Spain Guide

France Guide

Dinard France Brittany Dinard

Dinard France

Some say that Dinard would be more at home on the Cote d'Azur than in Brittany. In actual fact, it would happily nest on the south coast of England, as it bears a striking resemblance to Bournemouth and Brighton in its faded 19th century seaside glamour and proliferation of the chronologically gifted.

In defiance of Dinard's numerous hills, they loiter around the casino, villas, regattas and beaches like youths around a skate park, with a resulting rise in prices and distinct lack of the more frenzied and turbulent pursuits.

To put it plainly, Dinard is expensive and dull unless you happen to be rich and in need of tranquillity, in which case it serves the purpose inimitably. The casino is in the centre of the buildings that line up along the waterfront, but the seafront is more residential with Victorian villas rather than hotels. The plage de l'Écluse is an attractive beach, and a statue of Alfred Hitchcock, complete with two seagulls on his shoulders, welcomes you onto it. He is here to celebrate the annual English language film festival that takes place here every October. Out of town, a wander along coastal footpaths is an enjoyable way to pass a sunny afternoon: head east for views of St Malo, which is just across the bay but twenty minutes' drive around the coast.

4km south of Dinard is the airport near Pleurtuit, served by Ryanair from Stanstead and internal French flights. The Dinard tourist office at 2 bd Féart (02 99 46 94 12) is near the pleasure port, where you can get a boat to or from St Malo. A good hotel in this area is the Hotel Restaurant Printania at 5 av George V (02 99 46 13 07) which has a great terrace restaurant with views over to St Malo, and rooms from €40 55. There are plenty of types of hotel in Dinard, although all lean towards being expensive. If you are looking for a campsite try the camping municipal Port Blanc on rue du Sergent Boulanger (02 99 46 10 74), open from March to October. Otherwise, stay in St Malo and pop to Dinard for a day visit rather than making it your base.