France-Bike, your partner for cycling holidays in France is pleased to present you this outstanding bike tour in Brittany. The construction of the Canal from Nantes to Brest was initiated under the reign - or dictatorship - of Napoleon but continued during a great part of the 19th century. This canal curls through the center and the heart of Brittany which is rather unknown to many tourists. Nevertheless, the mystic center of Brittany is really worth to be discovered by bike! And the canal leads you to medieval towns and villages, to impressive castles like Josselin and to manors hidden in their parks. The Breton churches and chapels with their typical calvarias, all built in granite welcome you all along your cycle trip. You won't encounter any cars but rather elves and other Breton mythical creatures. During the whole itinerary you'll stay in little and familial hotels with much atmosphere. You can book this bike vacation only in B&B, but you'll receive precise information over the good restaurants known for the quality of their cuisine.
Day 1: Arrival in Redon
Individual arrival in Redon. Take a walk around the old town. Welcome meeting and handout of rental bikes (if rented).
Day 2: Redon - Josselin, ~64 km
In Redon you reach the Oust riverbank, which shares a common riverbed with the Nantes to Brest canal. The route, flat and leisurely, will let you appreciate the peaceful atmosphere of these grounds. As you face the cliffs of the Ile de Pie on the other side of the canal, Brittany shows you just how surprising she can be. At 2/3 of the route you ride through Malestroit, a small city with character. You then head on to Roc André with an impressive religious architecture. This village is also famous for its brewery Lancelot. Allow for a visit and taste a traditional beer or local Phare Ouest cola. After few kilometers, you enter the city of Josselin through its majestic castle overlooking the canal. Also labeled "Small town of character," its typical houses with timber facades offer a warm welcome. You can also rent out canoes to explore the Canal from another perspective.
Day 3: Josselin - Pontivy, ~52 km
You get back to the banks of the Nantes-Brest canal. As you approach Rohan you discover the Abbey of Our Lady of Timadeuc. A community of Benedictine monks lives there. They make cheeses, jams, fruit jellies ... You can discover their products within their shop. The route then takes you to Pontivy. The many locks and small retention ponds in this part of the canal are an interesting curiosity. Along the Blavet riverbanks, Pontivy offers a fifteenth century castle which was one of the Duke of Rohan residences.
Day 4: Pontivy - Mur de Bretagne, ~21 km
You leave Pontivy to reach the Guerlédan lake and its famous hydroelectric dam. The towpath disappears here and the journey will take a bit of altitude. Before getting to the center of Mur de Bretagne, famous for his climb during the Tour de France, you take a detour to the Guerlédan lake.
Day 5: Mur de Bretagne - Carhaix-Plouguer, ~65 km
You leave Saint-Gelven and reach the canal at the level of the ancient abbey of Bon Repos (Good Rest). You then join the Forges des Salles, the highlight of the canal (184m) and the Glomel trench. The next stage takes you to Carhaix, one of the oldest Breton cities. Former capital of Poher, the city was built by the Romans. It is famous for its music festival des Vieilles Charues.
Day 6: Carhaix-Plouguer- Châteauneuf du Faou, ~38 km
A day riding at the foot of the Black Mountains. Your get to the towpath by the Carhaix port. At the end of your journey: Castle Trévarez (which needs you to get out of the canal when you arrive in Châteauneuf). Châteauneuf-Du-Faou, built on a rocky outcrop, is your stop for the night.
Day 7: Châteauneuf-du-Faou - Chateaulin, ~45 km and transfer to Brest
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 ! You arrive on the Port Launay, the last lock.On your arrival in Châteaulin a taxi takes you to Brest where you spend the night.
Day 8: Departure from Brest
7 nights in carefully chosen 2** and 3*** hotels
private transfer from Chateaulin to Brest on day 7
detailed documentation, brochures and maps
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every day
route (1)-(2): ~200 km/125 miles
mostly flat and along the canal
how to get there
by car: highway to Quimper, then onto Redon
by train: station in Redon, from Paris (3 hours) with TGV
by plane: airport Brest (30 min.)
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