Total distance: 210kms (130 miles) or 250kms (155 miles)
Max. daily distance: 68kms (42 miles)
Grade: Easy (Assuming reasonable level of cycling fitness)
This is a self-guided, circular cycle tour of the region with a total distance of either 210kms (130 miles) or 250kms (155 miles). The route, which follows a section of the beautiful northern Brittany coastline and the towpath beside the Ille-et-Rance canal, visits such picturesque and historic places as St-Malo, the Mont St-Michel, Combourg, Dinard and Dinan, but also passes through some peaceful and scenic rural areas. We also offer an optional baggage transfer service on this tour. This tour is designed for individuals, couples, families and groups.
We try to offer flexibility, so if you do not have enough time, or do not wish to do the full tour itinerary, we would be happy to provide a quotation for a shortened version of the tour; a 'Compact Coastal Classique'. For example, if you like coastal scenery and seaside towns, you could cycle from St Malo to Pontorson via Cancale and the Mont St-Michel - (Days 1, 2 and 4 of the itinerary), however, if you prefer rural scenery with fields, woodland, lakes, rivers, canals and small towns and villages, you could cycle from Pontorson to St Malo via Combourg and Dinan - (Days 6 and 7 of the itinerary).
We would recommend starting and finishing the tour in the town of Pontorson. However, if you prefer, it is also possible to start the tour in Combourg or Dinan, which also have railway stations, at Dinard Airport (route passes airport entrance) or St-Malo, which has both a railway station and is a cross-channel ferry port.
Day 1 - Pontorson to Combourg - Distance: 40kms (25 miles)
Cycle from Pontorson to the attractive town of Combourg following quiet lanes through rural Brittany via the small town of Bazouges-la-Pérouse, which is popular with artists. Combourg is in a picturesque setting by a lake and is dominated by its mediaeval chateau, built between the 11th and 15th centuries and home to the famous writer François-René de Chateaubriand (1768 - 1848). Stay overnight in Combourg.
Day 2 - Combourg to Dinan - Distance: 55kms (35 miles). Traffic-free bike paths: 35kms (22 miles). There is the option of a shorter route of 30kms (19 miles). Traffic-free bike paths: 23kms (14 miles)
Cycle from Combourg to Dinan. The first stage of the ride to Hédé follows quiet roads through meadows and woodland. The last 40kms (25 miles) of the route is on a dedicated cycle track along the towpath of the Ille-et-Rance canal, and also following the banks of the river Rance. The ride passes through the lovely canalside and riverside towns of Tinténiac, Trévérien, Evran and Léhon. Stay for two nights in Dinan.
Day 3 - Non-cycling day in Dinan
A non-cycling day to explore Dinan. Dinan is the best-preserved, mediaeval walled town in Brittany, perched high above the valley of the river Rance. There are many 15th century half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, attractive squares and a chateau.
Day 4 - Dinan to St Malo via Dinard - Distance: 25kms (15 miles). Traffic-free bike paths: 18kms (11 miles)
From Dinan take the dedicated cycle path to the coastal resort of Dinard. Dinard retains much of its character as an Edwardian seaside resort with magnificent villas overlooking the sea and has a beautiful curved bay with a large sheltered beach, and stunning views across the estuary to St Malo. Take the ferry boat from Dinard on the short crossing (10 minutes) to St Malo. (This passenger ferry also carries bicycles). Stay for two nights in St Malo.
Day 5 - Non-cycling day in St Malo
A non-cycling day to explore St Malo. St Malo is the gateway to the northern Brittany coast on the beautiful Cote d'Emeraude, with many beaches, peninsulas and rugged promontories. The walled town, known as 'Intra Muros', has many hotels, cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and sheltered beaches beyond the walls. Another option would be to take the ferry to Jersey in the Channel Islands and explore the island with or without your bicycle.
Day 6 - St Malo to Mont St-Michel via Cancale - Distance: 68kms (42 miles). Traffic-free bike paths: 22kms (14 miles)
Cycle from St Malo to the Mont St-Michel following the coastline via Cancale. Cancale is recognised as the 'seafood capital' of northern France. Most of the route hugs the coastline, passing beautiful coves and sandy beaches; ideal for taking a break or having a dip in the sea. After leaving Cancale, the route continues to follow the coast, where you will pass a number of ancient windmills and many small restaurants and stalls selling the locally farmed mussels and oysters. This section of beach is also popular with sand yachters. There is an optional 20km (12 miles) traffic-free bike path section available for part of the route. The magnificence of the Mont St-Michel becomes more magical the closer one gets, with the view of the monument dominating much of the ride. Stay overnight near to the Mont St-Michel. (This leg of the tour can be split into two days by including at overnight stop in Cancale - Distance leg 1: 24kms (15 miles) and leg 2: 43kms (27 miles). The price of the tour to include this option is 400€ (Euros) per person because of the additional baggage transfer involved).
Day 7 - Mont St-Michel to Pontorson - Distance: 10kms (6 miles). Traffic-free bike paths: 10kms (6 miles) or 50kms (30 miles). Traffic-free bike paths: 4kms (2.5 miles)
From the stunning Mont St-Michel, a world heritage site, cycle back to Pontorson on the dedicated cycle track along the banks of the river Couesnon. The ride on this day is deliberately shorter to allow for the opportunity to spend some time at the Mont St-Michel, as a finale to the tour. However, if you would prefer a longer route, we are happy to offer the alternative of a ride back to Pontorson, visiting the attractive Norman town of Ducey.
We provide a warm welcome, comprehensive and easy to follow route guides/maps, detailed written directions and an optional baggage transfer service. We also provide hybrid solo bicycles and tandems, and other bike related equipment for your use at no additional cost (see BIKES & OTHER EQUIPMENT). However, if you would prefer to bring your own bike, this is no problem and we will adjust the price of the tour accordingly. We also provide a full backup service if you have a mechanical problem, and are also on hand to assist you in the unlikely event of you getting lost. Please note that we do not provide your accommodation on this tour. (See ACCOMMODATION).
You are free to take as many days as you like, but we feel that one week is about the right length of time, allowing for a couple of non-cycling days to do some sightseeing. If you wish to omit one or both of our suggested rest days, or take them in a different town, that is not a problem.
You are also free to choose the start and finish day of your break, perhaps to take advantage of mid-week travel, when ferry and flight prices are usually cheaper.
We want to be flexible and offer you the choice of different types of accommodation; hotels, bed and breakfast, hostels or camping, depending upon your tastes and budget, and therefore the price that we quote represents solely the cost of the cycle tour. We want you to stay where you want to stay, not where we want you to stay.
There is a large variety of categories of accommodation available along the route and tents can be hired from us if you prefer the outdoor life. We are happy to assist you in finding your choice of accommodation, including contacting the proprietors of the establishments on your behalf to provide you with details such as availability and prices, if required. If you decide to book the tour, we can also give you a list of places to stay which have been recommended by previous clients.
The cost of the full package including route maps, backup, baggage transfers and hire of bicycle is 395€ (Euros) per person or 405€ (Euros) per person to include the option of the additional stay in Cancale. If you do not require the baggage transfer service, the cost is 270€ (Euros) per person. (Discounts available for groups of 4 people or more). If you would like to make payment in a currency other than euros, please contact us. We have one price all year round. We don't charge more in high season.
Tel: (0033) (0)2 99 97 08 76
Business Hours: 9am to 6pm
Brittany Borders Bicycling, Chez M ou Mme Hall, La Ramée Gérard, 35420 St Georges de Reintembault, France