When you are considering where to visit as part of your canal boat holidays, there are many areas of France that stand out as a good choice. The rivers and canals that criss-cross the country give you plenty of options when it comes to France boating holidays, but Brittany in particular is a popular spot. Boasting a beautiful coastline and many sedate waterways, you are bound to find the ideal place to while away the hours during your boat holidays. If you are new to boating, then Brittany could prove a sensible choice, as its waterways are quiet and do not pose too many challenges.
On the other hand, if you are experienced when it comes to sailing a vessel then you may find the slow pace of the French region is just what you need to relax during your holiday. Brittany is home to more than 600 km of canals and rivers so you are certain to find somewhere that suits you.
But with so many places to choose from, you may need some help in narrowing down your boating holiday itinerary. One town that you should certainly take the time to visit is Redon. Boasting history, culture and of course the food for which the region is famous, it is a great place to kick back and relax for a few days. Redon has been described as the little Venice of Brittany because so many canals and waterways flow through the town. It is located where two rivers – the Oust and Vilaine – converge with the Nantes-Brest canal. Like its Italian namesake, Redon is home to a number of historic attractions which you should be sure to explore during your boating holiday. And because it is located in Brittany, you will find that there is lots on offer in the way of food.
Sampling the local cuisine is an integral part of any trip to France and when you are staying on a boat, you have the opportunity to rustle up your own delicious dishes. Redon hosts a market every Monday and you will be able to browse amid stalls filled with local goods and produce – the ideal place to stock up before you take to the water again.
If you want some inspiration when it comes to typical Breton food, you may want to visit one of the many restaurants to taste the local cuisine before trying your hand at making your own. Due to its coastal location, seafood features prominently on most menus in Brittany, with oysters and scallops amongst the fresh catch you can expect to find.
Another signature dish from this part of France is the crepe, while for a more hearty pudding, you may want to try a Breton Far – a dessert similar to flan and topped with plums and custard. While France is renamed for its wine production, the local tipple in Brittany is cider, so be sure to pick up a bottle to accompany your meal. In order to work up an appetite, you might want to head into Redon for some sightseeing and you will find plenty of beautiful buildings right on the waterfront.
The Old Harbor district of the town dates back centuries and you will be able to admire the 18th century houses that line the streets and were once home to wealthy ship builders. All of the footbridges, locks and gangways make the area particularly pretty and in the summer, you will see an added splash of color in the form of flowers. The town is known as a Ville fleurie and every year, it decorates its streets with bright displays and hanging baskets.
If you decide to travel a little further afield then you will find the Chateau du Mail and Richelieu Tower just a short walk along the banks of the River Vilaine. Meanwhile, the Ancient Abbey of Saint Sauveur is the perfect place to head if you want to discover the history of the area. Founded in 832, the monastery has long been an important landmark within Redon.
And if you want to delve deer in to Redon's past then a trip to the Western Waterways Museum could be in order. The museum features exhibits about the development of the waterways in Brittany, as well as information about the boatmen who worked on the canals and the communities that lived on their shores.