Dinard

La Plage de l'Ecluse
Located a stones throw from St malo on France's north western Brittany coast, Dinard has been a popular holiday destination since the middle of the 19th century. Its combination of mild climate, long sandy beaches and water sport activities arguably make it one of the best seaside resorts in Europe.

Dinards Beaches

Dinard has three beaches, the most central of which is the Plage de l'Ecluse (shown above) which lies directly behind the town's main commercial areas (including shops, the market, the Casino etc.). Along the beach front promenade can be found a variety of cafes and restaurants serving anything from dinks and icecreams to 3 course meals. Of Dinard's three beaches Plage de l'Ecluse is the only one with these facilities in such abundance, leading to it being the most popular.
Plage de St Enogat Plage du Prieure
The Plage de St Enogat, shown above left, is situated to the West of Dinard and can be easily reached via the coastal walk from Plage de l'Ecluse. The beach has a few bars and shops nearby as well as children's entertainment including mini golf and a merry go round. The beach is a good 15 minute walk from central Dinard via the coastal path.
The Plague du Prieure is situated to the East of central Dinard. Unlike the other beaches it has little in the way of beach side bars or shops, but for this reason it is normally more quiet than the other beaches. Behind the beach lies a delightful park area. This not only has a children's play area, duck ponds and an abundance of shady trees, but also has a "mini" zoo containing various birds, llamas, kangaroos, pigs etc., stables (containing a large number of horses), a "stately house" and an outdoor fitness training circuit !

The Coastal Walks

The coastal walk
The coastal paths extend along a significant area of the local coast, stretching west from the "barrage de la Rance" near St Malo, past Dinard and on towards other beaches such as St Lunaire further down the coast. You can join the paths from any of Dinard beaches as well as a number of other points (such as the barrage).
The paths take in all of Dinard's main beaches as well as the "harbour" area where small yachts and the "St Malo ferry" can be found. If you join the paths at Dinard's main beach (plage de l'Ecluse) then the path towards the beach at St Enogat (west) is mostly level and an easy stroll (even with a buggy or push chair). The path towards the "Plage du Prieure" (east) is also generally flat although there is one section with a sharp incline and a few steps opposite the harbour at St Malo. It is possible to navigate this with a buggy or push chair but it's a bit more taxing. This section of the walk can, however, be bypassed as there is a road linking the start of the path to the harbour area with its various restaurants.
The cliffs to either side of the path make an ideal diversion for older children (of any age) who may enjoy rock climbing or "crabbing". During high tides you can also indulge in games such as "dodge the spray" as the waves crash against the walkway walls, although normally this is not required.

Shopping and Eating out

One of Dinard's main shopping streets The market square in Dinard The indoor, permanent market
The majority of the shops and restaurants in Dinard can be found between the main beach (Plage de l'Ecluse) and the Market area. The town itself has a number of small shops as well as one supermarket, all centrally located. There are also two larger supermarkets within a 10 minute car journey. Most restaurants have outside seating areas and offer good value set menu options.
During the summer Dinard hosts a thriving local Market three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. This is centered around the permanent indoor market which opens every day selling fresh bread and pastries, sea food, meat, vegetables and wine etc.

St Malo

Dinard is a stone's throw from the historic port of St Malo which can be reached either by road (approximately 20 minutes), or via the more leisurely passenger ferry service which runs regularly to connect the two ports.
This is a view of St Malo.
Built in granite rock in the English Channel, the bathing resort of Saint Malo is known for its castle, the cathedral of Saint Vincent, its 14th century ramparts which overlook the sea and as the birthplace of the famous French writer and statesman, Chateaubriand.
The town has a somewhat dubious history having been an important base for pirates and also for the slave trade. Nevertheless, a trip to St Malo is a must for any visitor to Brittany. The settlement, whose name derives from a 6th century British Monk who came to convert the region to Christianity, is a thriving channel port town containing several docks covering commercial, pleasure and ferry traffic.
A walk around the ramparts which encircle the old town give excellent views of the town itself and the surrounding sea and countryside. St Malo offers many attractions such as the museum, the castle and the aquarium. There are also many boat trips from St Malo to the Channel Islands which, although under British jurisdiction, are much closer to France than England and a popular day trip from St Malo.

Dinan

Dinan is the ancient seat of the Dukes of Brittany and is represented on the Bayeux Tapestry as a fortress town. The town is protected by the highest wall in this area and stands 75 metres above the River Rance.
Dinan is very popular with british tourists A walk through Dinan is a voyage of architectural and historical discovery. Both the 12th century Basilica of Sauver and the 15th century Church of St Malo have been updated and restored continuously since their construction and therefore have a mix of architectural features reflecting the styles of architecture at the time of each restoration.
Similarly the castle is in various architectural styles, the construct started in the 13th century and continued until the end of the 15th century. The castle museum traces the history of Dinan through the ages.
The port of Dinan is situated at the foot of the viaduct spanning the Rance Valley. Boat trips are available along the River Rance from Dinard or St Malo.