Look up. The beautiful skies and ever changing light.
The Green. This many shades of green are not borne from endless sunshine.
Unspoilt. With 365 days of sunshine a year, this beautiful untouched coastline would have been ruined long ago.
Brittany has a temperate climate, which means it has mostly mild winters that rarely drop below 8 degrees celsius, and clement summers which tend to swing between 20 and 30 degrees. Its’ proximity to the Atlantic ocean has a huge maritime influence. The dominent westerly winds bring ever changing weather fronts in from the sea, the freshest of air, and along with it moisture. This gives rise to the fact that the weather in Brittany is very unpredictable, it can rain a lot, and it is not uncommon to experience four seasons in one day.
Many come to the region in search of sun and with the expectation of long hot lazy days on those oh so gorgeous beaches. When it is fine, it is usually a couple of degrees warmer than the South West of the UK and once good weather has settled in, a little more reliable. That big yellow disk does shine here, some parts of the region boast 2000 sunshine hours a year. When the sun is out, the landscape glistens and shines like a jewel, and it is one of the most beautiful places to be. It is in fact so lovely, the temperature so perfect, the beaches uncrowded, we become greedy, and the truth is that there is never enough. A downpour will soon arrive, to wash away any dust in the air, refresh those tired plants, and put paid to those plans for an outdoor picnic. You just need to know that there is blue sky behind those clouds and that the sun will soon be out again.
Brittany is THE place to visit if you want to REALLY experience the weather.
From the west coast of Finistere, it is that rare place that you can stand and feel the warm front as it arrives. You have the impression that you are breathing air straight from the azores. Watch the skies change from the brightest of blue, to dark grey with white shafts of sunlight. Delight in ever changing cloud patterns. Feel every type of rain from the finest of mizzle, to big fat warm drops of rain. In winter, energetic storms remind you of the power of the elements, and the low light is a photographers dream. Snow is rare, but now and again one awakes to a light smattering of white, or a cripsy glittering frost.
So what does this mean for the summer holiday in Brittany as this is when most of you come to visit – Here are our top tips to make the best of it.
The answer is to come prepared. The bikini and sun cream for sure – from March to late October, you really never know. You could be blessed with two weeks of tropical sunshine, but don’t forget the light thermal vest to go under those summer tops. Always a warm jumper, you might not use it, but you will be glad if you need it. A nice, cosy, breathable rain jacket, and some solid walking shoes, and then if the rain has set in, get out there! The bestest days are stomping on the beach, with the wild waves crashing around you, and the feeling that the wind is blowing away all your cobwebs.
When it is not scorchingly hot (which is often), it is the perfect occasion to be active, and Brittany has plenty of activities to offer. Go for beautiful coastal walks, family bike rides on quiet roads. Try a new watersport like paddle boarding, or kayaking, or on windy days, dinghy sailing, kite surfing or wind surfing. The region hosted the world championships last year.
The mild climate means there are beautiful parks and botanical gardens. Visit the many pretty historical towns and villages. Gothic churches, art galleries, museums. Brittany has a diverse and rich culture. If you want to get watery in other ways there are aquariums, or plunge in to the warm bubbly waters of one of the Thalasso centres for which the region is reknowned.
If you are still sitting under a dark grey cloud, and this is not for you. Move. The weather is extremely localised, You might find a few kilometers down the road everyone else is basking in glorious sunshine. These websites will help you navigate the clouds and rain showers.
www.sat24.com – for cloud cover
www.meteox.com for rain radar
www.meteofrance.com for a completely random and rarely accurate weather forecast 🙂 At least you might see that it is raining elsewhere in the rest of France.
If you have been beaten by the weather, comfort can always be sought in a cozy creperie, nothing beats ‘pomme – caramel’, or why not opt for a lengthy lunch in a fine restaurant, with a view out onto the turbulent sea.
Lastly and not unimportant, make sure you choose a very comfortable holiday house, that you are more than happy to return to after you day out in the elements. Somewhere where you can relax, get warm and cosy and feel as snuggly as if you were at home. Those clouds will soon pass.