Travel Options to Brittany
Travelling to us for your cycling holiday
Our base at Gouarec is set in the heart of Brittany and yet is surprisingly easy to get to. Obviously what method you choose very much depends on where you are coming from and the make-up/size of your group. What follows is a very general guide to give you an idea of the options available, but of course we'll be happy to help further.
First you should plan to be with us before 6.00pm - if you can't do this you need to get in touch to make special arrangements though it's normally not a problem. Most people need to travel after they've come back to us, and so we write the routes so that there is only a short ride on the last day giving you plenty of time. But in fact you have the equipment for the day if you want, with us a 7-day holiday really means 7-nights + at least 2x 1/2 days.
Travel from Outside Europe.
The best way of doing this is to fly into Paris (huge choice there), and then either to hire a car, or take the TGV train to St Brieuc where we arrange a taxi (see Trains from Paris below).
Bringing your own car
There are many ferries that will bring you and your car to France, short crossings like Dover/Calais will be cheaper and faster, you may find a long drive in France is better than a long drive in the UK.
If you do want to use the longer crossings from the South Coast of England or from Ireland we are agents for Brittany Ferries and can book any of these crossings for you if you wish, the boats are lovely and unlike some crossings can really be part of the holiday.
Approximate driving times from various ports
Roscoff - 1 hour 20 minutes, St Malo - 1 hour 40 minutes, Cean - 3 hours, Cherbourg - 4 hours, Calais - 6 hours. All these assume no traffic (usually the case) and driving at the legal maximum which given the nature of the roads is the norm - however in the last week of July and first three weekends in August expect delays especially coming from Calais.
Low-cost flights from the UK/Ireland
There are flights into Rennes, Dinard and Brest by the low-cost airlines RyanAir and Flybe which can be ludicrously cheap. In all three cases the airports are under 2 hours easy drive from our base, and so car hire may well be the cheapest option. Alternatively in each case a short taxi ride or shuttle bus will take you to the train station where you can get a train to bring you the station nearest to us. In each case we offer a taxi pick-up from nearest station at cost price. In the case of Brest the station we pick up from is Carhaix, for Rennes and Dinard it is St Brieuc.
All stations and airports have car hire agents on site so this is a very convenient way of getting to us, and can work out as cheap as other options even though the car will remain unused for a week. Car hire links are on all the low-cost airline websites. For many people hiring a car may well work out to be a cheap option, especially if there are say four of you, (cheaper than four rail tickets from Paris for example) so it's well worth investigating...
Eurostar, Trains and taxi/bus pick-up
For UK customers in particular this site will help book from station to station - https://loco2.com/ Otherwise the Eurostar is convenient for many people and involves only one change at Paris in order to come to St Brieuc see http://www.eurostar.com/dynamic/index.jsp. Re train times. We collect and drop off people at the St Brieuc TGV (Train Grande Vitesse) station every Saturday afternoon. We are there to meet up with the train leaving Paris Montparnasse at around 11.00 and arriving at St Brieuc before 2.30 - note these times vary a little through the year - and at the same time drop off the previous week's customers ready for the approx 15.00 to Paris Montparnass
The cost of this is circa 100€ each way (you pay the taxi direct), however we try to fit groups together so that people will frequently share that cost between the various groups therefore the 90€ is the maximum you will pay - it may well be considerably less.
At other times we can arrange a taxi and again this will be circa 100€ but in this case it's much less likely that costs will be shared with other groups (more if Sunday or after 18.00...). The cost for the train varies wildly, but book early and it can be as cheap as 70e return if you book via the internet - otherwise it may be more expensive - the tarif system varying by the day and being quite labarynthine... You book direct with SNCF at their website - remember to search for 'Paris Montparnasse 1 et 2'. If you do not use that recommended timing then you'll find that a train leaves Paris every hour or so - lots of choice. Likewise the returns are equally frequent.
Note - SNCF don't post train timetables until quite late, just three months or so before the off, so don't panic if you don't see hourly trains - they will be there in the end;-)
There is now a regular bus run from St Brieuc to Rostrenen that works with the train times just up the road from us. This is of course the cheapest option and pretty convenient - we can organise pick-up from Rostrenen of course.