Dinan and St. Malo or Dinard?

Old Sep 19th, 2015, 05:22 PM
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Dinan and St. Malo or Dinard?

Hi everyone,

My daughter and I are traveling around France next June, 2016. We are spending our last two days in Dinan, Brittany on Rick Steves recommendation. However it looks like we could probably do the town in one day. Can anyone recommend where we can go the other day we have that doesnt involve too long to get to via bus or train in the Brittany area. We are not particularly into history (Mont St. Michel) but love beaches. Can you recommend St. Malo or Dinard or someplace else. Thank you for your help.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 06:00 PM
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St Malo, Dinard or Dinan are beautiful.

I learnt to eat seafood in St Malo, and I have always loved this city. Superb, a walled town with extraordinary character.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 07:30 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancale for seafood. A drive around that rocky peninsula to St. Malo will give some nice views.

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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 08:18 PM
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I was not particularly impressed with St. Malo.

I adored Dinan.

I skipped Dinard.

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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 11:13 PM
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I went to all three:

St Malo - walking the ramparts (about 2 hours) gives a great overview of the city without battling the crowds, plus great views of the huge tide coming in and out. You can pop down from the rampart for meal & snack breaks.

Dinan - beautiful old town with great atmosphere. Make sure you walk down the old streets to the river front area, as well as roaming the main town.

Dinard - the most fabulous markets I've come across. Make sure you walk around the seafront cliffs to see how the old Victorian houses.

See my screen name for full trip reports of these places. Di
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 04:56 AM
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Been to all three many times, Dinan is great but only a day worth, St Malo would soak up the rest of the time, Dinard is dull as ditchwater (unless you like cake and tea).

Points to note

1) Just south of St Malo is the tidal barrage (free entry) worth a 1/2 hour visit
2) Between Dinan and Dinard are some odd Megoliths, if you are into that sort of thing, enjoy
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Sep 20th, 2015, 06:16 AM
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I don't think you even need a day to tour Dinan.

We toured Dinan, Dinard, St. Malo and Cancale within a few days while on a cycling trip touring Brittany and Normandy. I liked them all, although I'd say I liked St Malo the least. However, St. Malo IS central, would have the best transport links, and would probably would have the widest range of accommodations for you if you are willing to change your hotel plans.

In your shoes, I'd just study the public transportation info and potential hotels to see what would work out best for your needs and budget. Here are some good starting transport links:

As to our own experience, our cycling route started with a morning and lunch in Dinan, a darling town that I still remember well 15 years later. It had my favorite touring mode of all time, a Petite Train http://www.petit-train-dinan.com/index.php#_=_ . Tip: do not sit near the engine!

The mussels in cream here were just lovely--this may have been my first experience with the Breton version. Dinan is also where I first tasted the Breton pastry delight, Ker Y Pom, which is basically fresh apples baked in pastry dough that is sold in kiosks.

Leaving Dinan, we then cycled up the river trail towards Cancale, where we stayed the night (see below) and had dinner at the hotel.

The next day we cycled over to Dinard, explored it for a bit, and then cycled back through St Malo. The ramparts were interesting, plus we were able to get another Petit Train there http://www.lepetittrain-saintmalo.co...nt-p0-C27.html. I found another Ker Y Pom pastry kiosk there (yeah!!) and then we returned to our hotel above Cancale.

That night we walked down the hill to Cancale for dinner because there are a zillion seafood restaurants there. Watching how the tides impact the oyster farming in the town was fascinating. We took a taxi back to the hotel.

Where did we stay? We were very lucky to stay right above Cancale at the beautiful Chateau Richeux http://www.maisons-de-bricourt.com/?...teauricheux_en It was great--our room had a view of Mont St Michel in the distance -- but that hotel is NOT centrally located for your needs.

Since we always had the benefit of our cycles, we did not have to use public transportation. But if we could cycle to all of these places in a few days (I was never a fast cyclist), you could certainly do just as well by pubic transport.

Good luck planning,
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Old Sep 21st, 2015, 11:56 AM
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Thank you all for your very helpful information. It seems the general feeling is that Dinan is beautiful but can be done in a day. St. Malo seems to be a second favorite. So I guess we will do Dinan and St Malo. Will report back next year! So excited. Wish it was time to go already!
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Old Sep 21st, 2015, 11:59 AM
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P.S. Thanks for the beautiful photos Michael and for the great website AZ!
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