©Yves Quéré
Themed break

Free-wheel with the family on the water’s edge

Half-way between Vannes and Rennes, this is an ideal route for a family: soft transport is the only kind permitted. A cocktail of natural discoveries to enjoy in green and blue.

Suggestion for break in
4 days
Level: easy
113 km

At a glance

Redon, where the Vilaine and the Nantes – Brest canal meet, is the starting point for this lovely 150 km green loop on the water’s edge. Steep natural sites, peaceful river stops and astonishing megaliths can be found along the route. Get ready for a gentle family adventure!

Stopover on Ile aux Pies

Day 1 – Redon – Malestroit > (36 km)

Head north to begin your journey. On Ile aux Pies, high granite cliffs plunge into the Oust to form a water gap around a chain of islands. On its rocky slopes, the site accommodates a leisure centre, called Escapades Verticales. Allow yourself a sporty break in nature for a climbing, high-rope or orienteering session.
After your picnic, continue on the towpath. You’ll cycle alongside the very calm and natural setting of the Nantes – Brest canal. In Saint-Martin-sur-Oust, take a refreshing break in the shops. Malestroit is a little further on.
Nicknamed the “pearl of Oust”, the little town of character is popular for its beautiful half-timbered medieval residences.

  • Escapades Verticales proposes an interactive family treasure hunt on the fauna and flora and the history of Île aux Pies.
  • The Malestroit canoe-kayak club organises guided trips on the river.

Amidst the standing stones

Day 2 – Malestroit – Monteneuf > (41 km)

Hop back on the saddle to continue your way along the towpath until you cross a former railway track. It will take you to Ploërmel, where you can enjoy the banks of Lac au Duc before returning to the town centre. Don’t miss the astronomical clock, a a listed historical monument and demonstration of real technical prowess with its 200 cogs.
After your meal, set off towards Guer on the former railway tack. If you take a detour, you’ll get to the Monteneuf standing stones, formed of 42 stones aligned on the moor. A footpath (1.5 km) goes round the edge. In summer, in the autumn holidays and in the spring holidays, experimental archaeological activities are proposed on site: jewellery making, fire lighting, techniques for moving the standing stones, stone engraving, treasure hunts, etc. Theme-based walks are organised the rest of the year.

  • With 5,500 plants of 550 different varieties, the hydrangea circuit (3 km) of Lac au Duc can be discovered between June and September.
  • With more than 400 games from all over the world, the Auberge des Voyajoueurs in Monteneuf is a games kingdom, the only one of its kind in France!

The salt road

Day 3 – Monteneuf – Guipry-Messac > (35 km)

The journey carries on towards Guer, to the edge of Brocéliande forest. Surrounded by the Oyon valley, shaped by forests, moors and prairies, it is a calm and natural area.
After a lunch break, continue to Maure-de-Bretagne before returning to the banks of the Vilaine.
The port of Guipry-Messac was an important step on the salt road, which went from the Guérande and Ré salt marshes. The quays of a delightful port with streets that evoke the “salt smugglers” and the “salt miners” still remain from this prosperous period. Lined with 17th-century houses, flanked with a former mill, this river stop is now living a second life thanks to pleasure boating.

  • Labelled a green resort, Guipry-Messac is a well-known fishing site in Ille-et-Vilaine.

Along the Vilaine

Day 4 – Guipry-Messac – Redon > (40 km)

With your picnic in the panniers, discover the valley of Vilaine along the towpath. The wooded and steep section of the Corbinières massif takes you up high. Along the river, there are many places suitable for a break.  Why not press your own apple juice as a souvenir? This is possible in the autumn at the Galopins farm near Langon. Account for two hours, and reserve in advance.
Back on the route, stop in Brain-sur-Vilaine, a little village with houses made of shale, where you can stock up at the grocery before reaching Redon at the end of the afternoon.

  • In Guipry-Messac, a discovery circuit (2.5 km) crosses the wooded valley of Corbinières.
  • The Redon escape game pays homage to the ghost of Belphégor, created by the novelist and child of the region, Arthur Bernède

We like

  • The journey back in time to the period of the megaliths.
  • The discovery of the little river stops in the Vilaine valley.

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