©Balade en bateau sur la riviere le Blavet|Emmanuel Berthier
Canal boating as a family Nautical outings for family gateways

Canal boating as a family

In Brittany, even inland, you are never very far from water. Spread over 600km, the 4 navigable waterways, which include the Nantes to Brest canal, the Blavet Valley, the Ille-et-Rance canal and the Vilaine, await your family!

Nature and discovery

The flight of a dragonfly, the deep blue feathers of a kingfisher, the croaking of a frog, the widening rings in the water… canals teem with wildlife to the greatest delight of your toddlers. For your little ones, a stroll along the river banks not only provides a guaranteed intake of fresh air but has potential for an improvised picnic on the grass or a planned fishing party. Want to discover natural wonders with your family, why not set off for l’Ile aux Pies (Magpie Island) with its imposing cliffs of granite, visit the natural reserve of Lan Bern et Magoar with its Highland ponies or even head to the 400- hectare lac de Guerlédan (Guerlédan Lake); the largest water reservoir in Brittany.



For something more active: get your paddles ready!

If your older ones cannot resist the urge to paddle, head for the glissières de Glomel to perform a balancing act on aquatic slides in an unsinkable kayak. The large purpose-built white water stadium of Inzinzac-Lockrist is accessible to all, with the only lift for kayaks in France – the stadium also offers water trekking. For something a bit less daring? Why not take a pedalo out or join an organised nautical outing or trekking.

Water stadium of Inzinzac-Lockrist

Little Einstein of the canal

How does a lock actually work? Why are canals called “tidal rivers”? What is a bargeman? If your children want to know all about canals but you are clueless on the subject, come and visit the lock houses which have been re-purposed as pedagogical centres.  The Maison de la Rance, the Maison du Canal d’Ille-et-Rance, the Musée de la Batellerie in Redon and the interpretation centres of Aulne and Hyères will help you learn whilst having fun. Thanks to the workshops, models and the passion of our guides you will soon be an expert as well.


Maison de la Rance     Maison du Canal d’Ille et Rance

Inland sailors, take to the helm!

Row, row, row your boat… To appreciate the canals from a different viewpoint, why not treat yourself to a boat cruise. At a speed of only 8 kilometres per hour, you will enjoy the gentle pleasure of canal boating whilst taking the time to appreciate the rich life which surrounds the channel. If you prefer to navigate the locks independently and be your own captain for a day or two, why not hire one of the many available houseboats and sail your family to freedom?

River cruising

Did you know?

When canals are brought to life...

Numerous events take place on the canals throughout the year: giant picnics, boating rallies, nautical jousts and other celebrations feature highly on family outing agendas. Make sure you check your calendar!

Events taking place near canals

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Official website of tourism in Brittany