Brest is a major French port on the Atlantic coast, historically of strategic importance. Much of the town was destroyed during World War II, but some historic landmarks remain. Today Brest is an important navy port, so expect to see war ships berthed in the harbor. Every four years, Brest hosts the international festival of the sea, boats and sailors, with many Tall Ships attending. South of Brest you will find national park d’Armorique, a tranquil reserve where you can escape from the city.
Ostend (Oostende in Flemish) is a seaport and tourist destination on the Belgian coast. The original belle époque architecture was largely destroyed by two world wars, but the city still has plenty of worthwhile sights to see, such as the Mu.ZEE, the Petrus and Paulus church, and the fort Napolean. Visit one of the museums, check out the lively cultural agenda, and step in a Belgian tavern for a ‘pinteke’. And don’t forget the beach, which can be crowded in the summer!