Brittany | Carnac & Beyond
Brittany offers a prehistoric landscape filled with some of the greatest Megalithic monuments in the world, from standing stones to chambered tombs. An entire day is dedicated to visiting Carnac, where stone rows writhe across the heather-clad countryside or stand in woodland wreathed in ivy and moss. Explore passage graves where depictions of axes and bows mark the resting places of a selected few of the Neolithic population.
Based in one hotel in Carnac, this tour gives a memorable insight into the rites and rituals of our Stone Age ancestors, not to mention the chance to soak up the unique Breton atmosphere.
- Devote an entire day to the sites of Carnac
- Enjoy hills, heather & beaches in this ‘Celtic’ region
- See passage graves, chambered tombs & polished axes
- Take a private boat ride to the Island of Gavr’inis
- Soak in the beauty of the glorious French countryside
- Rock Art
- Special Access
- Just One Hotel
- All Inclusive
We depart from London, travelling by train to Vannes via Paris and take a coach to our hotel in Carnac where we will be staying for all six nights. It is here in the northwest of France we find this historic coastal town, home to the arrangement of Carnac stones set across three different alignments.
This morning we explore Locmariaquer. Megalithic monuments of the surrounding area include the Mané-Lud Carnac mound, a large and prominent passage tomb with a central burial at the entrance to the village; the passage-tomb, Mané Rutuel, and the giant fallen stone known as the Grand Menhir Brisé. We end the day at the Table des Marchands, a Neolithic burial complex.
We travel by boat to the island of Gavr’inis in the Gulf of Morbihan. We find an important passage grave constructed around 3500, decorated with symbolic and abstract designs in a virtuoso display of prehistoric art. We also stop to view the stone circles of Er-Lannic. One circle marches into the sea, the second has long since vanished beneath the waves. We end the day with a visit to the excellent Archaeological Museum in Vannes before returning to our hotel.
Various sites lay between Plouharnel and Erdeven, including Mané-Kerioned, a group of three dolmens, which we explore before we visit the Carnac Prehistory Museum. It houses some of the richest collections in the world for Megalithic culture. The museum contains a wonderful array of artefacts including Alpine jade axes, some of the best-preserved jewellery and exquisitely knapped arrowheads.
Today is spent exploring the wonderful Megalithic sites of Carnac. The fantastic rows of stones, over 3000 of them, run for over three kilometres across the Breton countryside. They are accompanied by tombs in the form of tumuli and dolmens (eroded stone built tombs with capstones). There are four groups of alignments, three of which may once have formed a single conglomeration. We will visit the rows at Le Menec,
and view the alignments of Kermario. After lunch, we explore the passage grave at Kercado, and visit the menhir known as Le Géant du Manio. Along a forest trail, we find the giant in a clearing, standing over 6 metres high.
We delve into the Le Rocher passage tomb and then it’s on to the Arzon peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Morbihan where we visit the Petit Mont Cairn. This extraordinary cairn has been much reconstructed but is still a very impressive construction of about 4600 BC with several phases of burial chambers. It was commandeered in 1943 to have a bunker, part of the Atlantic Wall, built into it. Ironically, the damage created revealed the very first dolmen chamber.
We drive to Vannes for our train home, via Paris.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach; boat to Gavr’inis
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
- Field Notes
Many of our tours can be linked together to form longer programmes. We are happy to arrange connecting flights and hotels, allowing you to spend as long as you wish exploring the ancient world... See suggestions below: