Brest (summer only)
Bienvenue to Brest, the Atlantic city that’s all dramatic seascape. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic and surrounded by craggy cliffs and rocks, it’s the city at the end of the world - and one of France's most beautiful natural harbours.
The last stop in Brittany before New York, cross the cabled - and fabled - Pont de l'Iroise bridge over the river Elorn and soak up a rich cultural scene. Take in Brest’s best shopping on the Rue de Siam, snack on the famous Breton galettes, head to the shore or hole up in bustling bistros selling piles of the freshest seafood. However you like to holiday, getting to Brest is a breeze from Southampton airport.
Flybe flies daily from Southampton to Brest airport, just seven miles from the city centre. Buses and taxis stop outside on the square in front of the terminal and an airport shuttle bus runs several times a day into the city centre that’ll get you there in about 20 minutes, for just 1Euro40.
Things to see and do
Océanopolis is the only ocean discovery centre of its kind in Europe, complete with enormous aquariums, interactive pools – and even a seal clinic. Too cute.
See how the city has changed and visit the 14th century Tanguy tower, where a collection of dioramas depict Brest on the eve of World War II.
Celebrating a rich naval history, Brest castle also houses the National Navy Museum. Its winding stairs and great views are perfect for an afternoon’s wandering.
Off the beaten track
Half an hour’s walk from the city centre is the Conservatoire Botanique National de Brest. Stroll around its wooded paths and gardens and see thousands of endangered species of plants and trees.
Take a boat to the small and wild island of Ouessant and hire a bike to explore the sandy beaches and windswept headland.
Indulge your sweet tooth with a sugar-coated visit to the Histoire de Chocolate - a chocolate workshop and salon on the Rue de Siam. Nom.