Vannes is an attractive town with a history stretching back over 200 years. There’s lots to see there too with its medieval centre being especially interesting. The more modern bits are appealing too especially its lovely marina. We parked up near to the marina which is a lovely place to promenade along. It’s also where the tourist office is located so it’s a convenient starting point. If you want to linger there are a number of cafes, with outdoor seating, with good views of the marina, so you can sit and admire the view for a while.
Much of Vannes’ appeal is in meandering around its charming, medieval streets with their timber-framed buildings. Scattered between the medieval houses, there are buildings from different periods as the town developed and changed over the years. It’s a pretty town to walk around and as you can see from this picture, this area is largely pedestrianised which makes it a safer experience.
Around the edges of the old town are the town walls. They don’t fully surround the medieval heart of Vannes, but they run pretty much continuously up the eastern edge. There are a number of towers like this one, plus there are opportunities to climb up onto the walls and admire the view. There are good views to be had over the Jardins des Remparts in particular, with the Jardins de la Garenne in the background.
For me a trip to a new town isn’t complete without sampling the local shops. There were so many lovely food shops and cafes to choose from that it’s difficult to just pick one out. However, even if you don’t have children, the toy shop (Bilboquet) is an irresistible draw with its bubble blowing teddy bear outside and wonderfully intricate window displays. There are lovely toys inside of the wooden, inventive variety so it’s a great place to do a little Christmas or birthday shopping.
An account of a visit to a French town would be incomplete without a description of lunch. Eateries tend to be a bit pricey in the old town, but thanks to our guide-book we found a reasonably priced one with a fixed lunchtime menu. It was the Crêperie-La-Cave–St-Gwenaël on the street of the same name, near the cathedral. We had a ham and egg galette, followed by chocolate crepes – perfect!