Ecluse de St Jouan à GuillacGuillac Ecluse St Jouan 2016 ©e.berthier
©Emmanuel Berthier

The Canal, from history to nature

To the south of Destination Brocéliande, from Mortier de Glénac in the east to Les Forges in the west, the Nantes to Brest canal flows into the Oust valley. This picturesque ribbon of water that crisscrosses inland Brittany draws an unexpected universe, in the heart of the Brecilian country. Its charms invite you to gentle strolls through history, nature and meetings.

A source of harmony between water, earth and stone

Initiated by Napoleon to open up Brittany, completed in 1842, the Nantes to Brest canal flirts with the Broceliande forest, passing through Malestroit and Josselin. Along this impressive 364 kilometers long work, the landscapes become softer as the 238 locks go by. The murmur of the water joins the rustle of the leaves. Reconverted into paths, the towpaths venture from villages to rocky promontories. Here, mind and body roam freely, roaming is experienced as much internally as physically.

A story of encounter

Pleasant discoveries enliven the routes. Herons and cormorants accompany the greener passages. At the locks, very nicely flowered, boaters call out to each other, hikers picnic, lock keepers share their passion and suggest new ideas for visiting the canal’s surroundings. Nice cafés and restaurants are nestled in bucolic settings like the nautical stop in the village of Montertelot. Shops shelter in local stone houses near the locks.

Two pearls on the river

Set on the hillside, two superb stops invite you to tackle the cobblestones and history. On either side of the canal, Josselin unfurls a proud heritage lined with half-timbered houses and steep alleys. Its castle, both feudal and flamboyant, rises above the pontoons and the weir, facing the picturesque Ste-Croix district. Malestroit, a “Petite Cité de Caractère”, has preserved its venerable houses, decorated with half-timbering, dormer windows and gargoyles. A real immersion in the Middle Ages!

You will know everything about the Canal Activities, walks and heritage

In the vicinity Discover the other must-sees of Destination Brocéliande