BRITTANY (Bretagne) is probably the region most people automatically think of when talking about life in France.
Its popularity as a holiday destination has been reinforced by the appeal amongst many Brits of living in this most westerly tip of France and enjoying a true rural idyll.
Surrounded on three sides by the sea the coastline provides everything from rugged cliffs to sweeping beaches, whilst inland deep forests and waterways show of an ancient history that stretches back to Neolithic times.
Summer tourism is one of the main sources of income for people, as winters can be mild but damp and some may find the darker nights a particularly challenging experience, especially away from the more populated towns.
The port at St Malo, on the northern edge of Brittany, provides an important link to the UK with services to Poole and Weymouth from CondorFerries. St Malo is also served by Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth and Roscoff, towards the tip of Brittany has a link to Plymouth.
Flybe now offers flights to Brittany with a link to Brest from the airports at Birmingham, Exeter and Southampton, whilst Rennes is also served from Southampton.
Low-cost airline Ryanair also offers flights to Brest from Luton Airport, and they serve Dinard from Nottingham East Midlands and London Stansted.
A little to the south east of Brittany is Nantes, on the Loire river, and is currently being served by Ryanair and Aer Arann, although it is most probably only suitable for destinations in the south of Brittany.
Employment opportunities are likely to be thin on the ground as the economy of Brittany is dominated by agriculture and tourism, so short-term work may be possible within season. Brest is still an important naval base, whilst Rennes has a growing reputation for telecommunications.
Property prices are naturally more expensive towards the coast, but the largely unspoilt interior can still throw up a few gems and if time is spent exploring an area a typical Breton stone home could be found.
And Breton culture still plays an important role in the life of the region with many festivals and events held throughout the year, with a strong Celtic tradition drawing people from around the world.
Départements: Côte d'Armor (22), Finistère (29), Ille-et-Vilaine (35), Morbihan (56).