The Brest to Nantes Canal - complete

From Brest to Nantes, a complete crossing of Brittany by bike

Highlights

The complete Nantes to Brest canal
Crossing the Brest harbor by boat
The Le Fret Port on the Crozon Peninsula
Bon Repos Abbey
The lake and dam of Guerlédan
The castles of Brest, Pontivy, Josselin, Nantes
The flowery locks that line the route

From the ocean to the city of Dukes of Brittany by bike

From Brest to Nantes in 11 days, cross an authentic and bucolic Brittany by bike

The Nantes to Brest canal starting from Brest offers you a beautiful crossing of Brittany! It is in the port of Brest that you start this bike tour. The adventure begins with a sea crossing of the Brest harbor to reach the Crozon peninsula.

It’s on a hilly course, with a rich natural heritage, that you arrive in Châteaulin and quickly reach the towpath. At a speed a little faster than a barge, you follow a bucolic route. The locks punctuate your stages without forcing you to stop. 238 in total, they grant water management, its flow in hilly areas. The relief is mild at the edge of this long interior artery of Brittany.

450 km between Brest and Nantes, including 364 km between the Châteaulin lock and that of Nort-sur-Erdre. What makes this cycling route rich is the variety of rivers that are ridden on more often natural than artificial. In fact, only 20%, or 73 km, have been dug to connect the rivers including the Aulne, the Oust and the Erdre. You are in the heart of Brittany and you cross a route accessible to all thanks to the maintained hauling combining combining asphalt roads, 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.

Discover all our trips in the Nantes to Brest canal.

Carte itinéraire Le Canal de Nantes à Brest intégral
Niveau LeisureLeisure or Niveau FitFit
Day 1

BREST

Arrival on your own and check in to your hotel. Orientation with our guide today (5 pm)

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 BREST to PLOMODIERN, Par la presqu'île de Crozon 42km 550m Niveau Loisir

 

  • For a few more km 61km 800m Niveau Forme

    Then a beautiful course on the peninsula of Crozon before joining Chateaulin. It is a hilly course, with a very rich natural heritage and beautiful views of the sea.

Day 3

From CHATEAULIN to CHATEAUNEUF DU FAOU 44km 609m 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 !

Day 4

From CHATEAUNEUF DU FAOU to CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 38km 509m Niveau Loisir

You leave behind the Château de Trévarez behind to start a stage at the foot of the Black Mountains which takes you to port of Carhaix on the towpath.

Day 5

From CARHAIX-PLOUGUER to SAINT-AIGNAN 58km 507m Niveau Loisir

Day 6

From SAINT-AIGNAN to PONTIVY 44km 290m Niveau Loisir

The Guerlédan lake and its hydroelectric dam offers you a new landscape. You will find the course of Blavet after the dam . You ride down the river to Pontivy.

 

Day 7

From PONTIVY to JOSSELIN 50km 160m Niveau Loisir

From one castle to another, you connect two cities of history. As you approach Rohan, you can discover the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Timadeuc. A community of monks lives there under the rule of Saint-Benoit. The monks make cheeses, jams, fruit jellies which you can find in their shop. Enjoy a stroll on Josselin at the end of the day.

Day 8

From JOSSELIN to REDON 64km 155m Niveau Loisir

The beginning of the route takes you to the Roc Saint André which offers an impressive religious architecture. The village is also known for its famous Lancelot Brewery. You can make a halt and enjoy the traditional beers and Cola from the Phare Ouest! A few kilometers further and you’re in Malestroit, a small typical town where you can enjoy a meal. Later on, as you face the cliffs of the Ile aux Pies, which lie on the other side of the canal, Brittany shows you just how surprising she can be.

Day 9

From REDON to LE GAVRE 50km 130m Niveau Loisir

Change of scenery after Redon. The landscape is more open and allows for more sun to shine to come your way. You pass by a few cafés where it’s good to take a rest and sip a drink on the terrace.

Day 10

From LE GAVRE to NANTES 68km 110m Niveau Loisir

From your hotel you ride along the Canal until Quiheix, its last sluice. Small roads take you to Nantes. You spend the night close to the Loire River.

Day 11

NANTES

End of stay after your breakfast. Enjoy your day to discover Nantes, its heritage and its Machines de l’île!

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
Hôtel Le Continental (Brest) Hôtel Le Chrismas au-fil-de-l-aulne Chambre d'hôtes L'Ardoisière Hôtel Ty Bara Kozh Hôtel Le Rehan B&B Le 14 Saint Michel Chambre d'hôtes La Maison Jaune (Redon) Hôtel Auberge de la Forêt Hôtel Belfort

Starting from 1175€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

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.


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

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

By Car

  • Leaving your car in Brest
    • from Paris by highway A11 (590km 5:46)
    • from Lyon by highway N165 (971km 9:05)
    • from Bordeaux by highway A10 (650km 6:15)
  • Leaving your car in Nantes
    • from Paris by highway A11 (385km 3:50)
    • from Lyon by highway A71/A85 (685km 6:30)
    • from Bordeaux by highway A10/A83 (355km 3:30)

By train

  • TGV Train station in Brest (2h45 from Paris)
  • TGV Train station in Nantes (5h30 to Paris)

By plane

  • Airport in Nantes, Rennes and Brest

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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