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Self-catering Cottage with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathrooms. Sleeps 4. Non-applicable changeover.
50.0km from coastline/beach
Walnut Cottage (2 bedrooms, sleeps 4) is a pretty stone cottage situated in a rural hamlet...
Self-catering Cottage with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathrooms. Sleeps 5. Non-applicable changeover.
50.0km from coastline/beach
Jasmine Cottage is a pretty stone cottage situated in a rural hamlet surrounded by beautiful...
Ille et Vilaine (department number 35) is located in the Brittany region and has an estimated population of 903,400 (approximate in Jan 2003). The department is located in the north west of France and borders the beautiful emerald coast.
The capital of the department is the city of Rennes. Other large towns in the department are Fougères, Redon and Saint-Malo.
Why you should visit Ille et Vilaine for your next holiday in France
Unlike the other departments in Brittany, Ille-et-Vilaine has the least amount of coastline (a mere 100 miles) and is predominantly inland.
Activities are plentiful in the area with sailing, windsurfing, swimming, fishing (both sea and freshwater), golf, canal boating, riding, walking and cycling on your doorstep. The department offers excellent facilities and activities for children.
Delicacies of the department include excellent fresh fish and savoury and sweet galettes or crepes, which are made from buckwheat flour and stuffed with a variety of fillings. Agriculture is a major industry and the markets offer an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and cheese. It is possible to buy honey, eggs and milk directly from the farms.
Brittany has a typical maritime climate with warm summers and mild winters. The average summer temperatures are between 21º c - 27º c (70° f -80º f) with winter temperatures rarely falling below freezing especially in the south of the region.
What to see in Ille et Vilaine
Unlike the sea orientated Breton culture, Ille et Vilaine can boast lush green valleys, deep forests and fabulous blue lakes. Interesting castles and fortress towns scatter the land, the most impressive being Fourgeres, Vitre and Rennes.
Rennes is the capital of Ille-et-Vilaine and the Brittany region. It has two universities that provide the town with a quarter of its population and consequently the atmosphere is youthful and vibrant with a cosmopolitan culture.
The clean medieval streets are always featuring local artists and actors amongst the many delightful bistros and bars that line the walkways. Part of the town was destroyed during a fire in 1720, which was accidentally started by a drunken carpenter. Today the old town is the part that escaped that fire while the remainder is dominated by Parisian style architecture.
Breton is rarely spoken in Rennes, instead you will hear Gallo, a Roman dialect. However, French is still widely spoken.
There are plenty of museums to look round, the two largest being the Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee de Bretagne. The latter contains a wide array of historical artefacts dating from prehistoric Brittany while the former is home to the region’s most impressive collection of fine art.
St Malo is a walled port city and a popular choice for a French holiday destination. It is a great base for exploring as it is possible to travel quickly to all parts of Brittany and Normandy, plus the popular holiday destinations of the Atlantic coast, the Loire and the Dordogne. Dinard is also very close, situated just across the River Rance. St Malo itself offers a lot in the way of interesting sites and has plenty for all the family to enjoy.
Fougères is an interesting hilltop town and is home to a twelfth century castle and medieval buildings as well as a modern town centre. Many artists have been inspired by the town’s features and surroundings and it remains a popular choice for painters today.
Despite Fougères being such an historic town, its centre is unmistakably modern. Spacious shopping areas surrounded by pleasant cafés and little fountains and statues.
Redon is largely an agricultural town. Every Monday a market is held in the town, which is popular with both locals and tourists. Redon is slightly behind some of the other larger towns in terms of it tourist facilities but it is working on improving these. Railway connections and excellent road links, as well as a canal and two rivers that pass through the town make the location perfect for either passing tourists or those looking for a base.
The town prides itself on its immaculate presentation and the local council works hard to keep Redon clean and tidy. The most notable building in the town is the church of St-Sauveur, with its Romanesque tower and Gothic buttresses.
How to get to Ille et Vilaine
Various International and other independent airlines operate services to Paris where you can connect to a flight to the regional airports of Brest, Nantes, Quimper, Lorient and Rennes. There are also budget flights from the UK to Dinard by Ryanair and Brest and Rennes by flybe. BA fly direct to Nantes also.
If you want to travel by air, Ryanair and Aurigny service Dinard while Ryanair and Aer Arann fly to Nantes.
Rennes is one of the region's biggest airports, and currently has flights with flybe and Aer Lingus. Flybe operates from Southampton, Exeter and Manchester all year round
There are ferry ports at Cherbourg (Normandy), Caen, Roscoff and St Malo which will considerably decrease your driving time to the area although the crossings are more expensive. The drive from Calais to Rennes is about 525km and will take approx 5 hours.
There are regular ferry crossings to both Roscoff and St Malo. Caen and Cherbourg in Normandy are nearby ports with regular crossings. Condor Ferries go from Poole and Weymouth to St Malo.
The TGV network links Brittany to Paris. From Gare Montparnasse the route goes via Vitré to Rennes from where there are two lines, one to Brest via Lamballe, Saint-Brieuc, Guingamp, Plouaret and Morlaix and one to Quimper via Vannes and Lorient. Paris to Rennes takes about 2 hours and Paris to Brest and Quimper both take about 4.5 hours.