Brittany

Celtic charm and fairytale castles Brittany's network of Napoleonic canals and flower-lined locks meanders through a peaceful landscape of forests and pastures dotted with medieval towns.

Destinations / France / Brittany

Celtic charm and fairytale castles

Brittany's network of Napoleonic canals and flower-lined locks meanders through a peaceful landscape of forests and pastures dotted with medieval towns and fairy-tale castles. From Messac, follow the tranquil Vilaine River through a beautiful landscape of locks and windmills to Rennes, the capital of Brittany, with its stone-paved streets, half-timbered houses and imposing architecture. In Betton, you can play tennis or go horse riding and enjoy the view of the incredible cascade of locks at Hédé. Dinan is a medieval fortified town looking out over the harbour from high cliffs.

Map of Charente

Follow the Vilaine River to Redon, with its beautiful Saint-Sauveur Abbey and bustling Monday markets. The Aff River will lead you to La Gacilly –⁠ a frequent winner of French flower festivals and home to Yves Rocher's enchanting botanical gardens. Follow the Canal de Nantes à Brest through forests and reed swamps to picturesque Malestroit, where you can sample local cider and crepes before heading toto Josselin, one of Brittany's most beautiful towns, where the foundations of a massive castle with defensive towers reach down to the water.

Renowned fish restaurants

As you sail from Messac to the coast, you will pass under the iron bridge at Port de Roche, decorated with the seals of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie. In the charming port of La Roche Bernard, sample Breton oysters in one of the renowned local fish restaurants. Nantes, with its stunning Gothic cathedral, was the medieval seat of the Duke of Brittany and has a rich and vibrant history. Back along the Nantes à Brest canal, don't forget to visit the chateau at Blain, stop for a picnic in the woods at Gâvre and see the cidre factory at Guenrouët. And don't forget the unusual monoliths at Langon and the windmill at Guipry.

Brittany as a region is sure to enchant you, and the landscape along more than 600 km of waterways awaits your exploration. Rest assured that you'll spend a perfect holiday here on whatever route you choose.

People on paddleboards and in kayaks on a quiet water channel in the foothills of Josselin Castle

The Josselin Castle foothills offer plenty of other water activities

Beautiful Saint-Saveur Abbey

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent Abbey of Saint-Saveur. From Redon you can head in all directions: west to the land of Merlin the magician and Viviane the fairy, to La Gacilla, a town surrounded by moss paths and moors, andto the stunning castle of Josselin, whose 600-year-old towers reflect majestically on the water. The flower village of La Gacilla is interspersed with various cafés, restaurants and designer shops.

Heading south, towards the ocean, you reach the picturesque La Roche Bernard. La Roche Bernard is a charming place with beautiful views (day and night) of the Cape and an ancient centre. From here you will return towards Redon and continue northwards along the tranquil Vilaine River.

The cosmopolitan city of Rennes

In Guipra you can see the windmill and then stop in Messac. Here you can see the iron bridge of Port de Roche, which is decorated with the seal of Napoleon and was built for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Rennes is the capital of Brittany and acts as such. Here you will see the pride and self-confidence that befits the city. The cosmopolitan city, with its half-timbered houses and meticulously maintained gardens, boasts St Pierre's Cathedral, the Breton Museum and many other sights.

Colourful medieval 500-year-old buildings in Rennes, the capital of Brittany.

Colourful 500-year-old buildings in Rennes, the capital of Brittany.

Useful information

  • The locks in Brittany are mostly automatic and are usually manned by a lock keeper.
  • The locks are also open on public holidays.
  • From Dinan, only one-way navigation is possible.
  • Sailing on the Loire south of Nantes is not allowed.

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Cruises for 2–⁠5 days

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 2 days | 27 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 5

Glénac — La Gacilly — Malestroit and back

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon, you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent abbey of St. Saveur.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 2 days | 34 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 2

Glénac — La Gacilly — Guenrouet and back

In Guenrouët you can visit the Kerisac apple house and the nearby Notre Dame de Grâce church. Between Blain and Guenrouët you can sail through the beautiful forests of Gâvre. In the opposite direction, towards Glénac, you will sail to the town of Redon.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 2 days | 48 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 1

Glénac — La Gacilly — La Roche-Bernard and back

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon, you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent abbey of St. Saveur.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 3 days | 80 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 4

Redon — Guipry — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 3 days | 90 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 12

Redon — Blain — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 3 days | 92 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 12

Redon — Malestroit — La Gacilly — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 4 days | 152 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 4

Messac — La Roche-Bernard — Messac

In Messac, you can see the iron bridge Port de Roche, which is decorated with the seal of Napoleon and was built for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. In Guipry there is a windmill.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 5 days | 56 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 3

Glénac — La Gacilly — Redon — Messac and back

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon, you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent abbey of St. Saveur.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 5 days | 57 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 7

Glénac — La Gacilly — Blain and back

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon, you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent abbey of St. Saveur.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 5 days | 57 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 16

Glénac — La Gacilly — Josselin — Redon and back

It is definitely a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur is said to have originated in the Broceliand Forest, the Lady of the Lake is said to still be in the lake there, and Merlin's grave is said to exist adorned with papers with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 5 days | 94 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 20

Redon — Montertelot — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 5 days | 156 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 32

Redon — Nort-sur-Erdre — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Cruises for a week

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 100 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 32

Glénac — La Gacilly — Redon — Rohan and back

It is definitely a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur is said to have originated in the Broceliand Forest, the Lady of the Lake is said to still be in the lake there, and Merlin's grave is said to exist adorned with papers with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 106 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 17

Glénac — La Gacilly — Nantes and back

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon, you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent abbey of St. Saveur.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 122 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 28

Saint-Martin-sur-Oust — La Gacilly — Malestroit — Josselin — Saint-Martin-sur-Oust

This route could be called fabulous. The base of Saint-Martin-sur-Oust is ideally located on the Canal de Nantes à Brest near the village of Malestroit with its typical half-timbered houses. The biggest attraction of this canal is probably the castle of Josselin.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 126 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 30

Redon — Josselin — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 127 km
Type of cruise: one-way route
Number of locks: 57

Messac — Dinan (or vice versa)

In Messac, you can see the iron bridge Port de Roche, which is decorated with the seal of Napoleon and was built for the 1900 World's Fair in Paris

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 140 km
Type of cruise: one-way route
Number of locks: 27

Saint-Martin-sur-Oust — Messac — Rennes — Melesse

Sail down the Canal de Nantes à Brest to Glénac or Redon, then follow the Vilaine River to Messac.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 182 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 24

Redon — Rennes — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 184 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 13

Glenác — La Gacilly — Redon — La Roche-Bernard — Rennes and back

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur is said to have originated in the Broceliand Forest, thelake, the Lady of the Lake is said to still live there, and Merlin's grave is festooned with papers containing secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 190 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 32

Redon — Nantes — Redon

During your cruise in Brittany, try local crepes with a glass of cider, fish soup or grilled lobster.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 200 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 34

Nort-sur-Erdre — La Gacilly — Nort-sur-Erdre

The Erdre River makes for easy navigation and is ideal for beginners. In Blain there is a beautiful castle and a museum of art and traditions. Towards Redon you will sail through the beautiful forests of the Gâvre between Guenrouët and Blain.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 208 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 36

Messac — Josselin — Messac

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 240 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 32

Nort-sur-Erdre — La Roche-Bernard — Nort-sur-Erdre

The Erdre River makes for easy navigation and is ideal for beginners. In Blain there is a beautiful castle and a museum of art and traditions. Towards Redon you will sail through the beautiful forests of the Gâvre between Guenrouët and Blain.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 260 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 18

Nort-sur-Erdre — Messac (or vice versa)

The Erdre River makes for easy navigation and is ideal for beginners. In Blain there is a beautiful castle and a museum of art and traditions. Towards Redon you will sail through the beautiful forests of the Gâvre between Guenrouët and Blain.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 7 days | 280 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 36

Messac — Nantes — Messac

After leaving Messac, you will sail under the iron bridge of Port de Roche, which is decorated with the seal of Napoleon and was built for the World's Fair in Paris in 1900.

Cruises for 10–⁠14 days

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 10 days | 170 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 60

Saint-Martin-sur-Oust — La Gacilly — Malestroit — Josselin — Roham — Saint-Martin-sur-Oust

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 14 days | 182 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 60

Glénac — La Gacilly — Rennes — Dinan

Glénac is located at the junction of the Vilaine River and the Nantes and Brest Canal. In the nearby town of Redon, you can visit the boat museum, the Monday markets and, above all, the magnificent abbey of St. Saveur.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 14 days | 222 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 172

Saint-Martin-sur-Oust — La Gacilly — Malestroit — Josselin — Pontivy — Saint-Martin-sur-Oust

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 14 days | 226 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 164

Redon — Pontivy — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 14 days | 340 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 118

Redon — Dinan — Redon

It is certainly a very magical region, the legend of Excalibur originated in the Broceliand Forest, and the lake is said to be home to and you can visit Merlin's grave surrounded by messages with secret wishes.

Glénac, Brittany, France, sailing area, map

Trip length: 14 days | 402 km
Type of cruise: there and back
Number of locks: 68

Messac — Redon — Josselin — Nantes — Messac

In Messac, you can see the iron bridge Port de Roche, which is decorated with the seal of Napoleon and was built for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. In Guipry there is a windmill.