Medieval street in Vitré
©Medieval street, Vitré|Wild road & Cashpistache
ExperienceA lively weekend at Vitré and la Roche‑aux‑Fées

A lively weekend at Vitré and la Roche‑aux‑Fées

Far away from the well-trodden tourist trails, Vitré and the Roche-aux-Fées offer a unique journey through the history and legends of the Brittany Marches, exploring paths across gently rolling countryside!

Ramparts of the castle of Vitré
©Ramparts of the castle, Vitré|Wild road & Cashpistache

SATURDAY

9.00: Mysteries and setting Enigmus free

If your family outings are dominated by screen time, don’t worry it’s never too late to remedy the situation ! Enigmaparc is perhaps the immersive experience needed to bring together parents and children. The aim is simple : to free Enigmus who is trapped in an evil book of spells. In order to do so, you have to travel through 12 themed worlds, take part in physical challenges, solve riddles… without getting lost on the way!

More intrepid visitors can enjoy a bike ride along the green way which runs through the heart of the Breton countryside. A spectacular change of scene!

Others can head for the petting farm at the Domaine de la Haute Hairie in Saint-M’Hervé where rabbits, hens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and pigs frolic around, as well as the two local stars : Oh la Vache, the little Jersey cow, and her friend Virgule the jenny (female donkey). Book in advance and, although the grounds are shady, don’t forget your sun cream and please don’t feed the animals (except with food provided by the farm) !

12.00: Eat-in or take-away

The Vitré and Roche-aux-Fées area is not short of good places for families to eat. Ar Milin, at Châteaubourg, is a hotel, mill and a restaurant with imaginative local food and a super panoramic view. At Vitré you have VXIIIe which offers traditional dishes in an elegant setting and Bokal & Co in the Magic Hôtel, with delicious quirky and undeniably good dishes combining tradition and modernity served inside or (even better) outside!

Make a lunchtime booking

14.00: Vitré, a small town full of character

It is impossible not to fall under the spell of Vitré, a little medieval town with a big wow factor ! Its rich history includes barons, foreign merchants, explorers, artists and religious wars so there is no shortage of secrets to discover…

Stroll through the labyrinth of narrow streets not forgetting to look up from time to time. Explore the Jardin du Parc, Pré des Lavandières, Tertres Noirs… and if you’d like to know more, you can always put your name down for one of the guided tours run by the Office de Tourisme which start from the castle, unless otherwise stated.

Nightfall: visit the town by night!

Every evening, Vitré is superbly illuminated allowing visitors to discover its history and heritage along a trail called « Vitré Lumières » where images are projected onto buildings as it gets dark.

A fun, memorable way to visit this Art and History town, full of character and lasting memories.

22.00: A night under the stars…

This crazy day has maybe left you feeling up exhilirated, so why not prolong the feeling by spending the night in one if the B&B rooms at the Presbytère de Dagmar. If on the other hand, you prefer to be close to nature, there are Ecolodges at Saint-M’Hervé. If you still can’t decide then the newly-opened L’EssenCiel at the Domaine du Château des Pères is a ‘tree-hotel’ dreamed up by Jean-Paul Legendre in which bedrooms are in the form of suspended ‘bubbles’ on a tree!

Book your accommodation

SUNDAY: LA ROCHE-AUX-FÉES (FAIRIES’ ROCK), A MEGALITHIC ATTRACTION NOT TO BE MISSED

Slabs of shale 11m long and 2m wide, each weighing up to 40 tonnes each… Welcome to Roche-aux-Fées, an impressive portal dolmen dating from around 3000 BCE near the village of Essé. Shrouded in mystery, legend has it that the megalith was built by fairies…

Two hiking paths lead there : Circuit de la Rigaudière (12km, 3 hour walk, follow purple signs) and Circuit du Champ Fleuri (13.5km, 3¼ hour walk, follow red signs), as well as an interactive walk devoted to famous people from the area and a discovery trail. There is geocaching too!

Other ‘absolute musts‘ include the motte-and-bailey castle at Marcillé-Raoul and the church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine at Champeaux. Founded in 1437 by the Lords of Espinay, this ancient collegiate church still contains some remarkable works of art : a monumental tomb, oak-carved stalls and a 16th century stained-glass window representing the Crucifixion.

MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ

Marie de Rabutin-Chantal only discovered Brittany after she married the Marquis Henri de Sévigné. Following his death, she went into retreat for three months at the Château des Rochers-Sévigné (Vitré), where her literary career began.

For 30 years, Madame de Sévigné maintained an abundant correspondence in particular with her daughter, the Comtesse de Grignan. Reputed as being « precious », in her letters she wrote about the court of Louis XIV as well as the events which troubled society and the Breton countryside (revolt of the ‘papier timbré’, the ‘Bonnets Rouge’, etc.).

LE VITRÉAIS, A DELICIOUS LOCAL DELIGHT

Le vitréais or vitréen is a traditional dessert of Upper Brittany. Invented by Jacques Lhuissier, baker-pâtissier in Rue de la Poterie, le vitréais is a sponge cake with a filing made from apple, caramel and creme fraiche.

It is still found in some bakeries and restaurants in the town.

Nos suggestions