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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. A 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 today very popular with visitors has been populated since the Middle Paleolithic. Founded by Saint Méen, a Welsh evangelist, in the middle of the 6th century, the municipality of Cancale is famous from the 11th century for its activity of "big" fishing towards Newfoundland. Served by the railway in the 19th century, the city is now famous for its tourist attractions and its famous flat oysters.

In the port, all year round, the oyster market allows you to buy precious shellfish to take away. You can also taste them on the quay, seated opposite the breeding grounds and Mont-Saint-Michel, guaranteed pleasure!

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 weekly Cancale market is held every Sunday morning. A Christmas market is also organized in December. During the summer, the city offers a night market on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A clearance sale is also set up in July.

The Cancale Challenges walking race is offered in March. The route extends over a little over ten kilometers.

At the end of May, the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay Marathon begins at the port of La Houle at Cancale. Three different events and distances are available to you.

The Grouin festival, at the beginning of June, is a theatrical event aimed at young audiences. For the occasion, children and adolescents present plays on stage.

Le Branle-Bas de Régates is a maritime festival organized in August with different activities for all ages, several ports from the bay of Mont Saint-Michel to Saint-Malo take part in these nautical activities.

Between the end of September and the beginning of October, the Cancale Bordées festival offers various shows of traditional maritime songs in cafes, in gardens, in the streets or under a cabaret marquee.

Detailed information

Mont Saint-Michel Marathon
A unique marathon in one of the world's most beautiful sitesMay 2024

Photos

Cancale, le port de la Houle
Cancale, le port de la Houle
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Cancale, le port de la Houle
Cancale, le port de la Houle
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Cancale, le port de la Houle
Cancale, le port de la Houle
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Panorama from the coastal path (© J.E)
Panorama from the coastal path (© J.E)
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Cancale, Oyster Washers Fountain
Cancale, Oyster Washers Fountain
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Coastal path above Cancale (© J.E)
Coastal path above Cancale (© J.E)
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Cancale, on the GR 34
Cancale, on the GR 34
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Cancale, on the GR 34
Cancale, on the GR 34
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Cancale, Seawater Swimming Pool
Cancale, Seawater Swimming Pool
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Cancale, on the GR 34
Cancale, on the GR 34
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Marathon de la Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel
Marathon de la Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel
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Cancale, on the GR 34
Cancale, on the GR 34
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The Rock of Cancale
The Rock of Cancale
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Cancale, Port Briac Beach
Cancale, Port Briac Beach
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Cancale, Port-Briac beach
Cancale, Port-Briac beach
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From Port Briac to Port Picain, GR 34
From Port Briac to Port Picain, GR 34
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Port Picain Beach
Port Picain Beach
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La bisquine, traditional sailboat, Cancale
La bisquine, traditional sailboat, Cancale
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Port-Mer Beach
Port-Mer Beach
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Cancale, port de la Houle
Cancale, port de la Houle
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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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The Town Hall
The Town Hall
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The church of Saint-Méen
The church of Saint-Méen
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The church of Saint-Méen
The church of Saint-Méen
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The interior of the Saint-Méen church
The interior of the Saint-Méen church
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The interior of the Saint-Méen church
The interior of the Saint-Méen church
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Oyster beds and Mont-St-Michel
Oyster beds and Mont-St-Michel
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