Thoughts on Cycling in Brittany

One question people always ask me about my cycling trips is, would I go back.  I’d definitely go back to Brittany.  While I’d been there several times before, this was my first cycling trip there.  There’s a huge difference!  We were blessed with extraordinary weather for the end of September–clear sunny days in the mid-80’s and cool nights.  Brittany has great recreational cycling itineraries and the canals along the Rance River are some of the best.

The Rance River Valley is beautiful, the greenway along the canal make it the perfect for cycling for people of all ages, even families. The region is steeped in history, .  As we find throughout the countryside of France, the people are friendly and warm, especially to bicyclists.  I love the fact that it always seems to catch the French off guard to find two middle aged Americans touring through the countryside on their own.  Brittany was no exception in this regard.

The food in Brittany is spectacular, reason in and of itself to go back.  Fresh seafood was a feature of every menu in every town, every night.  Even the most modest restaurant had a seafood entree of the day.  And where should I start with galettes and crepes?  I actually had a day where I had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

If I did go back to Brittany, here are the things I would do:

1.  Spend no less than two nights in Dinan at La Maison Pavie

2.  Spend two days exploring the Velo Promenades en Cote d’Emeraude, the veloroutes and voie verte in and around the coastline of Dinard and eat great seafood all along the way.

Map of Velo Promenades

3.  Bicycle along the route from Saint Malo to Mont Saint-Michel, via Cancale, the oyster capital of Brittany.

4.  Spend several days cycling the many circuits around Mont Saint-Michel

5.  Eat more crepes.

But that will all have to wait for another trip.  But before I close the chapter on bicycling in Brittany, here are some of the best resources if you are interested in researching and planning a trip to Brittany:

Regional Tourist Office of Brittany

Cotes d’Armor Tourism

Office of Tourism of Rennes

Office of Tourism for Upper Brittany

Canaux De Bretagne, Tourism information on the Brittany Canals (French only)

Brittany Borders Bicycling (Rentals and self-guided tours)

Office of Tourism of Dinan

Office of Tourism of Dinard

Office of Tourism of Saint-Malo

If you’re interested in bicycling along the Ille et Rance Canal, you should request the publication, “Canal Manche Ocean” from the Regional Tourism Office of Brittany.  You can write them at tourism-crtb@tourismebretagne.com.  The pages from the publication are accessible online, but the maps are difficult to read.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Cycling in Brittany”

  1. If you’re writing about Bretagne, then please don’t forget to mention the Nantes-Brest Canal! There is over 300 kms of rideable chemin a haulage (tow path) along this waterway that takes the rider throught the heart of Bretagne.

    Along with the many other Voies Vertes that have sprung up over the last few years, it is now possible to almost circumnavigate France on Voies Vertes or back roads keeping well away from traffic.

    Reading your blog makes me want to throw my computer out of the window, leave the office, pack my bike and fly back to France again from down here in Australia!

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