‘Une Petite Cité de Caractère’ and the surrounding area.
The picturesque town of Josselin is a centre for the surrounding rural area and a great attraction to tourists.
Much of the town is on the north bank of the River Oust/Nantes-Brest Canal where the Chateau des Rohan, of 12th century origin, towers dramatically above it.
The Dolls’ Museum has developed in buildings in the grounds and houses over 500 dolls and dolls’ houses.
As one moves into the centre of the little half timbered town along cobbled streets, the Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier stands in its heart, surrounded by the pavement cafés, bars and restaurants, cinema, galleries as well as the Mairie, the banks, post office, boulangeries and other shops and services too.
First founded in the 11th century, the basilique is a centre both of religious and cultural activities.
Annually on September 8th, a pilgrimage or ‘pardon’ takes place, when thousands gather from all over Brittany and beyond for the processions and services. It is a deeply moving spectacle.
During the main summer season there are free open air concerts on Wednesday and Friday evenings as well as others in the Basilique, often on Sunday afternoons.
Every 2 years there is a vibrant medieval festival in costume to celebrate Bastille Day July 14th – the next one will be in 2018.
On Saturday mornings, the street market stretches right through the main street and offers a mouth watering selection of local produce, as well as just about everything else you could think of.
There are guided tours of the town available from the Tourist Information Office.
On the south side of the river, the historic area of Sainte Croix, where we live, forms another beautiful medieval kernel, with historic houses and an ancient chapel.
All along the Nantes-Brest canal there are broad level paths, great for cycling or walking holidays, many guests are travelling the whole length of the waterway from Nantes up to a few miles from Brest.
In the summer months the pleasure craft are out in force with holiday cruisers lining the banks for an overnight stop.
Kayaks and small motor boats can be hired by the hour down on the quay near the locks.
The beauty of Josselin’s central situation is that all the wonders of Brittany are easily accessible.
Less than 10 minutes away is the Lac au Duc, near Ploermel, one of the largest lakes in Brittany.
It's a beautiful location with sandy beaches, water sports, fishing, a golf course, restaurants and snack bars - it provides a wonderful day out for all of the family.
Not to be missed, a few miles to the north west of Josselin is the mighty Forest of Paimpont, a beautiful and mysterious place which echoes with Celtic legends, especially those surrounding King Arthur and the Round Table, and the Quest of the Holy Grail.
Rennes, the capital of Brittany, is an hour to the east of Josselin and is a bustling city with an airport, major railway station, bus station and so on.
It has a breathtaking, half timbered centre with cobbled streets and amazing character.
The Saturday morning market is vibrant, especially in the summer months when the streets are full not only of colourful stalls but also street musicians and performers.
Vannes, only 40 minutes away from Josselin, has tremendous appeal in its medieval beauty with its ancient town walls and its colourful markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Its long harbour stretches from the town down into the Gulf of Morbihan.
It is a cultural centre for the surrounding area with its many concert and exhibitions. Every summer a Jazz Festival is well worth a visit.
In Brittany you are always within easy reach of the coast and for Josselin, it is the beautiful beaches of Morbihan and south Finistere that are the most quickly accessible. Within an hour you can reach a range of different coastlines.
Moving inland a little, Carnac is world famous for its menhirs, more than 5000 ancient standing stones on a scale larger than anywhere else in Europe.
In addition there is an abundance of the facilities and attractions that many holiday makers seek – top quality golf courses, theme parks, animal parks, go-karting, fishing and horse riding to name but a few.
It is an area rich in all that you could want……
Check out the following helpful websites:
Accommodation - www.gites-de-france-morbihan.com
Cycling - www.freewheelingfrance.com
Brittany Tourism - www.brittanytourism.com
Golf, on the edge of the Lac au Duc - www.lac-au-duc.bluegreen.com
Base nautique (voile, ski nautique, baignade, canoë-kayak - www.club-nautique-ploermel.com/
Fishing - http://www.ablette-ploermelaise.fr/
Horse Riding - Brocéliande à cheval - http://www.chevalbroceliande.fr/
Ploërmel et l'Horloge Astronomique - Lien - www.broceliande-vacances.com
Josselin et son château - http://www.josselin-communauté.fr
Paimpont - Forêt de Brocéliande et le Château de Trécesson - http://www.tourisme-broceliande.com/