Marque Bretagne

The Nantes to Brest canal as a family

From Pontivy to Redon, ride with your family along the Nantes to Brest canal on the Vélodyssée

The Nantes to Brest canal for family cycling

Gather the family, hop on the bikes and leave for a rejuvenating holiday on the Vélodyssée

From Pontivy to Redon, the Nantes to Brest Canal as a family offers you a beautiful and relaxing crossing of Brittany in a natural setting. On the towpath, perfectly signposted and secure, you will discover a deeply peaceful and wild region with your family. In the middle of this sanctuary of greenery, the chirping of birds and the gentle sound of the river punctuate your family cycling break.

This route, specially designed for families, is perfectly suited to children, including young children. The stages are short, flat and completely away from traffic. Thus, you will sail along the canal with your children with confidence. Signposted, the route of Eurovélo 1, the Vélodyssée, shows you the way and shows you the distances by bicycle between each stage village.

In the middle of the rural landscapes of the canal, you will meet other travellers (cyclists, walkers) and locals (lock keepers, boaters, residents, fishermen). They will always be happy to tell you their love story with the canal.

450 km between Nantes and Brest, 364 km from the lock at Nort-sur-Erdre at the 237th lock located in Châteaulin (238 locks in total*). The richness of this cycling route is the variety of rivers rode along more often wild than artificial. In fact, only 20%, or 73 km, have been dug to link the rivers of the Ordre, Oust and Alder in particular. From Redon to Châteaulin, you are in the heart of Brittany and you cross some of the most beautiful parts of the canal on a route accessible to all thanks to the well kept towpaths combining asphalt road, white paths and well maintained trails.

This route on the Nantes to Brest canal is shared with the Vélodyssée route. French part of Eurovélo 1, connecting Roscoff to Hendaye, this large cycle route offers many family cycling adventures.

A bit of history :

The Nantes to Brest canal construction projects were initiated under the Old Regime. They began under Napoleon 1st for strategic reasons. In 1804, the construction of the canal began at both ends in Loire Inférieur (Loire Atlantique) and in Finistère. 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 around 150 million euros.

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

Carte itinéraire Canal de Nantes à Brest en famille
Niveau EasyEasy
Day 1

PONTIVY

Welcome to Pontivy, the departure city of your cycling trip on the Nantes to Brest canal.

If you arrive early, go with the children to discover Pontivy through two discovery booklets: the medieval booklet and the Napoleonic one. The goal is to solve puzzles and find clues on the city walls. Children love it, and so do parents!

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 PONTIVY to ROHAN 26km 117m Niveau Facile

From Pontivy, you no longer follow the Blavet but the canal dug to connect the course of the river to that of the Oust, river that you will follow to Redon. The numerous locks and small retention ponds on this part of the canal are an interesting curiosity. Rohan seems set on top of the Oust. Small charming village, with beautiful granite houses, the town offers all the shops needed to refuel and enjoy a relaxed evening.

In Rohan, horse riding enthusiasts can indulge their passion at the Rohan equestrian center. For those who prefer water sports, canoeing and kayaking is possible on the river.

Day 3

From ROHAN to JOSSELIN 25km 36m Niveau Facile

A few kilometers after the departure from Rohan you will reach Notre-Dame de Timadeuc Abbey on the banks of the canal . A community of monks lives there under the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks make cheeses, jams, fruit pastes … If you pay them a visit you can discover all their products inside their shop. The descent of the Oust continues to Josselin, a small town of character. The town center has historic timber framed houses and the cafes and crêperies offer a warm welcome.

In Josselin, you can visit the castle and the Dolls and Toys Museum. Fun activities are especially available for children.

Day 4

From JOSSELIN to SAINT-LAURENT-SUR-OUST 33km 51m Niveau Facile

You cross the Roc Saint-André which offers impressive religious architecture. This village is also that of the now famous Lancelot Brewery. You can stop there to visit and taste the traditional beers or soda of the Phare Ouest! The rest of the route will take you to Malestroit, a charming little town to visit. It is also the ideal place to eat or refuel. The small village of Saint-Laurent-sur-Oust will offer you less possibilities, but will be a calm and peaceful place for a pleasant stopover.

Day 5

From SAINT-LAURENT-SUR-OUST to REDON 33km 52m Niveau Facile

On the banks of the Oust, common streambed with the Nantes to Brest canal. The towpath offers a flat, peaceful circuit where you can appreciate the calmness of the place. Facing the cliffs of Ile aux Pies, which is on the other side of the canal, Brittany shows you how surprising it can be, with its relief and its rocks. The surprise continues in Redon with the size of its port and its quays, in the center of Brittany. The crossroads here of the Oust which flows into the Vilaine, makes it a strategic point for all boaters. From here, they can reach the English Channel as well as the Atlantic thanks to the canals or channeled rivers. The center of Redon and its massive monuments offer you a nice stop at the end of the day.

Day 6

REDON

After breakfast, end of your stay on the Nantes to Brest canal.

Essential Range with family rooms

The price is based on one family room for 4 people, 2 adults and 2 kids., please contact us if you need another type of rooms. Free for young children (0-2 years) with a baby bed in the room.
Accommodation example
Hôtel Robic Chambre d'hôtes La Villa Tranquillité B&B Le 14 Saint Michel Gîte Les Laurentides façade hotel queen serenity redon

Starting from 657€/adult 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: 5 nights in a Family 4 participants ou Double room
  • 5 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:
    • Day 1 : A personalized greeting with our team at the beginning of the trip to receive your travel documents
  • 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
    Vélo Abicyclette Voyages

    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 Rando Abicyclette Voyages

    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 bike water bottle
    EBIKE VELO DE VILLE

    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 : PONTIVY

    Coming by car

    • at 4h45 from PARIS
    • at 5h15 from BORDEAUX
    • at 8h from LYON

    Parking*

    • Place Aristide Briand – PONTIVY

    Coming by train

    • Vannes train station - 2h30 from Paris
    • Pontivy bus station - 3h45 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Rennes Airport

    Arrival city : REDON

    Coming by car

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

    Coming by train

    • Redon train station - 2h30 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Rennes Airport
    • Nantes airport

    *Parking: Since many of our clients travel by train or plane, we do not include parking in our packages. In addition, many accommodations don’t have the capacity to park a vehicle for the duration of your cycling vacation. So if you’re planning to arrive by car, we suggest you check parking options when you make your reservation. If you reserve a parking space at the first or last accommodation of your stay, you must pay the accommodation provider on site.

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

    How to get back to the starting point

    • By train from Redon to Pontivy bus station in 2h30
    • Private shuttle: see detailed fares or contact us

    Recommended equipment

    Bike

    • All-Terrain Bike (ATB) or Touring Bike or Gravel Bike
    • 18 to 30-speed transmission
    • 26- to 29-inch wheels
    • Tires: 35 to 42 section, reinforced against punctures
    • Disc brakes recommended
    • 2 bottle cages
    • Bell
    • Front and rear lighting

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (supplied with bike rental unless otherwise specified locally)
    • 1 bike mount for smartphone to use the mobile route planner application
    • Suitable cycling clothing:
      • bib, shorts or tights: elastic and breathable, to facilitate movement and wick away perspiration
      • Breathable T-shirts, synthetic or merino wool
      • Breathable windbreaker
    • Thermal or fleece jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 backpack or 1 or 2 carrier bags
    • 1 or 2 water bottles (supplied with bike rental in France)
    • 1 lock (supplied with bike rental)
    • Technical details, recommended by the team for optimum comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves or mittens, depending on season and destination
      • Padded bib (chamois)
      • High-visibility vest or fluorescent belt
      • Neck warmer and cap

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 inner tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Maintenance kit: rag, oil, brake pads

    Other

    • A suitcase for your belongings carried in the vehicle (limited to one per person)
    • Street clothes
    • 1 pair of evening shoes
    • Fleece jacket for the evening
    • Toiletry bag
    • Telephone and charger

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