Castles to Visit in Brittany
Guests looking to visit Brittany castles relish the chance to visit our very own small-yet-perfectly-formed 19th century fairytale château here at Kistinic Parc in Quimper; whether staying in the luxury self-catering Gatehouse or one of our other stylish holiday homes in Brittany, our elegant turreted castle inspires wonder in visitors and guests alike. We count ourselves as very fortunate to be able to live in such a unique and historic home, and have tried to impress upon our girls just how lucky they are to have had the chance to grow up in their very own ‘fairytale princess castle’.
But of course ours is not the only amazing château in Brittany! These dramatic shores bristle with all manner of châteaux and fortified structures due to the long stretches of coast being a target for invasion in days gone by.
Here we have produced a run-down of our personal favourite châteaux in Brittany so that you might set off on your very own château safari when on holiday here. Enjoy!
Châteaux in Quimper
Some of the nicest châteaux in the area are still privately owned and only open to the public on certain days of the year, but if you take a boat trip down the river Odet (often cited as the most beautiful river in France) you can spot some of the most breath-taking châteaux sitting along the river banks.
As you leave Quimper you pass Lanniron a Palladian Chateau from the 15th century; the terraced gardens of which were constructed in the 17th century and are renowned for their rarity in this part of France. As the river meanders downstream you get to witness the majestic 19th century Chateau de Kerambleiz standing high on the river bank. The Chateau de Perennou, with its many turrets and Italianate gardens tumbling down to the waters edge and the delightful Manoir de Kerouzien. You need to leave the river and head to Gouesnac’h to the Domaine de Boutiguery, where you can wander the beautiful azalea filled gardens which are spectacular in springtime. This 20 hectare domaine is a labour of love for the father and daughter who have set upon an ambitious project to revive the gardens to their former glory, and well worth a visit in the spring.
The Manoir de Kerazan at Loctudy is a 16th century Breton chateau easily accessoble from both Primelin and Quimper. It was one of the most important properties in the area and is open to the public on certain days in the summer months and often hosts interesting art exhibitions, brocante and musical concerts.
The Pink Castle in Brittany
Dubbed ‘The Pink Castle’, the chateau de Trévarez is a must-see for anyone visiting Kistinic Gatehouse and all our holidays houses in Finistere. This unique castle (which is classed as a 20th century heritage site) is a striking shade of pink thanks to the use of pink brick and Kersanton stone when it was built by James de Kerjegu at the end of the 19th century. Trevarez is a nice drive from Kistinic, Lostmarc’h or Primelin and will delight the whole family for a whole host of reasons; for the historians and building enthusiasts among you, this ‘belle epoque’ château boasts an unusual construction in that it was built with extremely innovative and forward-thinking features for the time such as structural steelwork, electricity, elevators, and art nouveau décor throughout. Equestrians will be excited to learn that the noteworthy stables are as architecturally stunning as the castle itself and regularly host events and innovative exhibitions throughout the year. And for the children, well who wouldn’t be tickled pink (pun intended) by a real life pink fairytale princess castle?! We particularly love the brilliant ‘Christmas a Trevarez’ which plays host to many activities over the festive season with the theme of ‘Christmas Tales’.
Crozon Peninsula ‘Castles’
Ok ok they’re not strictly castles, but the 200-odd military fortifications which are dotted along the ‘Fortress Route’ on our beloved Crozon peninsula are definitely well-worth a visit whilst staying at Lostmarc’h. The ‘Route des fortifications’ takes you from the ‘Pointe de Lanvéoc’ to the ‘Pointe des Espagnols’ via Camaret. If you have the weather on your side and have packed a hearty lunch, why not cycle and explore the wild dramatic peninsula with the wind in your hair and the salt air on your skin? There’s simply no better way to discover the heritage and beauty of this historic landscape, and we love nothing more than exploring the beautiful scenery and cultural discoveries of the Crozon peninsula on two wheels. Highly recommended.
Chateau de Keriolet
This 13th century château in upper Concarneau (just over an hour from Ty Bili and Ty Traez in Primelin) was given a neo-Gothic makeover by the Russian imperial princess Zenaida Yusopova. And Russian princesses have impeccable taste it seems! This jewel of nineteenth century architecture is festooned with Chinese porcelain, tapestries, hand-painted ceramics, and Chinese furniture which was very ‘en vogue’ at the time. Although now looking a little tired perhaps, the chateau and gardens remain a testament to how heavily the princess fell in love with the area, and one can find many examples of symbols of Breton tradition such as ermine paws, traditional costumes and symbols of Breton nationalism woven all throughout the estate. Chateau de Keriolet is listed as a historic monument, and its motto is ‘always and anyway’, which we rather like… we very much look forward to welcoming you to one of our luxury self-catering homes in Brittany always and anyway!