
At first glance, Locronan looks like a quintessentially English village. It’s not until you look at a few street signs and hear the locals speak that you realise you’re actually in France. On this trip, you’ll take in the quaint settlement’s best bits, from age-old agriculture to the traditional granite houses. Things get started with a walking tour, where an in-the-know guide will lead you to the church of Saint Ronan and the Penity Chapel. The rest of your time here’s yours to do with as you please. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you stroll along the car-free streets, and the main square’s like a scene from a children’s storybook.
The main attraction on this trip is the historic Daoulas Abbey – a scattering of religious buildings which date back to Medieval times. It’s just a short drive around the peninsula from Brest, and you’ll have free rein to explore the 11-acre gardens once you arrive. Fresh herbs, fountains, and shady trees are dotted along the pebbled pathways, and time-worn Roman cloisters also mark the way. As you learn about the abbey’s history, you’ll see more recent additions to the grounds, like exotic and pharmaceutical plants from five different continents. On your way back to the ship, there’ll be time for a quick stop at the Plougastel Calvary – a sculptured granite pedestal which dates back to the early 17th century. Take a closer look at the monument, and you’ll see sections that were damaged during the Second World War.