Headwater - Brittany Self-Guided Activities

8 days
from
£1,129
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Trip code: 
M07BT
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

Spectacular views await: pink granite boulders above turquoise seas characterise the Breton coast.

No visit to this part of Brittany would be complete without seeing the beautiful mediaeval town of Dinan. This beautifully preserved ancient walled town, with riverfront port and picturesque half-timbered buildings, is an absolute gem. Wander round the marvellously restored ancient squares and ramparts, visit the imposing 13th century castle (with dungeon), admire the flamboyant Gothic basilica and stroll the lovely cobbled streets packed with authentic artisan workshops. Maybe take lunch in the bustling Place des Merciers, where pretty triangular-gabled houses are further examples of Dinan's exceptional architectural heritage.

We provide optional suggestions for every day of your stay, with a good mix of walking and cycling, usually at 1 or 1+ boot and 1-bike level. There's something for everyone, of every ability: there are short strolls to work up an appetite and rewarding day walks as well as the choice of easy bike rides from your doorstep on the voie verte cycle trail along the River Rance, which will enable you to get to know the area intimately.

It's a fantastically varied region with a landscape of peaceful river valleys, rugged coastal cliffs and secret coves, traditional Breton villages, and charming seaside resorts. Visit Dinard with its sandy beaches and Belle Epoque villas; take a short boat-hop to St-Malo to tour its famous ramparts. You could drive up to the coast for an unforgettable walk along the magnificent Cotes d'Armor trail that hugs the northern coast. For very little effort, you are rewarded with fabulous views, and highlights that include Cap Frehel and Fort La Latte. For a day out a little further afield, you could head over to iconic Mont St-Michel.

Highlights

  • Stay at the riverfront Port de Dinan close to the medieval centre and its ancient ramparts
  • Plenty of tempting riverside restaurants and local market (Thursdays)
  • Superb seafood; sweet and savoury crepes; refreshing local cider
  • Gentle walking and cycling along riverside paths, valley trails and through peaceful woodlands
  • Option to visit the famous old port town of St Malo, Dinard and Mont-Saint-Michel

Key information

  • 7 nights in 4-star accommodation
  • 6 days of activities.
  • Headwater cider collection service.
  • GPS route navigation provided.
  • High quality bikes provided.
  • Route notes and maps provided.
  • Countries visited: France

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • Accommodation at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual
  • 4 days activities.
  • Route notes and maps provided

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - compulsory supplement)
  • Visa's & vaccinations
Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

 

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.5miles
Day 313.0km/8.0miles
Day 525.0km/16.0miles
Day 714.0km/9.0miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Dinan
to
Dinan
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Dinan

    Arrive at the 4 star Mercure Dinan Port le Jerzual. With its beautiful riverside location, watch the world go by from the bar and restaurant terrace. Below is our suggested itinerary for the week but you're free to pice and choose when and where you walk or cycle each day.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Lehon and Dinan Walk

    An easy walk to get to know Dinan and the Rance Valley. Amble along the river to Lehon, the 9th century Abbaye Saint Magloire and the ruins of its 11th to 13th century hilltop chateau. Then it's up into Dinan to explore this mediaeval gem. Staying at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Taden Circuit Walk or Cycle

    This leisurely circuit takes you along the north side of the River Rance to the village of Taden with its restored church and the 14th century Manoir de la Grand' Cour. Choose to walk through peaceful woodlands and valley trails or cycle along the well-maintained cycle paths to the river marina at Lyvet/La Hisse and return along the old Dinard-Dinan railway line. Staying at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual.

    Optional cycle:  distance 8km/5mi or 23km/14.5mi

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Free Day

    Explore the area around Dinan port or further afield. You can rent canoes or kayaks for guided tours or independent rental, or electric boats to head further upstream to Lehon or down-river to Lyvet. There are even boat trips as far as St Malo. (2.5hr each way). Staying at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Evran Loop Cycle

    Cycle south along the Rance to Lehon (as per the walk you might have already enjoyed). Then continue along the canal to Evran. Choose the same route back from Evran on the voie verte, or take to the backroads through countryside. Staying at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free Day (bus, taxi or hire car required)

    The options are almost endless, with coastal footpaths from Dinard (west or east) or around the headland at Cap Frehel to see Fort La Latte. Alternatively, take the bus to Dinard or the boat across to St Malo, to explore the ramparts and old town, or head even further afield to the iconic island commune of Mont-Saint-Michel. Staying at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Moulin de Plouer to Dinan Walk

    Take a taxi to Moulin de Plouer (just east of Plouer-sur-Rance) and walk back to Dinan along the Natura 2000 trail. You stay along the River Rance, sometimes on its banks, at other times high above it and often with great views, especially at high tide on the more northerly section to Lyvet. Staying at Hotel Mercur Dinan Port le Jerzual.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Dinan

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Continental breakfasts are included.

Brittany’s fish and seafood is without doubt one of the region’s biggest draws. Platters stacked high with lobster, crab, oyster, shrimp and prawns grace the tables of the atmospheric restaurants. Huge bowls of fresh mussels, scallops and stuffed clams take their place alongside delicious sea bass and bream. The flat local ‘Belons’ oysters are delicious, fleshier than normal ones; they are renowned for their fine hazelnut flavour. Seafood will generally be served with the excellent Breton butter, which contains Guérande salt crystals, and plain bread. Brittany has its own variant on the well-known Provençal fish soup bouillabaisse. This dish, known as cotriade, is usually eaten as a starter, but served with cheese and croutons. It is hearty enough to qualify as a meal in itself!

Many people also think of crêpes when they think of Brittany and indeed almost every little village or town has its own crêperie. The usual custom is to start with a savoury galette (which distinguishes itself from the crêpe by being prepared with buckwheat flour instead of wheat flour), with your own choice of delicious fillings. The classics are ‘la galette complète’ which includes ham, grated cheese and an egg; or one with mushrooms and cream. But you will find as many different fillings as different chefs and then each crêperie has its own specialities. This is then followed by as many galettes as your appetite allows you to eat and finished by a sweet ‘crêpe’, again with a whole range of scrummy fillings!
You will be spoilt for choice with sweet specialties as well. As Brittany produces the best and finest French butter, they have an array of traditional tasty biscuits (the popular galettes and palets Bretons, petits beurres, galettes de Pont Aven, etc…), pastries ( gâteau Breton and gâteau Nantais) based on buttery dough. One of the main traditional desserts is the Far Breton, a sort of local clafoutis (French batter pudding) made with prunes. The region is also a major apple producer so it’s likely that you find a lot of apple specialities.

Cider is the drink most commonly associated with Brittany and is proudly served in all restaurants in the typical bolée glass. Like wine, parts of Brittany have been awarded appellation d’origine contrôlée for their cider. There are three sorts of cider: brut (‘dry’, the most popular), demi-sec (‘semi-dry’) which is a good alternative if you find the dry one too bitter, and doux (‘sweet’) which can be served with desserts and sweets. A brut cider is the perfect accompaniment to crêpes but also to mature soft-washed-rind-cheeses like the neighbouring Camembert. You could try a pairing with game pâtés, nuts or dry fruit salads or even bring back a few bottles in order to enjoy them with mature cheddar. Another popular drink is pommeau de Bretagne, a delicious mix of apple juice and calvados. Its sweet, yet smooth flavour makes for a perfect apéritif. The only wine produced in Brittany is Muscadet. It is produced from the Melon de Bretagne grape, which has been cultivated here since the early 17th century, to give a dry and fruity white wine that goes perfectly with the region’s signature fish and seafood specialities.

Weather

July is the hottest time to visit the Brittany coast, with an average temperature of 17 degrees C and August providing the most hours of sunshine (on average 7 hours). Those seeking the best swimming opportunities will find the sea at an average of 18 degrees C in August. The wettest month is October.

Is this trip for you?

We provide optional suggestions for every day of your stay, with a good mix of walking and cycling, usually at 1 or 1+ boot and 1-bike level. There's something for everyone, of every ability: there are short strolls to work up an appetite and rewarding day walks as well as the choice of easy bike rides from your doorstep on the voie verte cycle trail along the River Rance, which will enable you to get to know the area intimately.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Accommodation Brittany Activities

Hotel Mercure Dinan Port le Jerzual, Dinan

This modern and comfortable hotel is right in the heart of the picturesque port of Dinan. From the bar and restaurant terrace, you can watch the comings and goings of the pleasure boats on the river Rance. The hotel boasts excellent facilities: there is a jacuzzi and fitness room as well as a seasonally heated pool.

All rooms are medium sized and comfortable; all have been recently refurbished.

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 00 97150 5550 445