A night on the canal
Six ideas for getting on the water
How do you fancy getting away from the city to a place where time seems to stand still? Take a break on Brittany's canals and let the lapping waves and gentle breezes rock you to sleep. A real outdoor experience that gives you a sense of freedom!
1. My house on the water
Ti War An Dour - gîte flottant
Ti War An Dour - a floating gîte
Moored on a small lake just off the Nantes-Brest Canal near the town of Josselin, floating gîtes called ‘Ti War An Dour’ (which means ‘house on the water’ in Breton) promise a good night’s sleep. They have two bedrooms (including a master bedroom), a wonderful terrace and a large picture window for enjoying the view with a cocktail, plus Wi-Fi connection. It's the perfect spot for fishing in the Josselin area and a dream base for exploring the Nantes-Brest Canal by boat or electric bike, which can be rented nearby.
For more information: www.gite-flottant.fr
2. Boat, bike and kayak
Île flottante - Hédé
The floating island - Hédé
Ever heard of a ‘toue cabanée’? It's a traditional boat used on the Loire River for fishing and transporting goods. They have a small cabin for spending the night on board. The addition of an awning allows you to use the outside areas in all weathers, making it a unique place to stay, with enough space to play Robinson Crusoe with two children. Enjoy breakfast on the terrace across from the magnificent flight of 11-locks at Hédé-Bazouges… You'll also get two adult bikes and a kayak for relaxing trips along the canal towards Dinan and the Rance Valley.
For more information: www.illeflottante.com
3. A barge with all mod cons
In 1912, the Armor became the first motorized iron-hulled barge in Brittany. After a century of hard labour, the old lady was given a makeover and is now a characterful place to stay, offering 80 sq. m. of living space. Moored on the Ille-et-Rance Canal, a ten-minute walk from Chevaigné, the boat is equipped with all mod cons. There are three double cabins, two bathrooms, a large kitchen-bar area, and a mini home cinema… also a plush rooftop terrace for eating or lounging in the sun. After enjoying a siesta, you could try the boules pitch only 100 m away…
For more information: www.peniche-gite-bretagne.com
4. Water and art
Osmonde & Canotage
Osmonde & Canotage
In the leafy countryside around Québriac, Jean-Luc and Valerie have turned their flat-bottomed barge into a brightly-painted floating gîte for two people. With a rural ambience and Bohemian décor, this authentic barge (christened ‘Osmonde’) is moored in a natural setting next to a lock-keeper's cottage. There, Valerie has a studio where she runs clay and wood sculpture courses for all abilities. What could be better than the quiet countryside setting of the Nantes-Brest Canal to get your inspiration going?
For more information: www.osmondebateaugite.com
5. A dream in purple
Snuggled in the belly of this fully-renovated large purple barge, named after Orpheus, let your imagination sail away over the canal… without ever leaving your mooring. Furnished in a contemporary style, this floating gîte has four cosy rooms and accommodates up to six people. Anne-Marie will be happy to tell you about the best scenic walks in the area. Only a 10 km bike ride away is Josselin and its beautiful medieval fortress.
For more information: www.peniche-orphee.fr
6. A retro feel on the Blavet Canal
Boutique de l'écluse
The Lock Shop
Come and stay aboard a ‘cahotier’, a traditional boat made for Brittany’s canals. Moored near the ‘Boutique de l’écluse’ (Lock Shop) in Saint-Nicolas-des-Eaux, it sleeps four. Whether cruising at a leisurely pace (no licence needed!) or moored up, it makes for a unique stay. The ‘Boutique de l’écluse’ is located in a renovated lock-keeper's cottage. A charming grocery store, it also offers electric bikes and boats for hire.
For more information: www.aventurefluviale.bzh