Dinard beaches Travel Guide
About Dinard beaches
This very British resort, dominating as it does the Rance Estuary from its headland position, offers a magnificent panoramic view of both the Rance River and the English Channel. Dinard remained undiscovered until the 1850s, when it was still just a little fishing port with a charming windmill. But tourism was soon to change all that, as holidaymakers enjoying its mild climate and beautiful coastal scenery realised Dinard's potential as a seaside resort. Today more than 400 listed Belle Epoque villas bear witness to its prestigious past as one of the most fashionable resorts on the Brittany coast, in the days when the Brits introduced tennis to the locals and the French and international intelligentsia holidayed here.
From large sandy beaches to tiny inlets, there is something for everyone on the Dinard coastline. The four main beaches (Ecluse, Prieuré, St Enogat and Port Blanc) are all equipped with first aid posts in summer, and beach huts, deck chairs and umbrellas are available. The Plage de l'Ecluse (aka La Grande Plage) is the liveliest, with entertainment, keep fit sessions and various tournaments taking place there in summer. Watersports on offer include wind-surfing, sea kayaking, diving, deep-sea fishing, sailing and yachting.
Beyond the beach:
Dinard boasts 8km (5 miles) of marked coastal footpaths. Many of the resort's famous Belle Epoque villas overlook the sea, and can be seen from the walkways. Boat excursions up the Rance Estuary are popular. Activities in Dinard itself include horse riding, cycling and go-karting (21 rue de la Ville es Meniers). There are also tennis courts (Parc de Port Breton, boulevard de la Libération), two mini golf courses (St Enogat Beach and Prieure Beach), an Olympic-size swimming pool (Digue de l'Ecluse) and an 18-hole golf course. More activities, including paintballing, climbing and mountain biking, are available at the Dol de Bretagne, 25.5km (16 miles) east of Dinard, and there is hot air ballooning in Pleurtuit, near the airport.
Dinard is popular with families: its sandy beaches have lifeguards on duty in summer; beach clubs welcome children with all sorts of games and activities; the resort hotels often have swimming pool and kids clubs; and many of the restaurants in town are child-friendly.
A rocky islet dominated by an imposing Benedictine abbey (constructed between the 11th and 16th centuries), the historic settlement of Mont Saint-Michel (www.ot-montsaintmichel.com), a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an impressive sight. This important European pilgrimage spot can be reached in just over an hour by bus from St Malo and is well worth a visit for the photo opportunities alone. An excursion to the Old City of St Malo, one of Brittany's premier tourist resorts, is another must. Spend a morning exploring the charming narrow streets of the Old City, check out the St Vincent Cathedral, then spend the afternoon on one of several golden sand beaches, taking in the dramatic natural setting.