5 nights starting from
Ancient abbeys – Mont St Michel is spectacular
Spectacular castles and forts – Chateau de Dinan, Fort la Latte, Vitre & Fougeres Castles
Based in the heart of medieval Dinan at the atmospheric, family-run Arvor Hotel
Distinctive local Breton character – Brittany retains its unique customs and traditions
This fascinating tour looks at the tempestuous medieval history of France’s most geographically separate region with a true Celtic flavour, Brittany. A wealth of medieval buildings survive that offer a real glimpse into the past that has shaped the distinctive Breton character. Julian Humphrys, your eminent medieval historian and host, will educate and entertain in equal measure.
|18 - May - 2022||£ 1449.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/MDB/18 May 2022/|
Departing: 18th May 2022 at 20:15
Returning: 23rd May 2022 at 10:30
Day 1: Depart Portsmouth by overnight Brittany Ferries service to St Malo with reserved cabin
(Parking at Portsmouth is plentiful, secure and costs £13 per day https://www.apcoa.co.uk/parking/portsmouth/portsmouth-international-port/ or the train station is 5 minutes by taxi.)
Day 2: Arrival St Malo and transfer to Dinan. Afternoon walking tour and evening lecture, welcome drink and dinner with wine
Our overnight ferry arrives in the morning and we transfer by coach to Dinan and check-in to our hotel. A walking tour of the old town and a visit to the historic chateau will be followed by a welcome drink, lecture from Julian “The History of Brittany” and dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Dol de Bretagne and Mont St Michel
The breath-taking Mont-Saint-Michel is definitely worth a quick sojourn into Normandy. The island commune has been the seat of a monastery since the 8th century though it was at its most influential in the 12th and 13th centuries as a pilgrimage site. The abbey, unchanged for centuries, crowns the island, the village at its foot full of shops and restaurants. A religious centre in the 9th century, Dol-de-Bretagne is dominated by its St Samson Cathedral but has a host of other handsome medieval buildings.
Day 4: St Malo and Fort La Latte
St Malo is a walled port city that was once notorious for piracy, but today the only treasure is the elegant, old architecture, particularly the superb citadel at the city’s heart and a host of superb mansions that line its ancient streets. Its long and tempestuous history has led to it retaining a fiercely independent spirit, whose motto is "Foremost a native of St Malo, a Breton perhaps, and a Frenchman last." The impressive 13th century Fort La Latte has enjoyed a colourful history including being besieged (unsuccessfully) by the British in 1490, and is majestically situated overlooking the Atlantic with stunning views of the Emerald Coast. Second talk “The 100 Years War” and dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Day 5: Vitré and Fougères
Today, we visit two medieval towns, dominated by their respective castles. Unusually well-preserved, the fortified town of Vitré has a wealth of picturesque buildings. The town is dominated by its impressive castle which dates back to the 13th century and which we will visit. A major town in the marches of Brittany (its name derives from the old French term for “ferns”), Fougères has enjoyed a chequered history over millennia. Its impressive castle, which we also visit, is a superb example of medieval, military architecture dating back to the 12th century, and its ramparts, set with 13 towers, encloses an area of 5 acres.
Day 6: Transfer by coach back to the port for daytime crossing to Portsmouth.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Hotel Arvor, Dinan
A member of the “hotel de charme et de caractére en Bretagne” and perfectly situated in the heart of medieval Dinan, the family-run Arvor is a small boutique three-star hotel that is the perfect base for the theme and content of this fascinating tour. Facilities include a cosy lounge bar and cosy, stylish bedrooms with all modern facilities.
Julian read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has worked at historical sites both in Britain and overseas and is now Development Officer at the Battlefields Trust. He has a very infectious enthusiasm for history and has published numerous books on castles and battles. He currently leads more than a dozen tours for Travel Editions and imparts his extraordinary historical knowledge with wit and panache, making a tour led by him both an educational and entertaining experience.
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