France is a great destination for a short break, thanks to its combination of beautiful countryside, rich history and mouth-watering cuisine. Choosing a base for your getaway can be difficult, but you won't go far wrong with holiday cottages in Brittany.
This region of northern France can rival anywhere in the country in terms of stunning scenery and historic attractions, while its restaurants make the very best of the high-quality local produce.
There are also a number of practical reasons to choose Brittany for short breaks, including the range of accommodation available. If you want to enjoy a little luxury while you are away, book one of the many stone cottages that have been refurbished to a high standard without losing any of their traditional charm or opt for a stylish modern villa with a swimming pool.
You will find it simple to reach your accommodation, as Brittany is relatively close to the UK and transport links are good. The region is served by a number of airports that are on the route maps for budget airlines, while ferries run from Britain to St Malo and Roscoff, and you can also take the Eurostar to Paris and then change on to a TGV to Rennes or Brest.
Once in Brittany you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to sightseeing. The town of Dinan in the picturesque Rance valley is a real treat for anyone interested in history, as it has well preserved Medieval ramparts and a selection of churches and houses that date back to the 13th century.
A day trip to St Malo is also guaranteed to be memorable for anyone with even a passing interest in history, as the walled city is home to a 12th century cathedral and the tomb of the writer Chateaubriand, together with a selection of forts and museums.
Brittany is packed with historic destinations and you may also want to make time to visit the port of Brest, the quaint market town of Vannes, the beautiful city of Nantes and the star-shaped fort at Port Louis.
Wherever you choose for your sightseeing, you will be close to a selection of excellent cafes and restaurants serving seafood and locally produced lamb, followed by fruit-filled crepes for those with a sweet tooth. One traditional Breton dish to look out for is Pot au Feu de Homard – a superior fish stew made with lobster and scallops.
The region is also a paradise for those who love the great outdoors and as it has 1,700 miles of Atlantic and English Channel coastline, you can be sure your holiday cottage won't be far from a good beach.
Loctudy, Audierne, Clohars-Carnoet and La Turballe are some of the best places to work on your tan during the summer or take bracing walks on windswept stretches of sand during the autumn and winter. If you are feeling adventurous, you will also discover plenty of facilities for pursuits like sailing, diving, wind surfing and sea fishing.
Brittany's beauty isn't restricted to the coastline and, like much of France, it features huge stretches of tranquil countryside. They are great places to go walking, cycling or horse riding - all pastimes you can do in peace and complete safety on the 500-mile network of vehicle-free voies vertes that criss-crosses the region's rural areas and links its small towns and villages.