Brittany Boating Holidays

Brittany is a magical land, alive with folklore, festivals and tradition. Ancient megaliths and stones reflect its Celtic past, with medieval towns, colourful ports and fairytale castles a reminder of its fascinating history. Every year local festivals can be seen, celebrated in traditional costume with dancing to Celtic music.

With long hours of sunshine Brittany is an excellent cruising region to explore. Its network of canals meander through a landscape of woodland and pastures.

Brittany Area Map

Regional dishes abound – seafood platters, oysters, local ciderand the famous Breton crepes. Leisure facilities, watersports and fishing are easy to find.

Enjoy a cruise on Brittany’s gentle waterways from one of six boat bases.

Brittany - land of legends and contrasts

Joining the Canal d’Ille et Rance descend Hede’s spectacular staircase of locks to reach the ancient port of Dinan, its medieval streets high on the cliffs overlooking the port. From our new 2017 penichette base at Melesse south of Dinan follow the River Vilaine to Rennes, the capital of Brittany with timber framed house and cobbled streets.

South from Messac, home to a cruiser boat base the River Vilaine reaches Redon, the ‘little Venice’ of Brittany, where many routes meet. Don’t miss St Saveur Abbey. Going north west take the River Aff to the floral town of La Gacilly, home to the famous Yves Rocher botanical gardens. Take the Canal de Nantes et Brest from our penichette base at Saint-Martin-sur-Oust along a beautiful waterway through forests and reed beds to picturesque Malestroit, and then on to the imposing waterside turreted castle of Josselin.

From Redon it is a short distance south under the iron bridge of Port de Roche and its Napoleonic seals to the pretty port of La Roche Bernard.

Explore its narrow winding streets and perhaps try local oysters at a seafood restaurant.

South east from Redon, the Canal de Nantes et Brest crosses the viaduct at Corbinieres. Cruise the forest of Gavre to Blain and its famous chateau before reaching the River Erdre. According to a Breton legend, 100 castles were built along its banks.

You can also follow the River Erdre to the historic cathedral city of Nantes, the medieval seat of the Dukes of Brittany.

A boating holiday in Brittany offers you Celtic charm and fairytale castles in beautiful countryside.

Area Highlights

Highlights of the Brittany Region

  • Medieval town of Josselin with its timber houses and 12th century Château
  • La Gacilly, known for its Yves perfume factory and botanical gardens
  • Redon- the little Venice of Brittany
  • Delightful 18th and 19th century castle on the River Erde
  • St-Pierre-St-Paul Cathedral
  • The capital of Brittany - Rennes, home to 18th century manor houses and parliament buildings
  • Explore Dinan and its medieval streets set in the cliffs
  • Breton specialities such as crêpes and oysters

Useful Information:

  • Locks in Brittany are mostly automatic with a lock keeper. Locks are open on public holidays.
  • Cruising on the River Loire, south of Nates is not allowed.

Customer Reviews

We did a total of 17 days cruising from Messac to La Gacilly, Malestroit, Josselin, Redon and Dinan. Did not intend to go to La Gacilly but did so on recommendation of base - superb. It would be hard to do this route in less time and do justice to it. This was our best trip ever. The base people were fantastic, the boat first class and the service all round from Blue Water to Le Boat was faultless. GM
Messac - Dinan
We loved the tranquillity of the Brittany canals. The scenery was exceptional with exciting towns and villages en route. The staff at the Redon base were very friendly and helpful and English speaking which helps a lot when taking instructions!
DM – Redon and back in Western France

Suggested cruises from our bases in Brittany

Brittany Boating Map

Cruises are available between bases of the same colour.

View Routes from:

Boat Holidays from St Martin sur Oust

Picturesque St Martin sur Oust on the Nantes-Brest Canal is the gateway to Brittany.

To the west of Saint-Martin-sur-Oust, the Nantes Brest Canal becomes one of the most beautiful navigable waterways. After Malestroit with its half-timbered houses, mossy pathways, see villages of granite and slate before reaching the walls and daunting keeps of Josselin Castle, the classic medieval fortress.

Alternatively travel south east for a highly recommended detour on the little river Aff to the lovely village of La Gacilly, with its flower-filled alleys and magnificent botanical garden. Continuing on the Nantes-Brest Canal, you reach Redon with its Saint Saviour abbey, a real waterways crossroads and the land of the magical Merlin!

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Saint Martin sur Oust

One Way Routes

St Martin sur Oust - Messac - Rennes - Melesse

Return Trip • 1 Week • 140km • 27 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Out and Back Routes

St Martin sur Oust - La Gacilly - Malestroit - Josselin

Return Trip • 1 Week • 122km • 28 Locks • 3 hr 30 / day

St Martin sur Oust - Redon - Messac - Pont Réan

Return Trip • 1 Week • 184km • 20 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

St Martin sur Oust - Blain - Nort-sur-Erdre - Sucé - Nantes

Return Trip • 10 / 11 Days • 232km • 38 Locks • 3 hr 30 / day

St Martin sur Oust - La Gacilly - Malestroit - Josselin - Rohan

Return Trip • 10 / 11 Days • 170km • 60 Locks • 3 hr 45 / day

St Martin sur Oust - La Gacilly - Malestroit - Josselin - Pontivy

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 222km • 172 Locks • 5 hr / day

St Martin sur Oust - Redon - Messac - Rennes - Tinteniac

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 318km • 92 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

St Martin sur Oust - Messac - Rennes - Dinan - La Gacilly - Malestroit - Josselin

Return Trip • 3 Weeks • 480km • 146 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Boat Holidays from Melesse

From our new Melesse base cruise along the River Vilaine. Stop in Rennes to explore its Parliament, cathedral and half-timbered houses. Heading southwards, the bridge at Pont Réan, with its nine arches, offers a superb viewpoint over the river. As you approach Messac, do not miss the water-mills and windmills of the Breton moorlands or the numerous châteaux and castles in the area.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Melesse

One Way Routes

Melesse - Rennes - Messac - St Martin sur Oust

Return Trip • 1 Week • 140km • 27 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Castle at Josselin
Penichette in Brittany

Please note that hours suggested above are approximate

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