For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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Brittany is a very good cycle touring choice - lots of great scenery around the coast and in the interior, as well as countless interesting historic places to visit. Plus there's a great network of quiet minor roads in most areas, shown in good detail in the Institut Geographique National (IGN) 1:100,000 scale contoured map series (referred to as the IGN 'Top 100' road maps series). These are available online from the Stanfords map store in London, which ships to Australia - see details provided further below.
I've cycletoured in Brittany 3 times during the past 20 years (relatively short tours of around 2-3 weeks, the last with my partner Toni in 2007) plus I've ridden the quadrennial Paris-Brest-Paris audax event twice, about 600km of which (ie half the total distance of the out & back course) passes through Brittany.
In case you haven't seen it, the "Lonely Planet Guide: Cycling France" includes two tours in Brittany (we have the first edition from 2001, can't speak for later editions):
- "Northern Brittany Majesty" (loop: St Malo/Dinan/Combourg/Mont St Michel/St Malo)
- "Southern Brittany Contrasts" (loop: Vannes/Josselin/Pontivy/Baud/Carnac/Auray/Vannes)
There's also a Lonely Planet travel guide devoted to Brittany (not cycling specific) - we used the first edition dated June 2002 for our 2007 tour.
When looking at availability of IGN maps on the Stanford site I noticed that there is a series of 3 French language cycletouring guidebooks for a route around the Brittany coastline:
- Mont-Saint-Michel - Roscoff
- Roscoff - Quimperlé
- Quimperlé - Nantes
See this page http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Home/France- ... 000934.htm Unfortunately Stanfords currently only have the first of the above books in stock.
For my first cycling tour of Brittany in 1992 I followed a route in Western Brittany with a time frame of 2-3 weeks recommended in a 1989 book by an Englishman, Robin Neillands "Cycle Touring in France" ( http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/16437964?s ... NBD6400137 ). The book also details a route in Eastern Brittany for a tour lasting 10 days to 2 weeks. PM me if you'd like me to scan the 12 pages (six pages of A4) covering these two tours into a PDF document that I could e-mail to you.
There are 7 IGN Top 100 maps covering Brittany available online from Stanfords:
http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Home/Product ... 000297.htm
The relevant maps in the latest IGN series are:
- No 113: Brest - Quimper
- No 114: St-Brieuc - Morlaix
- No 123: Vannes - Lorient
- No 115: Rennes - St Malo
- No 124: Nantes - St Nazaire (part)
- No 116: Fourges - Laval (part)
- No 125: Angers - Laval (part)
Previously the whole region fitted onto 5 of these 1:100,000 maps (of which we have 4 bought in 2007) but in any case you would only need to buy those relevant to the area in which you plan to tour.
Or alternatively you could buy the smaller scale 1:250,000 'Carte Regionale: Bretagne' map that we also have
http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Activities-a ... 526155.htm
There's also a Michelin regional map for Brittany at 1:200,000 scale:
http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Home/Product ... 135208.htm
A search for Brittany on the Stanford site brings up numerous guidebooks, maps, etc.
Hope this is helpful.
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