Find out more about the River Rance at la Maison de la Rance at Dinan-Lanvallay. Tel: 02 96 87 00 40
Visit the Moulin du Prat. This watermill has been recently restored and is also the venue for various activities such as shows.
Discover the Rance by boat
Cross the Rance between St Malo and Dinard - there are two "Vedette" companies operating. Otherwise why note hire a craft? Boats can be hired in Dinan. If you wish you can travel down the river by vedettes See www.crownblueline.co.uk and also our magazine article Cruising Holidays in France with Crown Blue Line for trips up and down the Rance from Dinan.
The "barrage" de la Rance is a familiar site to visitors to the region. This was finished in 1966 and uses the power of the water flowing through to generate electricity. Part of the barrage lifts each hour on the hour to let passing boats through a lock. 16,000 pass through this lock annually.
When driving from St. Malo to Dinard, it is as well to allow for anything up to a quarter of an hour wait whilst the boats go through on the hour. For more information in French go to this information page
There is a code of ethics applying to the River Rance which is called Le Contrat de Baie and this means that all usage and development of the Rance is strictly protected in order to encourage the wildlife and fauna there. Remember no litter and respect the area at all times. One can see a variety of beautiful water birds including, ducks, moorhens, kingfishers, herons and cormorants not to forget the frequent visiting seagull!
Events connected with the River Rance
La Route du Cidre Every year at the beginning of September a regatta sets forth to taste the new cider from various locations. Concept somewhat like the Route de Rhum. The boats are traditional and the crews attired in traditional costume.
La Fete de Margates On the Sunday of Pentecost there is a festival at the Plouer sur Rance slipway. Margate are like small squid which live in the River and this gives a chance to taste them and also enjoy music, as well as learning about fishing techniques and the environment. A jolly occasion as well as a chance to look at old boats.
Some delightful areas on the Rance are
Dinan - sit in the riverside cafés and restaurants.
Langrolay-sur-Rance - launch boats from here, swim or just sit on the riverside
St Sulliac - the perfect "chocolate box" Breton village with streets of stone cottages descending to the riverside
Plouer Sur Rance - go down to La Cale which is a little beach where boats are launched
Port Lyvet - Marina where you can dine at a riverside restaurant or walk along the tow path
Taden- walk down the hill to the riverside and then chose whether to walk to Dinan or Port Lyvet. The most beautiful riverside scenery.
Jouvente and Le Richardais - some perfect riverside spots here.
Boats of the Rance
Le Chippe was a very small fishing boat designed for areas with sand banks.
Les Batteaux-carrelets - were big boats that moved around powered somewhat like a gondola and was used for fishing
Le Doris - Dorey - a small boat, used by many fishermen
Les petits canots de riviere - little row boats
Les Gabarres de Mordreuc or the Bas-Champs were huge sail boats and were used to transport goods.
Les Flambarts normands brought calcaire stone for the many ovens a chaux from the Contentin.
Petits Cotres Borneurs used to transport a variety of goods from corn and potatoes to stones and flag stones.
Les Chalands de Rance were also sea boats although frequently towed along canals by horses. They were used for fishing.