One of the main attractions of the coastal city of Dinard is, without doubt, the beaches. It is here, in Brittany, where you’ll find some of the finest stretches of sand in all of France. The Plage de l’Écluse, also known as the Grand Plage is one of the best, with spectacular views of both Dinard and St Malo in the distance. In fact, if you’d like to enjoy this beautiful beach on your doorstep for your entire stay, there are some lovely villas for rent right on the beachfront. Many date back to the late 19th century. One property, Les Villas La Falaise
, on the cliffs, offers visitors access to a private terrace and has an excellent restaurant featuring authentic French cuisine. Some rooms come with their own kitchens, if you prefer to do your own thing.
A beach lover’s delight
Wait for the tide to go out at Grand Plage and be rewarded with a stunning vista of white sand as far as the eye can see. Each of the beaches is linked by walkways, so walkers can stroll from one beach to the next to find their favourite while taking in the fresh sea air. Dinard's location means the weather is generally warm and sunny during the summer, so the beaches can get busy, but there are usually fewer tourists to be found at Plage de St-Enogat, which is a little more isolated if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. Promenade en Bord sur Mer is worth a visit if you don’t like getting sand in your shoes. Enjoy lush greenery and expansive views of the bay. The Promenade du Clair de Lune is a scenic walkway that takes visitors along the rocky coastline to Saint Malo, just three miles away – the ideal excursion to put you in the mood for dinner at the popular Le Narval. Don’t forget to try something from the superb, if sometimes surprising, dessert menu. Le Narval is just one of a series of restaurants around the Cancale seafront. Also of note here is the peculiarly named La Grande Large, famous for its mussels.
Put yourself in the picture
Of course, Dinard is about more than beaches. For film buffs, the British Film Festival
takes place here in October. And foodies have plenty to enjoy too! There’s a daily market in the Halles de la Concord and another one in Place Crolard operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. One surprising feature in the locality is the Hydro-Electric Dam, aka Le Barrage de la Rance, located halfway between Saint Malo and Dinard. It’s one of the area’s biggest attractions. Also, if the weather isn’t good for swimming, there’s an Olympic-sized swimming pool on Rue Coppinger, unusual in that it’s filled with seawater. Hire a car so that you can visit nearby St Briac and St Lumiare. St Briac-sur-Mer has an 18-hole waterside golf course, while St Lumiare is a haunt of rich Parisians. Don’t be surprised to see the occasional film star, such as Gérard Depardieu.