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Ophorus Tours - Brest

Brittany

Brest

The Port town of Brest, located at the end point of Brittany is a dynamic town with its University and major military base. The town suffered heavy allied attacks during WWII and was nearly completely destroyed. Today it is the Capital of Oceanography and one of its major attractions is Oceanopolis. The town is a great departure point for Shore Excursions to the main sights of the Brittany region.

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Learn more about Brest

Brest Travel Guide (Brittany, France) The Port town of Brest, located at the end point of Brittany is a dynamic town with its University and major military base. The town suffered heavy allied attacks during WWII and was nearly completely destroyed. Today it is the Capital of Oceanography and one of its major attractions is Oceanopolis. The town is a great departure point for Shore Excursions to the main sights of the Brittany region. A bit of history The port town of Brest is located in the Brittany region of France on the Atlantic Coast. A time in the hands of the English, the town definitely becomes French in the 15th C. with the marriage of Francis 1st to Claude, daughter of Anne de Bretagne. Due ...

Brest Travel Guide (Brittany, France)

The Port town of Brest, located at the end point of Brittany is a dynamic town with its University and major military base. The town suffered heavy allied attacks during WWII and was nearly completely destroyed. Today it is the Capital of Oceanography and one of its major attractions is Oceanopolis. The town is a great departure point for Shore Excursions to the main sights of the Brittany region.

A bit of history

The port town of Brest is located in the Brittany region of France on the Atlantic Coast. A time in the hands of the English, the town definitely becomes French in the 15th C. with the marriage of Francis 1st to Claude, daughter of Anne de Bretagne. Due to its natural harbours, Brest became a major base for the French Navy in the 17th C. a time when the wharves were rebuilt completed by fortifications built under the supervision of Vauban. 

During World War I, Brest served as a major port for disembarking the many troops arriving from the United States of America. The U.S Navy established a Naval Air Station in the town in 1918 so as to operate seaplanes. During WWII a large U-boat submarine base was constructed by the Germans. In 1944, the town faced near total destruction with only a very small number of buildings still standing.

Due to the war, the town does not have remaining architectural buildings apart from the Castle and the Tanguy tower. The Castle now houses the Naval Museum that provides information on the history of the shipyard and the Golden Age of sailing ships.

Things to do & see in Brest

The main attraction in Brest is the Oceanopolis. The building is home to giant aquariums that contain 10 000 animals and more than 1 000 different species. The Abyssbox is without a doubt one of the most spectacular attractions as it features species living in deep waters.

The Medieval Castle

The medieval castle of Brest is also one of the most popular landmarks of the town. Known as the Château de Brest, it is the oldest castle in the world that is still in use. Home the Maritime Museum (Musée national de la marine) the castle dates back to Roman times but has seen the Counts of Léon, the Dukes of Brittany and military architect Vauban remodel it throughout times.

The historical center

The historical center of Brest is wonderful to stroll through. The city is centered around two main street Rue Jean Jaurès and Rue de Siam. From Place de la Liberté, admire the town hall and then discover the black marble fountains created by artist Para Pan. As your walking tour moves on, visit other highlights such as Saint Martin market or the Halles Saint Louis. Take the cable car to the Recouvrance and Workshops des Capucins and its cultural center.

Brest Harbour

Brest is also known for its monuments located along its harbor. A good example is the Montbarey Memorial that is now a museum dedicated to World War II. The fort dates back to the 18th century and is a good examplbe of military defense systems of those days.

Nearby attractions include the presqu'ile de crozon peninsula. The destination is considered a family friendly destination especially in July and August. Boat trips from Brest are also quite popular. One of the most thrilling is to sail on a 19th century military schooner, La Recouvrance. Many trips will take you to nearby destinations such as the Glénans Islands, Ouessant or Molène.

Our Shore Excursions & Day Trips from Brest

We organise small group private shore excursions from Brest to all the major landmarks of the region. On a half day or full day, visit charming small towns like Morlaix, Quimper or Concarneau. We will also take you to authentic villages like Pont Aven or Locronan. Our services from Brest also include a guided walking tour of Brest with your own licensed tour guide. Or why not try our fun & informative Crêpe / Pancake workshop shore excursion from Brest.

Our most Popular Shore Excursion from Brest:

If you don't know which shore excursion you should take from Brest, our most popular one is the following: Quimper & Locronan shore excursion from Brest

In the morning we will come and pick you up at your Cruise Port in Brest. Meet your English speaking driver who will go over the itinerary and program of the day with you. Then board your comfortable air conditioned minivan and begin your journey towards the town of Quimper. 

Quimper Town Visit

Arrive in Quimper the ancient capital of French Cornwall. As you reach the heart of the historic town, one cannot miss the St Corentin Cathedral with its massive bell towers. The historic center is composed of small streets that are lined with half timbered houses.

Most of the street names actually refer to medieval corporations and as you stroll through these narrow streets you will certainly feel as if you were taking a leap back in time. The destination is certainly one of the most authentic in Brittany and a walk along the Odet River is a real treat. Enjoy some free time in Quimper for personal discovery and lunch. 

Locronan Village visit

In the afternoon, arrive in Locronan. The village is extraordinary and was one of the most prosperous of the area thanks to the sail making industry. From its Golden Age, the village has retained Renaissance houses built of Granit, an old well, a very large church as well as a stunning chapel that is located at the end of Rue Moal.

The village is part of the Most beautiful Villages of France association and has known an increase in the number of visitors as it also ran for the title of Preferred Village of the French. Enjoy some free time for personal discovery and there are also great shopping opportunities for those who wish to bring back some very local souvenirs.

After the visit we will drive back to your Cruise Ship in Brest and that will be the end of our services.

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