Dinard Tourist Activities
Dinard Airport in France provides a gateway to some of the most spectacular areas of the country, including what is known as the Emerald Coast, running from Saint-Malo to Saint-Brieuc, in the northern Brittany region. Saint-Malo and Dinard are two of the main towns in the area for tourists, each with their own variety of attractions, and other smart beach resorts are found nearby, such as Saint-Lunaire, Saint-Briac-sur-Mer and Lancieux. The airport of Dinard, although of an important nature, is a small French airport, with around 120,000 passengers per annum. It is also known as the Dinard-Pleurtuit Airport, or as the Saint-Malo Airport, due to its location, and is recognised by its official code of DNR. Dinard attractions include the town’s casino, lovely beaches and attractive old and new buildings.
Dinard was once simply a humble fishing village, known only by its local people for its contribution to this industry. Today, however, it has grown to be one of the most popular of France’s coastal tourist destinations, and boasts a large variety of luxury hotels and other types of accommodation. There are also many luxury houses built in the city by the richer of the population towards the end of the nineteenth century, and is now a place of stylish and attractive villas and houses. Some of these, due to their unique constructions, are even protected buildings, and some 19th century houses can be found along the sea-front.
The city of Dinard has three beach areas, which offer a lovely place to begin a stroll along the coastline. All its beaches are clean, and offer large stretches of sand from where the magnificent sea can be admired. The stretch of coastline beginning at Saint-Malo is perhaps referred to as the Emerald Coast because of its beautiful emerald green glaze. The town’s main beach is the Plage de l’Ecluse, and is located in the heart of Dinard. It has long since been the favourite of the local people, and a place visited by the majority of tourists in Dinard. It is also surrounded by lovely and lively bars, restaurants and hotels, and the main casino of Dinard can be found nearby as well. The casino is open year-round, and offers everything your heart desires for this type of entertainment. It is also a venue for weddings, gala dinners, parties and seminars. The second largest beach in Dinard is the Plage de St Enogat, also popular amongst locals and tourists.
The Moonlight Promenade is one of the most famous walkways in Dinard, and takes its participants across the Baie du Preuré. Lovely, unspoilt views of the coastline can be enjoyed, and although not full of ancient monuments like in many other French towns, it seems to capture the magical charm of the city. Other popular walks are taken at the Pointe de la Malouine, a peninsula with Dinard spread out around it, and pretty multi-coloured beach houses along the way. Dinard is home to the Parc des Sports, the principle place of rest and relaxation for its residents, an Olympic sized swimming pool filled with sea water and the Plage du Prieuré, a slightly less crowded beach out in the bay area. The city’s only real museum is the Site Balnéaire Museum, with exhibitions focused around the development of the town. About halfway between Dinard and Saint-Malo is also the Hydro-Electric Dam Visitor Centre, providing information about the large dam and tidal power supply centre which has helped generate power for the two towns since the 1960’s. Tours of the facility can be arranged.
Saint-Malo is one of the major towns of attraction in the Brittany region of France, and is perhaps best known for its great walls of fortification which surround its old town area. This part of Saint-Malo is referred to as ‘intra-muros, or ‘within the wall’s’, and is surrounded by massive ramparts which are a favourite tourist attraction. The town used to be an island on its own, but is now part of the mainland. Most impressive is that its wonderful ancient fortifications and other buildings are mostly completely re-constructed, as the town was severely damaged during the invasion of France in 1944. The history of Saint-Malo can be traced to the 6th century. During later years, it was the home of a fierce-breed of pirate-mariners, and is also therefore commonly referred to as the Pirate Town of Saint-Malo.
Tourists are recommended to take the two kilometre walk around the high and sturdy ramparts, for magnificent views over the town and its beaches, as well as the surrounding areas, and to fully explore the lovely narrow streets, many of which are filled with lively bars and restaurants. Tall and imposing buildings within are quite a sight, and there are grand granite houses dating from the days of the pirates. The old town is entered through the impressive Porte St Vincent, and a tourist information centre is found here, with booklets highlighting all the important sights. Not to be missed are the Castle and Tower Solidor, the 12th century Saint Vincent Cathedral and the ‘House of Duchesse Anne’, which is lovely 15th century building. There is also the Place Chateaubriand, one of the pleasant squares of the town, and the Parc de la Briantais, which offers a large open area ideal for strolls and picnics. More information about the history of Saint-Malo can be found in the town museum.
Other Saint-Malo attractions include the town’s lovely sandy beaches, and their rocky outcrops. Visitors will also enjoy wandering the various islands nearby, in particular the one with the National Fort, designed by Vauban in the 17th century. Other islands include the Grand Bé and the Petit Bé, and they can be accessed at low tide. Saint-Malo also boasts a wonderful aquarium as a more modern attraction, and many other animal, leisure and adventure parks in the area. The Pirate Maize is a favourite.
The airport provides easy access to many other areas in the vicinity as well, including Le Mont Saint Michel, the exquisite and medieval town of Dinan, and Dol-de-Bretagne, another medieval wonder of France. Dinard attractions in further detail are available from tourist information offices within the city.