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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Morbihan

Vannes - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Morbihan

A Town of Art and History, Vannes is located at the gateway to the Gulf of Morbihan, by the Marle estuary in the south of Brittany.

Already fortified by the Romans, the town developed inside its ramparts in medieval times, then outside them in the 17th century, with the construction of many mansions.

The former residence of the Dukes of Brittany, Vannes has a very beautiful historic centre, with 171 half-timbered houses! You can explore it on a guided tour, aboard a little train or on your own at your leisure.

To start with, admire the medieval ramparts, some of the best-preserved in Brittany. This provides an opportunity to take a charming walk along the Garenne, a path that runs alongside them and is dotted with gardens and scenic washhouses.

After exploring the harbour, with its tree-lined quays including the Rabine quay, go through the 17th-century St. Vincent's Gate, created to connect the harbour and the historic quarter. You will enter the old town via a street lined with old buildings, mansions and half-timbered houses. Go up to Place des Lices, where the market halls of 1912 await you. Devoted to culinary products, they are open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday mornings, as well as all day on Saturdays.

Not far from there, the Cathedral of St. Peter, built in the 15th century and modified until the end of the 19th century, contains the tomb of the town's patron saint, St. Vincent Ferrer.

Two unmissable sites await you: the Garenne washhouse, which dates from the 19th century, and "Vannes and his wife", at the corner of Rue du Bienheureux Pierre-René Rogue and Rue Noé. These two painted, smiling figures appear on the façade of a 16th-century house that is a listed Historic Monument.

Nearby is the museum of history and archaeology at Château Gaillard, a mansion from the early 15th century. Other sights to see are the Museum of Fine Arts, which has some fine collections about Breton heritage, on Rue Cohue, an old medieval market hall, and the Saint-Patern district, the oldest area of the town.

When it comes to events, the Fêtes historiques de Vannes history festival is celebrated in mid-July. Jazz has pride of place at Jazz en Ville, in July-August.

Vannes is an ideal starting point to explore the Gulf of Morbihan by boat: around forty islands have been counted, excluding islets, each with its own characteristics. They include Arz, Moines Island, Houat, Hoëdic, etc.

Additional information

Vannes, port of the Morbihan Gulf, the center of the "Great West" is a magical place where sea, earth, sky mingle in changing and unusual landscapes. A rich and varied environment which should enhance and preserve.

Historical and modern Vannes seduced as much by its ramparts and medieval center with its university and its future-oriented companies.

The city was founded by the Romans after their victory over the Veneti in 56 BC. The armies of Julius Caesar conquered all victorious Armorica.

Darioritum (first name of the city) is growing on a hill (now the St Patern). From the third century a castrum was built to protect the inhabitants of the threats of the barbarians.

After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, replacing Darioritum Venetis, the ancient city was abandoned and became a suburb. The medieval town develops gradually within the fortifications. It was then that becomes a bishopric Vannes (one of the first in Britain).

In 1532, François 1st stays Vannes preparing the Treaty of Union between Britain and France.

At the end of the seventeenth, the exile of the Breton Parliament by order of Louis the 14th gives a boost to the city. We build many mansions and the city extends outside the enclosure.

In the second half of the 19th century Vannes takes another face. Urban development is generated by the arrival of the railway in 1862 and the installation of two artillery regiments after the defeat of 1870. It also inaugurated at that time the town hall, the prefecture and the court. Vannes has suffered little of the Second World War. Today the city values ​​its tourism assets through enhancement of its old quarters and its proximity to the Gulf of Morbihan.

Things to see and do

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Tandem parachute jump from a helicopter
Sports sensations280 € to 290 € Monterblanc

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Performance halls

Events and festivities

Detailed information

Arvor Festival
A big folk gathering on the streets, squares and ramparts of VannesAugust 2018


Valves flower city
Valves flower city
See photo

Visits, leisure and activities nearby


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



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