Redon, and the waterways!

And here I am in sunny Morbihan , the beaches are full ,at some risks and I am again nostalgic of my trips. I have not realise how much I have written in my blog and so much left out from those visits!! This is the time to remedy that, and will take you to Redon, a nice waterway town in the Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my Bretagne.

Redon is the sub-prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine department 35 in the region of Bretagne. Redon is the center of the community Redon Agglomeration gathering municipalities from 3 bordering departments (Ille-et-Vilaine 35, Morbihan 56, and Loire-Atlantique 44). It is located north of the confluence of the Oust and Vilaine rivers which runs along the city. It is 60 km from Rennes, 50 km from Vannes and 60 km from Nantes. The Canal Nantes-Brest runs along the Oust river then crosses the center of the town. The neighboring towns are: in Ille-et-Vilaine(35): Bains-sur-Oust; and Sainte Marie ; in Morbihan(56): Saint-Perreux; Saint-Jean-la-Poterie; and Rieux; and in the Loire-Atlantique (44) : Saint-Nicolas-de-Redon.


We live less than 2 hrs from Redon, so we took the D779 over to the D135 past Saint Avé to hook up with the D775 at Saint Nolff and straight to Redon avoiding all N national roads. Easy leasure ride and plenty of parking by the Quai Surcouf in Redon!

I have written on Redon before and plenty on history ,however, like to repeat this one as a historical anecdote I like: On June 8, 1918, 1,600 American soldiers from the 155th artillery brigade disembarked in Redon overnight. There will be a total of 7,000 distributed between Avessac, Saint-Nicolas-de-Redon and Redon. Everything was planned in September 1916 (housing, distribution …). The American army chose Redon to train part of its troops in the handling of the French cannon. You saw in particular the 75 guns delivered to the sub-prefecture. During WWII, the Nazis army arrived in Redon on June 21, 1940. The city was liberated by the American army on August 4, 1944.

This is the water heavy boat crazy and leisure inland living town of Redon in South Brittany, the still land of the Gallo language not Breton but it can be heard too. Redon is placed at the heart of the western waterways and near the ocean with, in particular, a sea and river port sheltered from winter storms. The famous port de Plaisance or harbor of pleasure boats to the in and out of the boats on the levies, the tranquil waters of the Oust and Vilaine rivers as well as the Canal Nantes-Brest passing by this town is all boats and waterways. For renting boats on the Canal Nantes Brest more info from the tourist office of Redon in French here: Tourist office of Redon on boating

We continue wandering to the point of ave jean Burel past Quai Jean Barts to see the La Croix des marins, or the mariners cross pointing out to the union of the Oust and Vilaine rivers.


From the Middle Ages, Redon strategic position and the development of its port enabled it to strengthen itself economically: it positioned itself as the seaport before Rennes. On the Quai Duguay-Trouin (located in La Digue, on the border between Ille-et-Vilaine and Loire-Atlantique (departments), there are beautiful houses of shipowners and traders from the 17-18C, which bear witness to this intense maritime activity. The current afloat basin of the marina was dug in 1836. It therefore became the heart of the city, due to the port activity that developed there, but also the establishment of many industries. Completed in 1842, the Canal Nantes-Brest crosses the Manche-Océan maritime link at Redon and thereby erects the city as a crossroads for Brittany’s waterways. The digging of the Canal helped make the port district an “island”, connected to the rest of the city by several works of art. Contact for the pleasure boat marina or port de Plaisance are tel +33 (0) 7 77 88 23 22 and email:


More from the city of Redon on the port de plaisance in French here: City of Redon on the port de plaisance



The musée de la Batellerie is nice but on the day we stopped by was close, something to come back for it. It shows the history of boat making and river navigation in the area. King François 1er decision to channel it between Redon and Rennes. This decision gave new impetus to port activity thereby transforming the port of Redon into a real port of Rennes, the boats are then loaded with wine, salt, fish, but also Spanish iron, coal, of building materials ,etc. And we export cider, slates, rye and wood. In the 19C, the canalization of Brittany transformed Redon into a veritable crossroads of the western waterways and the port was then punctuated by the navigation of labor, the mariners, long-time travelers animate the quays and transport their freight along the canals. More on the boating museum in French here: City of Redon on the boating museum


Of course, we had our usual lunch away from home and we walk so finally decided to eat at L’Ecluse pizzeria resto in nearby Saint Nicolas de Redon! just over the department 35 to 44 line! Coming from Redon, after crossing the Saint-Nicolas-de-Redon bridge stop immediately in the parking lot located on your right, the restaurant l’Ecluse is just opposite ,on the road D164 direction La Gacilly. The place was great, we were the first one in, all staff waiting for us , and service was prompt and nice. We had our aperitifs or apéros with porto red, piña colada, whisky cola , l’ecluse house special of fruits no alcohol and cocktail alexis with rosé wine and lemon. Then we went with the tagliatelles with goat cheeses for two, calzone of ham and cheese, and pizzas of Indienne, Royale (beef for me), we had a Lyonnaise house rosé wine bottle and then desserts were bounty (coconut ice cream and choco syrup), banana split, peach melba, pears belle helene, and caraibe coffee with vodka. We left paying at the counter for 28 euros per person. A bit high been in an off area away from the main tourist spots. However, the place is sparkling clean very nice decoration with riverware and old Paris posters, and the place was pack with local people by the time we finish. L’écluse Pizzeria , La Digue, 74, avenue Jean Burel . More info here : L’Ecluse Pizzeria restaurant


Redon port de plaisance quai surcouf to sea may15

And continue to the Ile aux Pies.  Nearly 467 hectares spread over the towns of Bains-sur-Oust (35), Glénac (56), and Saint-Vincent-sur-Oust (56). A wonderful nature site of Bretagne/Brittany, with the Oust river passing and spaces for picnic, horse riding, children playground, kayak,canoe, boating, and mountain climbing on a great cliff. plenty of free parking. You continue on the D873 and reach the panel for ile aux pies take it left and follow the signs until the end. Plenty of camping cars spaces too.

The tourist office of Redon in French here: Tourist office of Redon on the Ile aux Pies and Canal Nantes Brest

And for activities on the Ïle aux Pies or island of Pies in French here: Adventure park on the Ile aux Pies

A bit of historical nod on the Ïle aux Pies , the independence of Bretagne was played near the Île aux Pies! In 845, the town of Bains-sur-Oust was the scene of the Battle of Ballon.

Bains sur Oust

Winner of the armies of the king of France Charles the Bald, the Breton sovereign Nominoë proclaimed himself king of Bretagne and was crowned in the Cathedral of Dol. In the 19C, Île aux Pies was divided into a multitude of small plots, fenced to the west. Only the owners of a plot along the river could approach the water. The grounds were maintained exclusively by hand and the wheelbarrow, the size of the plots prevented a cart, let alone an agricultural machine, from entering. The upper part of the site was used for grazing animals, harvesting litter and hay. Agriculture, hemp and flax farming, hunting, fishing and the river trade were the main economic activities of the inhabitants of the area. In the 1970s, land consolidation created larger plots. The campsite, the car park and the meadow were laid out at that time. And voilà, you can reach it by car, from Bains-sur-Oust, via the D60 then the D873, follow the signs which lead to the campsite.

From the dept 35 Ille et Vilaine on the Ïle aux Pies history in French here: Tourist office of dept 35 Ille et Vilaine on the Ïle aux Pies

Further webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The area tourist office of South Brittany in English here: South Brittany tourist office

The city of Redon tourist office on heritage sites in French: City of Redon on heritage

And there you go folks another dandy in my beautiful Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh. Never a dull moment seeing these beautiful places and so close, you should try them too and be glad you stop by. Hope you enjoy this post on the waterways of Redon.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: