Ille & Rance Canal from Rennes to Saint Malo

From the Breton capital to the corsair city of Saint-Malo on an extended weekend by bike

Highlights

Flat and secure paths
The site of the eleven locks at Hédé
The medieval town of Dinan
The ferry crossing from Dinard to Saint-Malo
Family friendly tour

Ride the romantic and medieval Brittany on the Ille & Rance Canal

From Rennes, make the most of a pleasant towpath to reach the beautiful corsair town of Saint-Malo.

From Rennes to Saint-Malo, the Ille & Rance Canal  offers you a beautiful and relaxing ride from the Breton capital to the sea. At an Easy level, it is an itinerary that is perfect for beginners and families with young children. On the towpath, flat, marked and secure, you move in a peaceful and green setting where nature is predominant. In the middle of this lush greenery, the chirping of birds and the soft sound of the river underline your getaway as a couple with family or friends.

On the towpath, you will discover the multiple charms of the interior of Brittany: rural, wooded, forest and romantic. Along the canal, Brittany reveals its many natural and tourist attractions.

The passing through the city of Dinan is a high point on the trip. This medieval city which is among the most beautiful cities in Brittany dominates the Rance valley from a rocky promontory. Its maze of cobbled streets adorned with half-timbered buildings invites you for a stroll. Along the way, don’t miss Léhon, a charming town full of character.

Throughout the route, crossing the locks enlivens your adventure. Often decorated with flowers, the 48 locks that line the canal are essential for its proper functioning. By crossing the Ille & Rance Canal you meet other travellers (cyclists, hikers) and locals (lock keepers, amateur sailors, residents, fishermen). They will always be happy to tell you about their love story with the channel.

As you approach Dinard, the sea is not far away. The decor changes. The atmosphere too. The seaside and the maritime landscapes take over the bucolic and the untamed ones. The Rance estuary and the Emerald coast welcome you. What a joy to reach the sea! It was it that guided the departure from Rennes.

To reward your efforts since the Breton capital, why not take a dip in the sea or simply enjoy a sunbath on the beach? It is also an opportunity to treat yourself to a good Breton buckwheat crêpe!

After a cruise between Dinard and Saint-Malo, the corsair city accompanies your cycling adventure on the Ille & Rance Canal. The inner city of Saint-Malo is magnificent. Stroll through its cobbled streets and contemplate the immensity of the sea from the promenade des ramparts, a walk on the high walls.

Carte itinéraire Le Canal d'Ille et Rance à vélo
Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1

From RENNES to HEDE-BAZOUGES 46km 123m Niveau Loisir

You descend on the first lock of the Canal d’Ille-et-Rance as your journey on the towpath begins. Under the trees and on a pleasantly surfaced lane, you enjoy a flat route in the middle of a hilly landscape. After passing some villages, you arrive on the basin of Bazouge. It’s made up of a water reserve that feeds the canal. The site of the eleven locks resembles a water staircase. It allows for 27 meters of difference in level. It’s a especially superb site thanks to the close succession of the flower covered locks in a beautiful alignment. If a boat comes through, you can see the lock keepers at work!

Briefing Orientation

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 HEDE-BAZOUGES to DINAN 41km 220m Niveau Loisir

From the top of the village of Hédé, you will descend on the “11 locks”. You will continue your journey on the towpath. In Tinténiac, in an old lock house, a museum will tell you the story of ancient crafts.
Your path will continue in the middle of the wooded nature. At Pleugueneuc, you can reach the castle of Bourbansais. The zoo will delight young and old in this historic space.
You will then reach Evran where the Ille and Rance rivers come together to join the sea.
Before the last effort to arrive in Dinan, located on an imposing rocky outcrop, you will cross Léhon, one of the most beautiful small towns of character in Brittany. All the houses are beautiful. You will experience an old atmosphere that is at the same time lively and warm. You will enter Dinan by the port. Enjoy the site before climbing up the historic center of one of the most beautiful medieval towns of Brittany. It holds incredible architectural treasures.

Day 3

From DINAN to SAINT-MALO 32km 170m Niveau Loisir

You descend in the Dinan harbor and continue your tour on the towpath. Nevertheless, this path does not take you to Saint-Malo. After a few kilometers you have to leave the canal to join a beautiful green path built on an old railway line. This path along the Breton countryside leads you to Dinard. At your arrival on this seaside resort of the 19th century, a stop is needed to discover the beautiful villas and enjoy an ice cream in front of the beach!
Then embark on a small cruise to cross the river mouth of the Rance (which comes from the Canal that you have previously traveled from Rennes). You reach Saint-Malo by boat as did Surcouf and Cartier, navigators and famous corsairs of the city.

Day 4

FROM SAINT-MALO, CANCALE LOOP 42km 532m Niveau Loisir

The corsair city and its ramparts open its doors. You discover the Emerald Coast and this varied city, from the beautiful Sillon beach to the mythical “intra-muros” city. A loop to Cancale will allow gourmets to taste its famous oysters!

The tour continues to the beautiful Pointe du Grouin which offers an exceptional panorama of the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel

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
Vieux Moulin Chambre d'hôtes Le Logis du Jerzual Hotel France et Chateaubriand

Starting from 380€/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.

Accommodation example
Vieux Moulin Challonge Hotel France et Chateaubriand

Starting from 385€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

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

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

GPS for cycling trips

  • 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

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 bottle
Présentation de notre parc de vélo Scott Sub Cross 20

Touring bike

A straight and easy going position

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 bottle
Vélo de voyage, position à l'hollandaise pour vacances à vélo

Ebike

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 bottle
Présentation de nos vélos électriques

Children Bike

20″ or 24″ bike

Vélo enfant 24 pouces pour vacances à vélo

Bike trailer

Abicyclette remorque enfant voyage à vélo

Getting here

Meeting point
Rennes, capital of Brittany, Ille & Vilaine (35)

Rennes by car
From Paris on the A11 then A81 (360km 3h30)
From Lyon on the A71 (740km 6:45)
From Bordeaux on the A10 and A83 (470km 4h30)

Rennes by train*
TGV station in Rennes (from Paris: 2H00)
Back: TGV station in Saint-Malo

Rennes by plane*
Rennes Airport

Transport to your meeting point can be included as an option.

 

Recommended equipment

Bike

  • 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

Other

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

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