Brittany | Carnac & Beyond

Menhirs alignment, Carnac
Menhirs alignment, Carnac
Morbihan, Carnac
Morbihan, Carnac
Kermario Dolmen, Carnac
Kermario Dolmen, Carnac
Grand menhir of Locmariaquer
Grand menhir of Locmariaquer
Locmariaquer coast in Brittany
Locmariaquer coast in Brittany
View over Brittany
View over Brittany
Brittany
Brittany
The walls of the ancient town and the moat, Vannes
The walls of the ancient town and the moat, Vannes
The walls of the ancient town of Vannes
The walls of the ancient town of Vannes
Vannes town
Vannes town

Brittany offers a prehistoric landscape filled with some of the greatest Megalithic monuments in the world, from standing stones to chambered tombs, many with fine carvings. 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 carefully-built passage graves where incised depictions of axes and bows mark the resting places of a selected few of the wider 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.

A fascinating tour exploring the prehistoric sites of Brittany. At Carnac, we encounter the world’s largest assemblage of megalithic sites with over 3,000 standing stones, erected during the Neolithic in alignments, as well as a variety of dolmens. On Gav’rinis Island, we find a well preserved tomb with decorated slabs in its passage showing geometric patterns relating it to the Irish monuments of Newgrange and Knowth.

  • One of the richest prehistoric landscapes in Europe – from passage graves and chambered tombs to polished axes
  • Devote an entire day to the sites of Carnac
  • Enjoy hills, heather & beaches in this “Celtic” region
  • Take a ferry to the Island of Gavr’inis
  • Soak in the beauty of the glorious French countryside

Themes

  • Rock Art
  • Prehistory

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • Just One Hotel
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Our tour departs by train from London to Vannes, via Paris. From here, we take a coach to our hotel in Carnac where you will be staying for the next 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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

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. 
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We drive to Vannes for our train to London, via Paris.
Meals: Breakfast included

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We travel by train to Vannes via Paris and take a coach to our hotel in Carnac where you 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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

A morning in and around the fishing village of 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. When intact this was over 20 metres high and weighed 280 tons. We end the day at the Table des Marchands, a passage grave with an exceptionally high burial chamber capped with a huge, partly decorated stone.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We travel by boat to the island of Gavr’inis in the Gulf of Morbihan, with a large and important passage grave constructed around 3500. The stones of the passage, and capstone of the tomb, are decorated with symbolic and abstract designs in a virtuoso display of prehistoric art. We will also stop to view the stone circle of Er-Lannic on its islet on our return to Ile de Conleau. 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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

We visit various sites between Plouharnel and Erdeven, including Mané-Kerioned, a group of three dolmens, the impressive dolmen at Crucuno, partly incorporated into a farmhouse, and the passage graves of Mané-Groh and Rondossec. Continue to Carnac Prehistory Museum the richest in the world for megalithic culture, founded by the Scottish antiquary James Milns who was the first, and last, to excavate extensively at Carnac. The museum contains a wonderful array of artefacts including Alpine jade axes, some of the best-preserved jewellery and exquisitely knapped arrowheads.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

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 will 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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic and Dinner included

Day 6

We delve into the Le Rocher passage tomb and then it’s on to explore 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.
Hotel: Overnight in Carnac
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We drive to Vannes for our train home, travelling via Paris.
Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach; boat to Gavr’inis
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Trains

Travel Information

Joining the Tour

For full information about how to join the tour, please click here.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Linked Tours

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:

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To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888 331 3476

2019 Tour Details

Mon 2nd September - Sun 8th September

Call for availability

Guaranteed Departure

$3,473

without flights

sgl supp: $415

BRI19A

Led By: Dr Nick Thorpe

Mon 9th September - Sun 15th September

Available

$3,485

without flights

sgl supp: $565

BRI19B

Led By: Dr Nick Thorpe

2020 Tour Details

Mon 11th May - Sun 17th May

Available

$2,995

without flights

sgl supp: $535

BRI20A

Led By: Dr Nick Thorpe

Mon 7th September - Sun 13th September

Available

$2,995

without flights

sgl supp: $445

BRI20B

Led By: Dr Nick Thorpe

Guide Lecturer

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