As of fall, 2017, we are no longer running the Brittany Trips but keep the information here for you to enjoy and as resource to the area.
The northern coast of Brittany is renowned for the spectacular ruggedness and beautiful rose colored granite that predominates much of the exposed shoreline. These areas compliment stretches of enormous sculpted rocks piled in impossible balance. Huge tidal ranges are also of note here; rising up to 45 feet at certain times of the year. Currents, rock gardens and fabulous scenery create a paradise of paddling terrain for adventurous sea kayakers.
Inland, on the softer side, rivers and estuaries created by the tidal flows offer more intimate areas to paddle along protected sand beaches and through charming coastal villages.
A network of hiking paths wrap the entire Brittany coastline, providing an ideal companion to the kayaking on this trip. Picturesque pathways meander through fields dotted with manicured cottages, along windswept beaches and past the famed megalithes; enormous stone monuments mysteriously erected thousands of years ago.
True to all of our international programs, the Brittany trip was founded to blend adventure with culture. The Breton people, known for their fierce independence, enjoy a Celtic heritage whose roots span the English Channel to England, Wales and Ireland. We are hosted by a local kayaking club owned by our Breton paddling friends who have intimate knowledge of local sea conditions and the natural and cultural history of this area. Generations of their families have farmed and fished here. Their stories, often shared over a mug of locally pressed cider, are laced with myths of the legendary Korrigans (Brittany faëries) and told with a wee twinkle in the eye.
Brittany is famous for apples, artichokes and cauliflower. A robust dairy industry provides the best yogurt, butter and cheese EVER! Tuesday is farmer’s market in the village of Treguier; a lively event not to be missed.
Many of the lighthouses along the Brittany coast were bombed out during World War II; some are gradually being renovated. Kayakers here paddle beneath the cliffs of the Phare du Paon light on the island of Bréhat.
When the water ebbs out to sea, the people flood in to collect wild oysters along the expansive flats created by low tides. Bread, wine or cider and a pry knife are all that is needed to compliment this long standing Breton tradition.
SAMPLE TRIP ITINERARY ( based on previous trip dates)
We have eight full days once we arrive at our location in the village of Treguier on the Jaudy River; three miles from the sea. The days are a mix of kayaking and hiking; dictated in part by the weather. The paddling starts on an inland estuary where we ride the outbound tide to the sea. Subsequent paddle days take us to more exposed coastal areas which include lighthouses and sea caves. On hiking days we trek along wild stretches of the coast and through picturesque villages where lunches are enjoyed savoring traditional Breton fare such as croque monsieur, buckwheat galettes (crepes) and the famed moules-frites (fresh mussels) with real (!) French fries.
Group members fly from various destinations to meet up in Paris where we board the high speed train to Guingamp in northern Brittany. The four hour train ride on both ends of the trip is rewarding in itself; it’s a good time to rest from the overnight incoming flight, and on the way home, a wonderful time to reflect on the rich Brittany experience.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
|September 13||Participants fly from US overnight to Paris|
|September 14||Train to Guingamp: pick up & drive to Treguier|
|September 15||Day of rest, orientation, explore village, hike|
|September 16||Paddle – Jaudy River estuary to open coast|
|September 17||Paddle – Lougivy to Ile Brehat|
|September 18||Hike / Tour|
|September 19||Paddle – Sainte Trinite to L’Host Pic and cliffs|
|September 20||Hike / Tour|
|September 21||Paddle – Loguivy to Sillon de Talbert|
|September 22||Paddle – Cote de Rose Granit and Sept Isles|
|September 23||Train to Paris; overnight in hotel (Montmartre)|
|September 24||Fly back to US|
MAISON DE GRANIT: THE FACILITY
Kayaking and hiking outings are day-based. Each afternoon we return to our home in the village of Treguier; a medieval town that was once a gated city. Treguier is noted as a Cité de Caractère, a designation given to small cities in France that have preserved their ancient heritage. Our villa is privately owned by Living Adventure friends who transformed it from an ancient crumbling structure to an elegant French manor. Stepping out the front door is truly a step into history. Narrow, winding cobblestone streets lead to the cathedral and markets in the town center. Take a tour through the house and surrounding area on their website: www.maisondegranit.com
Our maximum participant number is 8. Rooms in the villa are double occupancy; most with private baths, others share a common bathroom. The kitchen, living room with fireplace, patio and outside deck are common areas enjoyed by all. First one up in the morning typically walks across the street for the daily fresh baguettes and croissants!
TRIP PRICE: $3,400.
- transportation in France: trains and vans
- hotel and accommodations during the trip
- food at the villa during the week (see exclusions below)
- breakfasts and lunches for kayaking and hiking days
- costs associated with kayaking trips and gear
Price does not include:
- round trip airfare from your city to Paris, France
- alcoholic beverages and specialty food items and gifts
- meals during travel days and restaurant meals during the trip (typically 2-3 dinners and 1-2 lunches depending on group preferences)
TRIP PAYMENT & CANCELLATION TERMS
- a $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot
- half of the remaining balance ($1,350) is due June 30
- the final balance ($1,350) is due July 30
- if you cancel on or between June 30 and July 29, half of the refundable monies will be credited towards a future Brittany trip.
- if you cancel on or after July 30, there is no refund.
- to recover non-refundable trip costs in the event of unforeseen emergencies, illnesses, and occurrences that may prevent you from participating, we recommend trip cancellation insurance. Travel Guard is a good choice: travelguard.com (800-826-1300)
- in the event of a cancellation on your part, Living Adventure will try our very best to help you avoid penalties by attempting to find someone to fill your spot – however the ultimate responsibility is yours. We will not, under any circumstances, be able to refund trip monies after the final non-refundable date. Thank you.
PADDLING SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
One goal of this trip is to provide both previous Living Adventure guests and those new to our company with a ‘top of the bucket list’, world class international adventure. Another goal is to provide a next step for those desiring to expand their growth as sea kayakers. Tidal considerations, exposed shorelines and rocky launch and landing sites dictate that paddlers have a fair amount of rough water experience and fitness to enhance enjoyment of the paddling.
- this is an intermediate level trip: meaning participants are comfortable with wet exits, can fluidly both exit and enter a kayak from the water in assisted t-rescues, have instinctual use of low and high braces and have the endurance to paddle 15 miles in a day.
- having said that, it is very possible that you will never use a low brace or paddle a 15 mile day on this trip! But because of the unpredictable nature of the sea, even a calm day can turn to a day when these skills are necessary.
- on some of the paddle tour days there are opportunities for the group to split; those wanting more mileage can select one route, while others can opt for a lesser mileage day. Also, people can opt to not paddle at all on some of the planned kayaking days, and choose to hike or sight see instead.
September weather is beautiful in Brittany; the water reaches it’s seasonally warmest temperatures. Knowing this grand adventure is on the calendar for fall, participants have the summer to prepare for the paddling components of the trip. If you feel you are on the cusp of the listed skill areas, we encourage you to seek instruction and get out paddling as much as possible. We are happy to discuss your experience level to see if it is appropriate.