Archaeological Tours

with Andante Travels

Brittany - Carnac & Beyond

This tour is operated by our sister company, Andante Travels.

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.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Local Guide / Tour Manager
  •  Local transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Accommodation

Led by...

Dr Nick Thorpe

Dr Nick Thorpe Expert Scholar

Dr Nick Thorpe is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at The University of Winchester.

Today's Price
$2,895

Deposit: $750 Single supplement: $480

Tour highlights:

  • See a selection of fascinating passage graves, chambered tombs and polished axes
  • Devote an entire day to wandering around the many monuments of the sites of Carnac
  • Take a ferry to the Island of Gavr’inis and visit the famous, elaborately decorated passage tomb
  • Soak in the beauty of the glorious French countryside with its hills, heather & beaches

Tour details

Dates May 11 2020 - May 17 2020
Duration 7 days
Cost
Today's Price
$2,895
Deposit: $750 Single supplement: $480 Balance due by February 17 2020
Activity Level
Tour code A20BRI200511

Call for availability

May 11 2020: Itinerary

We depart from London, travelling 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.

Meals include: Dinner

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.

All meals included

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.

All meals included

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.

All meals included

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.

All meals included

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.

All meals included

We drive to Vannes for our train home, via Paris.

Meals include: Breakfast

May 11 2020: Additional Info

May 11 2020: Accommodation

May 11 2020: Enquiries

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Led by Dr Nick Thorpe

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