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Cancale and its oysters

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Ille-et-Vilaine

Cancale and its oysters - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Ille-et-Vilaine
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Fishing port and oyster farming centre, Cancale is renowned for its flat oysters that are enjoyed by all lovers of seafood. Situated in the Mont-Saint-Michel bay, Cancale is a seaside resort where it is good to:

  • Walk on the quays and piers of the little harbour of La Houle;
  • Stroll on the Douaniers footpath;
  • Relax on its beaches;
  • Taste its famous oysters.

From the top of the tower of the church, the view of Cancale, its port, its beaches and the Mont-Saint-Michel bay is superb.

Additional information
Cancale and its oysters

Renowned for its oyster production, the commune of Cancale is located in Brittany, in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. Fishing port, it takes place at the western end of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, on the Emerald Coast, about fifteen kilometers from Saint-Malo.

This seaside resort, which is very popular with tourists, is populated since the Middle Palaeolithic. Founded by Saint Méen, a Welsh evangelist, in the middle of the 6th century, the Cancale commune was renowned for its "great" fishing activity in Newfoundland as early as the 11th century. Serviced by the railway in the 19th century, the city is now famous for its tourist activity, as well as for its flat oysters extracted in deep sea bottoms.

The proximity with the Mont-Saint-Michel and the beaches gives Cancale a special place in the heart of tourists passing through this part of Brittany.

Things to see and do

Built in the first half of the eighteenth century, the church of Saint-Méen takes place on the remains of the early church of the Middle Ages. Inscribed in the Historical Monuments, it offers from its superior platform a breathtaking view of the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, Granville or on the island of Chausey in clear weather. It now houses a museum of popular arts and traditions that unveils collections on oyster culture, fishing, agriculture and everyday life in Cancun.

The customs path, also known as the circular path, extends for nearly eleven kilometers. On the way, you will appreciate the panorama on the Mont-Saint-Michel, as well as the charm of the Crolles point overlooking the port of La Houle.

The beaches are one of the main tourist attractions of Cancale, there are at least four offering swimming, boardwalk, or water activities such as the beaches of Port-Briac, Port-Mer, Port-Pican, And that of the orchard.

Museum of the oyster and the shellfish, the marine farm allows to be initiated to the techniques of breeding and production of oyster in Cancale, all accompanied by a large collection of 1,500 different shells.

It is possible to visit the birthplace of Jeanne Jugan, the founder of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Beatified in the 1980s by Pope John Paul II, his house is still today an important place of pilgrimage and meditation preserved in the state.

The sculpted wood museum features nearly 300 characters on high reliefs made by the abbé Quémerais in the 20th century.

Classified as Historic Monuments, the Daules guardhouse was built in the 17th century in the cove of the Orchard. It is the last of its kind built by Vauban in France.

The pier of the Epi hold was inscribed in the Historic Monuments. Built in stone at the beginning of the 19th century, it was intended to replace the old dyke already on site.

The port of Cancale, bordered by a cliff-side area and surrounded by narrow alleys that once hosted the fishermen, is a magnificent boat parade. Do not forget to taste oyster plates, to enjoy in the open air, directly facing the sea.

Do not forget to admire the Château de la Vallée, a former 18th century old malouinière that once belonged to the Dubois de la Cotardière family.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Natural sites

Events and festivities

The market of Cancale is held every Sunday morning. A Christmas market is also organized in December. In the summer, the city offers a night market. A market is also set up in July.

The Challenge of Cancale is presented in March. The course extends over a little more than ten kilometers.

At the end of May, the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay Marathon passes through the city of Cancale. Three different tests and distances are proposed.

The festival of the Grouin, at the beginning of June, is an event turned towards the young public. For the occasion, children and teenagers present plays on stage.

Branle-Bas de Régates is a maritime festival organized in August with various events for all ages.

Between the end of September and the beginning of October, the Festival des Bordées de Cancale offers different shows in cafés, gardens, streets or under a cabaret marquee.

Detailed information

Mont Saint-Michel Marathon
A unique marathon in one of the world's most beautiful sitesMay 2018

Photos

Panorama from the coastal footpath (© JE)
Panorama from the coastal footpath (© JE)
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Coastal path above Cancale (© JE)
Coastal path above Cancale (© JE)
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Chemin des douaniers
Chemin des douaniers
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Chemin des douaniers
Chemin des douaniers
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Seawater pool
Seawater pool
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Path Customs officers
Path Customs officers
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Mont-Saint-Michel Bay marathon
Mont-Saint-Michel Bay marathon
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Customs officers' route
Customs officers' route
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Cancale
Cancale
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boulder Port Briac
boulder Port Briac
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Port Briac
Port Briac
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From Briac port to Pican port
From Briac port to Pican port
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Port Pican
Port Pican
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The bisquine
The bisquine
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Port Mer
Port Mer
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The swell
The swell
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Terrelabouet
Terrelabouet
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Element of the local flora (© Jean Espirat)
Element of the local flora (© Jean Espirat)
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Local flora (© Jean Espirat)
Local flora (© Jean Espirat)
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Local Flora © Jean Espirat)
Local Flora © Jean Espirat)
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

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