Straddling the departments of Ille-et-Vilaine, Morbihan and Loire-Atlantique, the Pays de Redon, is the perfect place to go for those who love nature and especially walks and hiking. With rich countryside, lakes and rivers and charming villages, it’s one of the secret places in the north of France that’s just waiting to be discovered…
The port town of Redon
The little town of Redon is full of character with its medieval architecture. Don’t miss the huge Saint-Sauveur Abbey founded in 832, one of the most important abbeys in Brittany in its time. The 17th century Calvairiennes Monastery, half-timbered houses, and port on the river Vilaine make this a lovely town to visit. Private mansions, salt lofts and other old buildings bear witness to this flourishing period that Redon experienced in the middle ages. Today, the city is charming and tranquil and has a surprising maritime atmosphere.
The thousand-year-old site of Saint-Just
In the middle gorse and heather coats moors, discover an important megalithic site. Thousand-year-old menhirs, dolmens and mounds make a walk here like a step back in time. Excavations indicate the construction of the dolmens took place between 4500 and 1500 BC. Nearby the forest of Tréal also provides an exceptional setting for a stroll.
The Valley du Don
Known as the land of 7 Rivers, the Vallée du Don is a land of legends where strange shaped rocks abound. The rock of the Carbosse fairy for instance, who put a curse on the land when the locals laughed at her. And the rock of lovers overlooking the small, winding river Don. A hiking circuit (details from the tourist office of Pays de Redon) leads you through this beautiful valley.
Île-aux-Pies – Magpie Island in English – is located on the Nantes-Brest canal. A classified Remarkable Site, it’s Ideal for those who love to fish and to do water sports, as well as for walkers with its lovely tow paths.
The Vilaine Valley
This ancient valley was once under sea water, three million years later it’s a lush green haven.. The many rivers that flow into the Vilaine transform the meadows into a large lake during wet seasons. The towpaths enable hikers as well as cyclists to crisscross the ponds, forests and secret paths that border the river: the viaduct of Corbinières, Langon where you will see the beautiful bell tower and pretty chapel with its Gallo-Roman fresco – unique in France, the Grand Pas bridge and the small wrought iron bridges, the village of Brain-sur-Vilaine, Rieux and Béganne…
Some of the Pays de Redon’s best walking routes
The Pays de Redon is home to 7 geocaching routes that are ideal for the whole family. The fun and educational treasure hunts are available via an app: “Trésors de Haute Bretagne” application.
The Vilaine Valley
Take a walk along the towpath or the GR39, and plan your return by train, or vice versa! The route runs along the railway line from Rennes to Redon. Discover prehistoric remains in Saint-Just at the Maison “Megaliths and Landes” – open from April to November. Then follow the 7km long interpretation trail through the Cojoux moors which takes around 2h30m.
One of the prettiest walks in the region is the 14km long route from Chapelle-de-Brain to Brain-sur-Vilaine. Alternating ridges and valleys take you to the water’s edge and to hill tops with diverse landscapes. In the rainy season, the floods of the Gannedel marsh are a unique spectacle.
Terre et Vilaine de Béganne
A 17 km of circuit takes you between moors and country lanes, through the port of Folleux, where the sight of fields and sailboats is simply glorious. You can also do it by bike.
The Ruisseau circuit
A lovely 2.5 hour walk that leads from Saint-Just to the Étang du Val where you’ll have 360 ° views over the Château du Val.
Main walking events
March: Rando des Jonquilles in Saint-Jean
April: Hike La Levée des Bosselles in Redon
Beginning of October: the Ronde des Fours in Sainte-Marie
Find lots more details at: www.tourisme-pays-redon.com