Another of our favorite places is Dinan, in the northern part of Brittany. We came here two years ago and just loved it. Dinan is a medieval city, with walls and towers and many buildings looking just as they did 600-800 years ago, when they were built (the recorded history of one building goes back to 1224!). We returned this year and were not disappointed; in fact, we enjoyed this visit more. We did a couple new things, walked to a beautiful nearby town and, as before, just enjoyed being in this place.

Around Dinan

Dinan is a pretty interesting place to just stroll about. It has many buildings that have been here for hundreds of years.


A main street in Dinan.


Another old building.

Gotta love a door like this…

Look outside long enough and you’ll see all kinds of interesting things.

Early in the morning. A couple people setting up tables and a street-cleaner doing his thing. And he did it well: the streets he cleaned – by hand – were immaculate by 8 a.m.

Walking the Walls of Dinan

Dinan has been here a long time, and has the walls to prove it.

One of several remaining towers in Dinan’s walls.

One of four gates through the walls of Dinan.
Another gate in Dinan’s walls.

You have to give this bush credit for making a go of it.

But the walls were always places of solitude.

Our River Cruise

We read of a boat that daily comes from St. Malo up the Rance River to Dinan and thought that would be a cool thing to do. Maybe so, but it was also complicated, requiring taking a train to St. Malo early enough to get the boat, and there are no direct trains; figuring out the schedule which changes depending on tides at St. Malo (which is on the Atlantic coast); and then finding out that there wasn’t even a boat scheduled for two of the three days we were in Dinan. So we walked down to the port where the boat arrived to see if we could get some more information and found  a one-hour boat ride on the Rance from the port, four times a day. Sign us up! We had a great boat “cruise” on the Rance.

The port of Dinan, on the Rance River. That’s what I call a bridge!

Here’s our cruise boat. This is probably as close to a cruise as we’ll ever get.

A closer view of the bridge.


The view from our seats on the river cruise from the port of Dinan.


There has been a bridge at this spot, in the neighboring town of Lèhon, for a thousand years; this exact bridge has been here about 600 of those years.

We even got to go through a lock on our river cruise.

And we saw this abbaye, which inspired a visit to it the next day.

That was our first morning in Dinan, and I’m not sure we could have found a better way to spend it. Tomorrow I’ll post about our visit to Lehon, where we saw the abbaye.

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One Response to Dinan

  1. Susan says:

    Wow. I definitely want to go back, after reading your post, and looking at the lovely pictures.

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