Marque Bretagne

The Nantes to Brest canal

Cycling from Redon to Châteaulin


Flat routes, accessible to all, without traffic, very quiet
Josselin and Pontivy Castles, the Abbey of Bon Repos
The flowered locks along the route

Cycling along the canal

From Redon (Nantes) to Châteaulin (Brest) in 9 days, cycle through autentic and bucolic Brittany

The Nantes to Brest canal offers a beautiful journey through Brittany! On the towpath, you ride on a bucolic route at a somewhat faster pace than a barge. Cyclists, hikers, lock boaters, residents and fishermen: you will meet along the way many lovers of this land who will be happy to tell you their story of the canal.

From Nantes to Brest the canal is 450 km long with a 364 km portion from the lock of Nort-sur-Erdre to the 237th lock in Châteaulin (with a total of 238 locks*) .The richness of this route lies the variety of waterways more wild than artificial. 73 km (20%) were dug to connect the Erdre rivers like the Oust and the Alder. From Redon to Châteaulin, you are in the heart of Brittany and ride through some of the most beautiful parts of the canal on a route accessible to all thanks to the towpaths combining asphalt road, white paths and well maintained trails.

A bit of history

The construction projects of the Nantes to Brest canal were initiated under the old regime. They began under the reign of Napoleon 1st for strategic reasons. In 1804, the canal starts from both ends of Loire Atlantique (the lower Loire) and in the Finistère (the west end of Brittany). It will take 38 years to complete the work (in 1842). The operation cost 160 million gold francs in 1860, a current equivalent estimated at 150 million euros.

* 238 locks in total but none with that number: in Redon, there is a 17 bis lock; 18 were swallowed up in the construction of the Guerlédan dam in 1923.

Carte itinéraire Le Canal de Nantes à Brest à vélo
Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1


Arrival on your own and check in to your hotel. Orientation with our guide today. Take time to explore Redon.

Meeting with our local guide

Before your first ride, we invite you to meet one of our guides, at your place of departure. A time of exchange, a privileged moment to give you our last practical tips, must-see places and experiences, to answer all your questions, take care of your bike fitting to begin your trip.

Day 2

From REDON to JOSSELIN 64km 138m Niveau Loisir

In Redon you reach the Oust riverbank, which shares a common riverbed with the Nantes to Brest canal. The route, flat and leisurely, will let you appreciate the peaceful atmosphere of these grounds. As you face the cliffs of the Ile de Pie on the other side of the canal, Brittany shows you just how surprising she can be. At 2/3 of the route you ride through Malestroit, a small city with character. You then head on to Roc André with an impressive religious architecture. This village is also famous for its brewery Lancelot. Allow for a visit and taste a traditional beer or local Phare Ouest cola.
After few kilometers, you enter the city of Josselin through its majestic castle overlooking the canal. Also labeled “Small town of character,” its typical houses with timber facades offer a warm welcome. You can also rent out canoes to explore the Canal from another perspective.

Day 3

From JOSSELIN to PONTIVY 50km 147m Niveau Loisir

You get back to the banks of the Nantes-Brest canal. As you approach Rohan you discover the Abbey of Our Lady of Timadeuc. A community of Benedictine monks lives there. They make cheeses, jams, fruit jellies … You can discover their products within their shop. The route then takes you to Pontivy. The many locks and small retention ponds in this part of the canal are an interesting curiosity. Along the Blavet riverbanks, Pontivy offers a fifteenth century castle which was one of the Duke of Rohan residences.

Day 4

From PONTIVY to GUERLEDAN 23km 111m Niveau Facile

You leave Pontivy to join lake of Guerledan and its famous hydroelectric dam. The towpath dissapears here and you will take height.

Day 5

From GUERLEDAN to CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 65km 335m Niveau Forme

From Guerlédan, you head towards Carhaix-Plouguer. The first part of the stage is slightly hilly with a flat climb that takes you to the highest point of the canal from Nantes to Brest. This is where the Glomel ditch was dug, where many convicts lost their lives. The rest of the route to Carhaix is more rolling.

Day 6


A day riding at the foot of the Black Mountains. Your get to the towpath by the Carhaix port. At the end of your journey: Castle Trévarez (which needs you to get out of the canal when you arrive in Châteauneuf). Châteauneuf-Du-Faou, built on a rocky outcrop, is your stop for the night.

Day 7

From CHATEAUNEUF DU FAOU to CHATEAULIN 44km 381m Niveau Loisir

A beautiful day in wild nature with mountainous area much more presen. The Monts d’Arrée and the Menez Hom one of the peaks of the Massif Armorican, are not far away. Fortunately, cycling on the towpath, you enjoy the scenery without having to climb ! You arrive on the Port Launay, the last lock.

On your arrival in Châteaulin, a taxi will be waiting to take you to Brest, where you will spend the night.

Day 8


A last wander around the port and the banks of the Rade de Brest, a visit to the castle, a cable car ride between the Capucins and the city center… The city of Brest in constant transformation offers a beautiful urban stroll to conclude your stay. .

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.

Accommodation example
B&B Le 14 Saint Michel Chambre d’hôtes TY PONDI PONTIVY Hôtel Noz Vad au-fil-de-l-aulne Hôtel Abalys

Starting from 1030€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Comfort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.

Quote on request | Contact us

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.

Quote on request | Contact us

Price includes

  • Accommodation: 7 nights in a Double room
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Luggage transfer
  • Phone assistance 24/7
  • Access to our exclusive travel application to follow your route, inform you about places of interest, restaurants, facilitate your assistance in case of emergency, find all your travel documents and our practical advice.
  • Application fee
  • Taxes
  • The trip itineraries available on the following supports:
    • Loan of a Bicycle GPS uploaded with full itinerary of the trip
    • Topo maps
    • Cycling practical guide including restaurant recommendations for lunch & dinner
  • Additional services included:
    • Jour 1 : A personalized greeting with our team at the beginning of the trip to receive your travel documents
    • Jour 7 : Private shuttle - CHATEAULIN - BREST
  • Price does not include

    • bike rental (see option)
    • Breakfast on day 1
    • Lunches
    • Dinners not included in "Price includes"
    • Drinks, visits & other personal expenses

    Homemade and fully tested itineraries
    • Routes selected for their cycling and touristic interest entirely tested and away from traffic
    • Accomodations selected for their hospitality, atmosphere, services and quality meals
    • A flexible organisation to suit you needs and wishes: You choose the date you want to you leave on! We check the availability of each accomodation to make sure it is possible.

    Close assistance
    • One of our guides greets you on your first day. He will hand out all the needed documents for the trip (hotel vouchers, maps of the area,GPS, practical guide), get you settled on your bikes (for rental bikes).
    • Phone assistance, you can reach the Abicyclette team whenever you need
    • A Luggage transfer service which respects your hours of rest (we pick them up after 10:00 and deliver them before 16:00)

    Follow your itinerary anyway you like – modern, practical, traditional

    appareil GPS TwoNav Cross

    • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)
    • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day, topo maps, and touristic information)


    You can also


    On our guided tours (for groups on demand), we accompany you every step of the way
    • One of our state qualified instructor and professional cycling guide accompanies you every step of the way
    • Full board (all meals covered unless asked otherwise)
    • A picnic buffet set up for lunch with a wide choice of fresh and local produce

    We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.

    Trekking bike

    A layed out and dynamic position

    Mixed aluminum frame, telescopic fork. Straight handlebars. Disc brakes. Transmission Shimano 24 to 30 speeds.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Présentation de notre parc de vélo Scott Sub Cross 20

    Touring bike

    An upright and easy going position

    Mixed aluminum frame, telescopic fork. Straight handlebars. Disc brakes. Transmission Shimano 24 to 30 speeds.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    vélo trek randonnée Abicyclette


    With an autonomy of almost 120km, cycling has never been so easy!

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle

    Children Bike

    Recommended bike size (to be confirmed when booking) :

    • 16 inches from 105cm to 120cm (or 6 to 7 years old)
    • 20 inches from 120cm to 135cm (or 7 to 10 years old)
    • 24 inches from 135cm to 145cm (or 10 to 12 years old)
    • SPORT XS bike (adult frame) from 145cm to 155cm (from age 10)

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo enfant 24 pouces pour vacances à vélo

    Bike trailer

    Thule Chariot Cross 2
    Children’s trailers can only be rented for installation on one of our bikes.
    We do not provide this service on any other bike. There is too much risk of incompatibility and breakage.
    Por one or 2 children.
    Max child trailer load: 45kg.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet (or 2 if 2 kids)
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 bike water bottle (or 2)
    • Accessories on request: baby hammock. A padded hammock that supports baby’s sides and offers maximum stability (1 to 10 months). Use only the newborn hammock for walking.

    Getting here

    Departure city : REDON

    Coming by car

    • at 4h15 from PARIS
    • at 4h15 from BORDEAUX
    • at 7h from LYON


    • Parking Place de la République – REDON
    • Parking Cours Bertrand – REDON

    Coming by train

    • Redon train station - 2h30 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Rennes Airport
    • Nantes airport

    Arrival city : CHATEAULIN

    Coming by car

    • at 5h45 from PARIS
    • at 5h45 from BORDEAUX
    • at 8h from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Chateaulin train station - 4h30 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Brest airport

    * Abicyclette Voyages accompanies you on demand, including transportation solutions.

    How to get back to the starting point

    • By train from Chateaulin to Redon in 2h
    • Private shuttle: see detailed fares or contact us

    Recommended equipment


    • Trekking or hybrid bike
    • 21 to 30 speeds
    • 26 or 28 inch (700) wheels

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (included with the rental)
    • Clothing suitable for cycling
    • Warm jacket (eg fleece)
    • Rain proof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 small backpack or panniers
    • 1 or 2 water flasks (included with the rental)
    • 1 lock (included with the rental)
    • Our reccomendation for optimal comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves
      • 1 special pair of pants (shammy leather)
      • 1 night see fluorescent vest

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Daily use kit: cloth, brake pads, oil


    • Suitcase for transporting personal effects in luggage transfers (limited to one per person)
    • Change of clothes for the evening
    • Warm jacket for the evenings
    • Set of toiletries
    • Mobile phone and charger

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