With thirteen train lines covering 1,193 km (three of which are used by the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or high-speed train) from Rennes to Brest, Quimper and Saint-Malo), the rail system provides Brittany with a good service. With today's expected speeds: the TGV takes 2 hours from Paris to Rennes and 4 hours from Paris to the northwest of Brittany (Brest and Quimper) (by 2012, these journeys will take 1 hr 30 minutes and 3 hours); other TGV lines offer direct connections between Rennes and Lille (3 hours 50 minutes), Lyon (4 hours 30 minutes), Strasbourg (5 hours 10 minutes) and Marseille (6 hours 10 minutes). Note: there is a direct bus service between Rennes and Mont Saint-Michel in correspondence with the Paris to Rennes TGV line (the journey takes 3 hours 30 minutes from Paris to Le Mont). The TER (Transport Express Régional, or express regional transport services by train and coach) successfully serves the main cities in Brittany (with fast connections on certain routes: Rennes-Brest, Rennes-Quimper, etc.): the number of people using the TER services in the region increased by 34% in the space of five years (between 2002 and 2007).
Located three hours from Paris by motorway (the A13 inland and the Autoroute des Estuaires by the coast), Brittany can also be accessed inland! From Rennes, a complex network of dual carriageways and 2x2 lanes connects to all the cities in Brittany: Rennes-Lorient, Rennes-Vannes, Rennes-Brest, Rennes-Quimper, Rennes-Saint-Malo, Rennes-Saint-Brieuc, Rennes-Nantes, etc. Unlike other road networks in France, it is toll-free to compensate for the fact that Brittany was relatively isolated from the rest of the country in the 1960s.
There are eight airports in Brittany: Brest (861,737 passengers per year), Rennes (534,863 passengers per year), Lorient (214,622 passengers per year), Quimper (135,865 passengers per year), Dinard (178,425 passengers per year), Lannion (50,113 passengers per year), Morlaix and Saint-Brieuc (regional airports focusing on 86% of passenger traffic and 99% of freight traffic). There are daily flights to Paris (from Brest, Rennes, Lorient, Quimper and Lannion), and connections with national and European cities are available. An international airport will soon be built in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, between Rennes and Nantes (which will open in 2015).
The ports of Saint-Malo and Roscoff welcome travellers heading to the UK (Portsmouth, Plymouth and Poole) and Ireland (Cork), with the port of Saint-Malo also experiencing busy traffic to and from the Channel Islands. Regular ferry services connect Brittany to its many islands: Île aux Moines, Île d'Arz, Île de Bréhat, Île de Batz, Ushant, Molène, Île de Sein, Belle-Ile, Groix, the Glénan Islands, Houat and Hoëdic.
Brittany has 5 major trading ports that account for 95% of the traffic: Brest, Lorient, Roscoff, Le Légué and Saint-Malo.
These ports load and offload 9 million tons of goods per year.
Cycling and walking routes
Brittany's network of cycle paths and walking trails is part of the quality of life and is one of the region's tourist attractions. Note: there is a network of routes approved by the Fédérations Françaises de Cyclisme et de Cyclotourisme (French Cycling Federation) and a network of cycle routes and greenways in development (with a large number of open routes). This will allow you to explore the Breton peninsula along the coast, cross east to west along the canal from Nantes to Brest and travel inland from north to south. It is part of the European route that goes from the north (Stockholm) to the south (Lisbon) of Europe via Brittany.